Welcome back, basketball.
The Heat holds its annual media day Monday, before beginning training camp Tuesday at FTX Arena. Miami opens its six-game preseason schedule with a home matchup against the Atlanta Hawks on Oct. 4.
The Heat enters camp with 14 players on guaranteed standard NBA contracts: Bam Adebayo, Jimmy Butler, Dewayne Dedmon, Udonis Haslem, Tyler Herro, Kyle Lowry, Markieff Morris, KZ Okpala, Victor Oladipo, Duncan Robinson, Max Strus, P.J. Tucker, Gabe Vincent and Omer Yurtseven.
The Heat is expected to begin the regular season with only these 14 players signed to standard contracts — one below the NBA limit — to avoid crossing the luxury tax threshold.
But the Heat filled both of its two-way contract spots with guard Marcus Garrett and wing Caleb Martin.
Miami’s preseason roster also includes forward Micah Potter, and guards Javonte Smart, Dru Smith and D.J. Stewart Jr. All four were signed to Exhibit 10 contracts, which includes an invitation to training camp and leaves open the possibility for all four to eventually play for the Heat’s G League affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce.
In total, the Heat’s roster is at the preseason maximum of 20 players. NBA rosters must be cut to a maximum total of 17 players (15 on standard contracts and two on two-way contracts) before the start of the regular season.
Here’s a look at the perimeter players on the Heat’s roster, not including those entering training camp on an Exhibit 10 contract ...
JIMMY BUTLER, wing
Age: Turned 32 on Sept. 14.
What he did last season: Averaged 21.5 points on a career-best 49.7 percent shooting and career highs in rebounds (6.9), assists (7.1) and steals (2.1) in 52 regular-season games (52 starts). In the playoffs, Butler averaged 14.5 points on 29.7 percent shooting to go with 7.5 rebounds, seven assists and 1.3 steals in four games.
Contract status: Due $36 million this upcoming season in the third year of a four-year, $141 million max contract he signed in the summer of 2019. Butler also signed an an extension with the Heat this offseason that will keep him under contract with the team through the 2025-26 season when he’ll be 36 years old, and he’s set to earn about $220 million during the next five years.
What to know: Butler was the Heat’s best player last season, as he turned in arguably the best regular season of his NBA career. He was one of just six players in the NBA who averaged at least 20 points, six rebounds and seven assists — a list that also included Dallas’ Luka Doncic, Denver’s Nikola Jokic, Brooklyn’s James Harden, Los Angeles’ LeBron James and Washington’s Russell Westbrook. Butler was named to the NBA All-Defensive Second Team and All-NBA Third Team after finishing the season as the NBA’s steals leader. The Heat was a much better team when Butler was available, finishing the regular season with a 7-13 record in games that he missed and a 33-19 record when he played. Butler did all of this while making just 25 threes and shooting 24.5 percent from deep. If he can incorporate a more consistent three-point shot, watch out. The addition of Butler’s close friend Kyle Lowry should help take some of the pressure off him on both ends of the court.
MARCUS GARRETT, guard
Age: Turns 23 on Nov. 9.
What he did last season: Averaged 11 points while shooting 45.9 percent from the field and 34.9 percent from three-point range as a senior at Kansas last season, and he made 30.2 percent of his threes during his four-year college career. After going undrafted in July, Garrett averaged 11 points on 17-of-26 (65.4 percent) shooting from the field and 3-of-7 (42.9 percent) shooting on threes, 5.8 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 3.3 steals and 0.8 blocks in his four full summer league games with the Heat.
Contract status: Signed a two-way contract as an undrafted free agent — a deal that allows Garrett to be on the Heat’s active list for as many as 50 regular-season games.
What to know: Garrett is an undrafted rookie, but it’s not hard to envision him logging important minutes this upcoming season. Why? Besides the fact that the Heat has never hesitated to use its two-way contract players, Miami is also expected to enter the season with 14 players signed to standard contracts — one below the NBA limit — and one of those players (guard Victor Oladipo) is expected to miss the first few months of the season as he recovers from knee surgery. Garrett should be able to help immediately on the defensive end, as he was named the Naismith National Defensive Player of the Year as a junior and finished as a finalist for the award last season. At 6-5 and 205 pounds, Garrett’s wingspan has been measured at 6-10. But Garrett’s offensive game isn’t as far along as his defense. Developing a consistent outside shot will be an important part of Garrett’s development.
TYLER HERRO, guard
Age: Turns 22 on Jan. 20.
What he did last season: Averaged 15.1 points while shooting 43.9 percent from the field and 36 percent on threes, five rebounds and 3.4 assists in 54 regular-season games (15 starts). In the playoffs, Herro averaged 9.3 points on 31.6 percent shooting from the field and 31.6 percent shooting on threes, 3.3 rebounds and 1.8 assists in four games.
