Miami Heat introduces their first round draft pick
No cap space, no problem for the Heat.
Even though Miami entered free agency without salary-cap space, it managed to add one of the top free agents on the market in Jimmy Butler through a sign-and-trade deal with Philadelphia. Because the Heat had to go the sign-and-trade route, the Heat is hard capped for the rest of the season at the $138.9 million apron.
The Heat currently has 12 players under guaranteed contracts: Butler (a 2019-20 salary of $32.7 million); Goran Dragic ($19.2 million); James Johnson ($15.3 million); Kelly Olynyk ($13.1 million); Justise Winslow ($13 million); Dion Waiters ($12.1 million); Meyers Leonard ($11.3 million); Tyler Herro ($3.6 million); Bam Adebayo ($3.5 million); Udonis Haslem ($2.6 million); Derrick Jones Jr. ($1.6 million) and KZ Okpala ($898,000).
The Heat also has two players under partially guaranteed/nonguaranteed contracts: Duncan Robinson ($1.4 million); and Kendrick Nunn ($1.4 million).
With those 14 players under contract, the Heat stands only about $1 million below the $138.9 million hard cap. Miami appears to be done adding players to standard contracts barring a trade, especially since it’s likely to open the season with a 13- or 14-player roster because of its situation against the hard cap that it can’t exceed at any point this season.
Here’s where the Heat’s roster currently stands following the draft, free agency and summer league play:
Age: Turned 22 on July 18.
Season stats: Averaged 8.9 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 23.3 minutes in 82 games (28 starts). He started in 22 of the final 23 games of his second NBA season at center, with Hassan Whiteside moving to the bench. Adebayo became the 17th player in Heat history to play all 82 games in a season, and he’s the first since Norris Cole in 2013-14.
Contract status: Due $3.5 million for 2019-20 in the third year of his rookie scale contract. The Heat has a $5.1 million team option on Adebayo for the 2020-21 season and can make him a restricted free agent with a qualifying offer for the 2021-22 season.
What to know: Adebayo is the clear-cut choice to start at center after Whiteside was traded to the Trail Blazers this offseason as part of the four-team Jimmy Butler deal. Adebayo is expected to be a big part of the Heat’s future, as the team values his energy, defensive versatility and promising offensive skill set … all while still on an affordable rookie deal. That’s the reason Adebayo’s name was rarely mentioned in trade rumors this summer. Although Adebayo’s growth was evident in his second NBA season, Miami needs him to take another leap this season as he moves into a full-time starting role.
Age: Turns 30 on Sept. 14.
Season stats: Averaged 18.2 points while shooting 46.1 percent from the field and 33.8 percent on threes, 5.3 rebounds and 4.0 assists in 55 games with the 76ers after Minnesota traded him to Philadelphia in November. Butler averaged 19.4 points on 45.1 percent shooting from the field, 6.0 rebounds and 5.2 assists in 12 playoff games with the 76ers.
Contract status: Due $32.7 million for 2019-20 in the first season of the four-year, $141 million maximum contract he signed with the Heat this summer. Butler is the highest-paid player on Miami’s roster.
What to know: Acquired by the Heat in July through a sign-and-trade deal with the 76ers during free agency, Butler is the kind of leading man Miami has been chasing for the past few years. The four-time All-Star wing player is known for his ability to make an impact on both ends of the court, as he has been named to the NBA’s All-Defensive second team four times in his eight seasons. The addition of Butler should make the Heat a playoff team this upcoming season, and he immediately becomes the face of the franchise.
Age: Turned 33 on May 6.
Season stats: Limited to 36 games because of right knee surgery and other injuries. Dragic averaged 13.7 points on 41.3 percent shooting from the field and 34.8 percent shooting on threes, 3.1 rebounds and 4.8 assists.
Contract status: Due $19.2 million for 2019-20, which marks the fifth and final year of the $85 million deal he signed with the Heat in the summer of 2015. He’s set to become an unrestricted free agent next summer.
What to know: There’s no doubt the Heat is a better team when Dragic is on the court, especially offensively. But that didn’t necessarily prevent the veteran point guard’s name from entering trade discussions this offseason, with one of the original Butler deals reportedly sending Dragic to the Mavericks until Dallas pulled out of the trade to preserve financial flexibility. So for now, Dragic is still on the Heat’s roster, and it’s a better team because of it. But Dragic’s expiring contract is one of the most attractive trade chips Miami has this season.
Age: Turned 39 on June 9.
Season stats: Played more of a leadership role than an on-court role. Haslem averaged 2.5 points and 2.7 rebounds in 75 total minutes over 10 games.
Contract status: Due $2.6 million for 2019-20. This summer, Haslem signed a one-year, veteran minimum contract to return to the Heat for a 17th season. He will become an unrestricted free agent next offseason, when retirement will be a real option.
What to know: Haslem seriously considered retirement over the past year, but he ultimately decided to return to the Heat for a 17th NBA season. While he’s not expected to play much — he has logged just 277 minutes of playing time in 40 regular-season games since the start of the 2016-17 season — his leadership and experience makes him an important part of the roster. He has served as a Heat captain in each of the past 12 seasons, the longest tenure in team history. Haslem also currently holds the longest streak by any active player with only one team in the league.
Age: Turned 19 on Jan. 20.
Season stats: Averaged 14 points while shooting 46.2 percent from the field, 35.5 percent on threes and 93.5 percent on free throws, 4.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 37 games as a freshman at Kentucky last season.
Contract status: Due $3.6 million for 2019-20 in the first season of his rookie contract, which puts him under team control for five seasons. He signed a four-year deal with the Heat worth $17.2 million as the No. 13 overall pick in this year’s draft.
What to know: Billed as a shooter coming out of college, Herro showed the potential during summer league action to be more than that. As a guard, he played on the ball, off the ball, shot off the dribble, created for himself and others in transition and defended. But shooting is still the skill that will earn Herro playing time as a rookie. With the loss of Wayne Ellington, Josh Richardson and Tyler Johnson, the Heat needs shooting, and Herro should provide that. As a first-round pick who fills a need, he’s expected to get immediate playing time.
Age: Turned 32 on Feb. 20.
Season stats: Missed the first 15 games of the season because of offseason surgery to repair a sports hernia. Johnson averaged 7.8 points on 43.3 percent shooting, 3.2 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 55 games (33 starts).
Contract status: Due $15.3 million for 2019-20 in the third season of a four-year, $60 million free agent deal he signed with the Heat in the summer of 2017. Holds a $16 million player option for 2020-21 (the final season of his contract).
What to know: Johnson has yet to replicate the impressive stretch he put together at the end of 2016-17, which helped earn him his current four-year deal. Whether it’s because of injuries, role or just a natural decline because of age, Johnson’s productivity has dipped as his athleticism and aggressiveness have also dropped off. The Heat hopes a full, healthy offseason will help the veteran forward return to 2016-17 form.
DERRICK JONES JR.
Age: Turned 22 on Feb. 15.
Season stats: Averaged 7.0 points on 49.4 percent shooting from the field and 30.8 percent shooting on threes and 4.0 rebounds in 60 games (14 starts).
Contract status: Due $1.6 million for 2019-20. He’s set to become an unrestricted free agent next summer.
What to know: If Jones had chosen to stay in college for four years, he would have been part of this year’s draft. That fact, plus Jones’ athleticism and elite leaping ability, defensive potential and length at 6-7 and 200 pounds make him an intriguing player. Jones has really worked to improve his three-point shot and it shows, but there are still plenty of areas he needs to get better in — such as becoming a better free-throw shooter and making more plays off the dribble. Jones is considered a part of the Heat’s young core, along with Bam Adebayo, Tyler Herro, KZ Okpala and Justise Winslow.
Age: Turned 27 on Feb. 27.
Season stats: Averaged 5.9 points while shooting 54.5 percent from the field and 45 percent on threes, 3.8 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 61 games (two starts) for the Trail Blazers.
Contract status: Due $11.3 million for 2019-20 in the final season of his contract. He’s set to become an unrestricted free agent next summer.