Contract status: Due $4 million this upcoming season in the third year of his rookie-scale contract that runs through the 2022-23 season. The Heat already picked up the $5.7 million team option in Herro’s contract for 2022-23.
What to know: This wasn’t only Herro’s first full NBA offseason, it was also an important one for the young guard who again is expected to play as the Heat’s sixth man this season with Jimmy Butler, Duncan Robinson and Kyle Lowry expected to start in the perimeter rotation. After an eye-opening playoff run in the bubble as a rookie, it was up-and-down sophomore NBA season for Herro. He moved to a bench role after starting in his first 14 appearance and was then forced to miss seven games in January with neck spasms, sat out a Feb. 11 win against the Houston Rockets because of a false positive COVID-19 test, was unavailable for three games in late February with a right hip contusion, and missed seven games in the final weeks of the regular season because of right foot soreness. But Herro used this summer to work on his body, as he entered the offseason with a goal of adding 10 to 12 pounds to his 6-5 frame to help him play through contact on the offensive end and hold his own against bigger players on the defensive end. The Heat and Herro hope that work pays off with a big step forward in his third NBA season.
KYLE LOWRY, guard
Age: Turns 36 on March 25.
What he did last season: Averaged 17.2 points while shooting 43.6 percent from the field and 39.6 percent on threes, 5.4 rebounds, 7.3 assists and one steal in 46 regular-season games (all starts) with the Toronto Raptors, which did not make the playoffs last season.
Contract status: Signed a fully guaranteed three-year contract worth $85 million to join the Heat as an unrestricted free agent this offseason.
What to know: Acquired in a sign-and-trade deal with the Toronto Raptors in exchange for Goran Dragic and Precious Achiuwa, Lowry joins a Heat core that already includes Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler. The three were All-Stars just a year ago in 2020. Despite his age, Lowry (6-0, 196 pounds) is still considered one of the league’s top point guards. Lowry will be expected to elevate the Heat’s offense as the starting point guard with his efficient three-point shooting and will take some of the on-ball pressure off Butler as a facilitator, while also serving as a tough on-ball defender on the other side of the court. But durability is one legitimate concern surrounding Lowry, who was voted into the All-Star Game in six of the past seven seasons. He missed 26 games last season, 14 games in 2019-20 and 17 games in 2018-19. But Lowry has also managed to avoid serious injuries, as he has played in 60 or more games in seven of the past nine seasons. And there’s reason to believe that Lowry will be fresh and rested this upcoming season, as he played in the fewest games (46) last season since his rookie year and also logged the fewest minutes (1,601) since 2011-12.
CALEB MARTIN, wing
Age: Turns 26 on Sept. 28.
What he did last season: Averaged five points while shooting 37.5 percent from the field and 24.8 percent on threes, 2.7 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 53 regular-season games (three starts) with the Charlotte Hornets, which did not make the playoffs last season.
Contract status: Signed a two-way contract, which allows Martin to be on the Heat’s active list for as many as 50 regular-season games. He was waived by the Hornets in August.
What to know: A two-way contract is usually reserved for undrafted rookies or those with very little NBA experience. But in terms of two-way contract players around the league, Martin is a savvy veteran after playing on a standard contract with the Hornets in each of the past two seasons. With the Heat on track to enter the season with 14 players signed to standard contracts — one below the league limit — Martin’s NBA experience could prove to be important if he’s asked to step in to play important regular-season minutes. At this point, Martin can probably help the Heat most on the defensive end. His combination of athleticism and size at 6-5 and 205 pounds makes him a versatile defender that will add to Miami’s impressive defensive mix. But to make the most of any role he has with the Heat, Martin will probably need to make a respectable percentage of his threes. After shooting threes exceptionally well in his first NBA season (20 for 37/54.1 percent), he finished just 31 for 125 from deep last season (24.8 percent). Martin has the potential to be a helpful option off the Heat’s bench, especially if his three-point shooting moves closer to his rookie numbers.
VICTOR OLADIPO, guard
Age: Turns 30 on May 4.
What he did last season: After Oladipo was dealt to the Heat at the NBA trade deadline on March 25, he averaged 12 points while shooting 37.2 percent from the field and 23.5 percent on threes, 3.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists in four regular-season games (four starts) before being sidelined after re-injuring his troublesome right knee and eventually undergoing surgery to repair the quadriceps tendon in his right knee in May. He did not play in the playoffs because of the injury.
Contract status: Signed a one-year minimum contract worth $2.4 million as an unrestricted free agent this offseason.