What to know: After spending the first seven seasons of his NBA career with the Trail Blazers, this is a new start for Leonard. For the most part, the 7-1 Leonard played in a bench role during his time in Portland. That’s expected to continue in Miami, with Bam Adebayo, Kelly Olynyk and James Johnson also part of the Heat’s frontcourt rotation. One thing Leonard does bring is another big man who can shoot threes. He shot 45 percent on threes (50 for 111) last season and is a career 38.5 percent three-point shooter, a skill the Heat values in its power-rotation players. Miami acquired Leonard as part of the four-team trade that brought Jimmy Butler to the Heat and sent Hassan Whiteside to the Trail Blazers.
Age: Turned 24 on Aug. 3.
Season stats: Averaged 19.3 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.8 assists in 49 games while shooting 47.3 percent from the field and 33.3 percent from three-point range for the Santa Cruz Warriors, the Warriors’ G League affiliate. He has yet to play an NBA game after going undrafted out of Oakland University last year.
Nunn was especially impressive as a member of the Heat’s summer league team in July, averaging 22 points while shooting 50.5 percent from the field and 38.5 percent shooting on threes, 4.3 rebounds and 5.2 assists in six summer league games. He was named to the NBA Summer League First Team
Contract status: Holds partially guaranteed $1.4 million contract for 2019-20. The two-year deal, which runs through the 2020-21 season, already includes $150,000 guaranteed. The guarantee jumps to $450,000 if he’s on the Heat’s opening-night roster, and his full salary becomes guaranteed if he’s still on the roster in January.
What to know: A year ago, Nunn finished as the runner-up to then-Oklahoma and now Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young for the NCAA scoring title. That scoring ability was enough to catch the Heat’s eye. And Nunn made a strong impression during summer league play in July. After serving as the Heat’s most reliable and productive summer player, the expectation is that Nunn will make Miami’s regular-season roster, with the potential to become a rotation player on the NBA level. He’s a combo guard who can play as a point guard and shooting guard and should benefit from spending more time in the organization’s developmental program.
Age: Turned 20 on April 28.
Season stats: Averaged 16.8 points while shooting 46.3 percent from the field and 36.8 percent on threes and 5.7 rebounds as a sophomore at Stanford last season.
Contract status: Due about $898,000 for 2019-20 in the first season of a three-year, $4.2 million minimum salary contract. All three years of the deal are guaranteed, with Okpala scheduled to earn $1.5 million in the second season and about $1.8 million in the third season.
What to know: How much does the Heat like Okpala? Miami traded three second-round picks just to move up in the second round of this year’s draft and select Okpala with the No. 32 overall pick. Because the Heat’s draft-night trade for Okpala did not become official until the end of the NBA moratorium on July 6, he missed the entirety of summer league. But that didn’t deter Miami from signing him to a three-year contract. The Heat is intrigued by Okpala’s potential as a versatile forward made for today’s NBA. Okpala is listed at 6-9 and 210 pounds, and measured in at the May draft combine with a 7-1.75 wingspan and just 4.6 percent body fat. While there are still plenty of areas Okpala needs to improve, the Heat hopes Okpala develops into a second-round steal just like Josh Richardson did. Could Okpala spend time developing in the G League this upcoming season? It’s a possibility.
Age: Turned 28 on April 19.
Season stats: Averaged 10 points on 46.3 percent shooting from the field and 35.4 percent shooting on threes, 4.7 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 79 games (36 starts).
Contract status: Due $13.1 million for 2019-20 in the third season of a four-year, $50 million free agent deal he signed with the Heat in the summer of 2017. Holds a $13.6 million player option for 2020-21 (the final season of his contract).
What to know: In Olynyk’s first two seasons with the Heat, he posted a team-best plus-minus of plus-339. That’s extremely impressive considering the Heat has been outscored by 319 points when he’s not on the court during the past two seasons. In other words, Miami has been a much, much better team when Olynyk is playing. The 7-footer started and logged a lot of minutes at power forward during the final two months of this past season. It wouldn’t be a surprise if Olynyk also began this upcoming season as the Heat’s starting power forward, considering his success playing alongside Adebayo. The Adebayo-Olynyk duo is a plus-210 during the past two seasons. While playing for Team Canada in preparation for the FIBA World Cup in August, Olynyk suffered a right knee bone bruise that will keep him out of the tournament. But he is expected to be ready for the start of the NBA season.
Age: Turned 25 on April 22.
Season stats: Playing under a two-way contract with the Heat for most of last season, Robinson averaged 21.4 points on 51.4 percent shooting from the field and 48.3 percent shooting on threes, 4.3 rebounds and three assists in 33 games for the G League’s Sioux Falls Skyforce. He logged 161 minutes of playing time over 15 games with the Heat on the NBA level, averaging 3.3 points on 18-of-46 shooting from the field and 10-of-35 shooting on threes.
As a member of the Heat’s summer league team in July, Robinson averaged 16.3 points while shooting 42.9 percent from the field and 33.9 percent on threes, 5.6 rebounds and 3.4 assists in seven summer league games.
Contract status: Holds partially guaranteed $1.4 million contract for 2019-20. The two-year deal already includes $1 million guaranteed for next season, with the rest of it becoming guaranteed if he’s still on the Heat’s roster at midseason.
What to know: Undrafted in 2018 out of Michigan, Robinson is known for his three-point shooting. But can he defend and contribute in other areas at the NBA level? At 6-8 and 210 pounds, the Heat also wants to see Robinson continue to fill out physically. He displayed promising signs during summer league play, showing off a more diverse skill set by making more plays off the dribble and grabbing more rebounds. With most of Robinson’s 2019-20 salary already guaranteed, he’s close to a lock to make the regular-season roster, unless he’s traded.
Age: Turns 28 on Dec. 10.
Season status: Missed the first 35 games of last season because of surgery on his left ankle. Waiters averaged 12 points on 41.4 percent shooting from the field and 37.7 percent shooting on threes, 2.6 rebounds and 2.8 assists in 44 games (28 starts).
Contract status: Due $12.1 million for 2019-20 in the third season of a four-year, $52 million free-agent deal he signed with the Heat in the summer of 2017. Due $12.7 million for 2020-21 (the final season of his contract).
What to know: Erik Spoelstra and Pat Riley made it clear Waiters must work on his body this offseason and report to training camp in September at a lower weight and body-fat percentage. Well, Waiters listened. He has been active this offseason working with David Alexander, who is the owner of DBC Fitness in Miami and has trained Dwyane Wade and a number of professional athletes. Waiters recently posted a before-and-after photo of his body on Instagram, showing off a trimmer physique. The truth is Waiters just wasn’t in tip-top shape after returning from ankle surgery in January. That left him averaging a career-high 6.6 three-point shot attempts per game and fewer drives to the basket last season. The Heat believes Waiters can be a difference-maker if he’s in “world-class shape.”
Age: Turned 23 on March 26.
Season stats: Averaged a career-high 12.6 points on 43.3 percent shooting from the field and 37.5 percent shooting on threes, 5.4 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 1.1 steals in 29.7 minutes over 66 games (52 starts).
Contract status: Due $13 million for 2019-20 in the first season of the three-year, $39 million extension he signed with the Heat last year. Also, due $13 million for 2020-21, with a $13 million team option for 2021-22 in the final season of the deal.
What to know: Last season was a growth year for Winslow, who averaged career highs in points, rebounds and assists while shooting a career-best percentage from the field. But his best minutes came at point guard while Goran Dragic was injured. The question is, will Winslow be able to play a similar on-ball role for as many minutes as he did if Dragic is back this upcoming season? They found a way to play productive minutes together last season, with the Heat outscoring opponents by 22 points in the 124 minutes Winslow and Dragic played together following the All-Star break. Considering Winslow’s on-court growth and desire to lead a franchise, it wouldn’t be surprising if he takes somewhat of a leading role alongside Jimmy Butler this upcoming season.
(Note: Kyle Alexander, Jeremiah Martin and Chris Silva were signed by the Heat to Exhibit 9 and 10 contracts, which includes an invitation to training camp and leaves open the possibility for all three to eventually play for Miami’s G League affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce. The Heat still has not filled either of its two two-way contract spots.)