What to know: Oladipo is not expected to be ready for the start of the season after undergoing knee surgery in May. But there’s hope that he’ll be cleared to return to full contact basketball as early as November and be able to play in games by March. Oladipo’s potential return in the middle of the season lifts the Heat’s ceiling because he has proven to be one of the NBA’s top two-way players when healthy. Oladipo was voted to the All-Star Game, NBA All-Defensive First Team and All-NBA Third Team, and earned the NBA’s Most Improved Player award just a few seasons ago in 2017-18. It’s unfair to expect Oladipo to return to that level this season after a major knee surgery, but it’s not unrealistic to expect him to contribute quality minutes off the Heat’s bench in a few months. If Oladipo impresses after returning from injury, the Heat holds his Bird rights and can exceed the salary cap to re-sign him up to his maximum salary when he hits free agency again next offseason.
DUNCAN ROBINSON, forward
Age: Turns 28 on April 22.
What he did last season: Averaged 13.1 points while shooting 40.8 percent on 8.5 three-point attempts per game, 3.5 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 72 regular-season games (72 starts). In the playoffs, Robinson averaged 10.3 points while shooting 37 percent on 6.8 three-point attempts per game and 2.8 rebounds in four games.
Contract status: Signed a five-year deal worth $90 million in free agency to return to the Heat this offseason.
What to know: Robinson has quickly earned the reputation as one of the NBA’s top shooters and he was paid like one of the league’s top shooters this summer. In the last two regular seasons combined, only Sacramento’s Buddy Hield (553) and Portland’s Damian Lillard (545) have totaled more made threes than Robinson (520). He closed last regular season with the fourth-most made threes in the NBA at 250 behind Lillard (275), Hield (282) and Golden State’s Stephen Curry (337). This comes after Robinson set a Heat record for threes made (270) in a single season in 2019-20. Robinson is a fixture in the Heat’s starting lineup, with his elite shooting helping to unlock the full potential of many of Miami’s lineups. The Heat has outscored opponents by a combined margin of 439 points over the past two regular seasons with Bam Adebayo, Jimmy Butler and Robinson on the court together. Robinson’s three-point shooting will again be an important part of the Heat’s offense.
MAX STRUS, wing
Age: Turns 26 on March 28.
What he did last season: Averaged 6.1 points while shooting 45.5 percent from the field and 33.8 percent on threes in 39 games (zero starts). In the playoffs, Strus logged just six minutes.
Contract status: After spending last season with the Heat on a two-way contract, Strus signed a two-year minimum deal worth $3.5 million in free agency this offseason. He’s due a fully guaranteed $1.7 million this upcoming season and the $1.8 million salary in the second and final year of the contract for 2022-23 is non-guaranteed.
What to know: Strus impressed enough as a two-way contract player last season to earn a standard deal from the Heat this offseason. Miami’s decision to promote Strus to the 15-man roster looked like the right one in summer league last month, when he averaged 22 points while shooting 41.2 percent from the field and 41.1 percent from three-point range, six rebounds and 2.2 assists in five games as the Heat’s primary summer offensive option. The challenge now for Strus is to take another step forward in his second season with the Heat. His shooting is what earned him a spot in the NBA, but he has showed off other parts of his game along the way. Strus shot 33.8 percent on 3.8 three-point attempts per game last season, which is not as efficient as expected. Strus has a real opportunity to be a consistent member of the Heat’s bench rotation this season if he can move that three-point percentage closer to 40 percent.
GABE VINCENT, guard
Age: Turned 25 on June 14.
What he did last season: Averaged 4.8 points while shooting 37.8 percent from the field and 30.9 percent on threes, 1.1 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 50 regular-season games (seven starts). In the playoffs, Vincent totaled five points, one rebound and two assists in 14 minutes.
Contract status: After spending last season with the Heat on a two-way contract — like Max Strus — Vincent signed a two-year minimum deal worth $3.5 million in free agency this offseason. He’s due a fully guaranteed $1.7 million this upcoming season and the $1.8 million salary in the second and final year of the contract for 2022-23 is non-guaranteed.
What to know: Ready or not, Vincent could end up beginning the season as the Heat’s backup point guard behind starter Kyle Lowry. Why? The Heat lost guard Kendrick Nunn in free agency, traded away veteran guard Goran Dragic, and returning guard Victor Oladipo is not expected to be ready for the start of the season. The good news for the Heat is Vincent, who played for the Nigerian national team in the Tokyo Olympics this summer, has the potential to successfully fill that role. Vincent’s outside shooting went cold last season, but his growth as a perimeter defender impressed. Vincent should shoot better this season, considering he made 40.3 percent of his threes on 10.3 attempts per game in 2019-20 in the G League. There could be a consistent role for Vincent in the NBA as a pesky on-ball defender who can also make threes.
Note: Come back Sunday for a breakdown of the frontcourt players on the Heat’s roster.
Source : https://www.msn.com/en-us/sports/nba/breakdown-of-heat-e2-80-99s-roster-entering-training-camp-butler-lowry-and-the-perimeter-players/ar-AAOOgrT2870