Barry Jackson

Update on UM pursuit of elite players; Heat, Marlins news

Miami Heat guard Josh McRoberts goes to the basket against Knicks' guard Justin Holiday (left) and forward Kristaps Porzingis in the fourth quarter of the Miami Heat and New York Knicks game at AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami on Tues., Dec. 6, 2016.
Miami Heat guard Josh McRoberts goes to the basket against Knicks' guard Justin Holiday (left) and forward Kristaps Porzingis in the fourth quarter of the Miami Heat and New York Knicks game at AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami on Tues., Dec. 6, 2016. pportal@miamiherald.com

A six-pack of Heat, Marlins and UM notes:

• The Marlins and Red Sox talked briefly about pitcher Clay Buchholz, who’s available, but Miami wasn’t interested in giving up right-handed pitching prospect Luis Castillo, according to a person with direct knowledge.

And Buchholz (8-10, 4.78 ERA) is due $13.5 million next season, which is also a deterrent.

Marlins closer AJ Ramos wasn’t offered to the Red Sox, and Boston didn’t seem especially interested in him.

But neither side ruled out possibly revisiting a Buchholz trade.

Meanwhile, the Marlins, Dodgers and Nationals continue to await a decision from free agent closer Kenley Jansen.

Meanwhile, reliever Bryan Morris announced Sunday that he’s signing with the Giants. The Marlins never tried to re-sign him.

• When Heat guard Dion Waiters returns from a groin injury, a bench role seems more ideal.

The Heat has been outscored by 33, with a poor assist/turnover ratio, when Goran Dragic and Waiters play together – the team’s worst plus/minus for any two starters.

Conversely, the Heat is plus five, with much better assist/turnover numbers, when Dragic plays with Josh Richardson.

• Not only are Josh McRoberts’ struggles hurting on the court, but it also is dramatically reducing any chance of him opting out of $6 million for next season, which would give Miami more than $45 million in cap space.

No NBA power forward (minimum 10 games) has shot worse than his 32.5 percent except Indiana’s Lavoy Allen.

Even with salaries skyrocketing, it’s difficult to envision McRoberts believing he could make more than $6 million annually elsewhere unless his play improves.

Hunter Knighton, the UM offensive lineman who nearly died after suffering heat stroke on the practice field in 2014, is expected to transfer, according to someone involved… Receiver Sam Bruce, dismissed from the UM team, has resurfaced at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College.

• With UM basketball down to nine scholarship players after dismissing Rashad Muhammad, it’s unfortunate (no fault of Miami’s) that the Hurricanes lost two transfers who would have helped: Deandre Burnett, averaging 21.6 points at Mississippi, and Manu Lecomte, averaging 13.9 points and 5.3 assists at Baylor. Both wanted more playing time.

• Among the unexpected visitors on UM’s campus this weekend: five-star receiver Jerry Jeudy, an Alabama oral commitment who is rated the No. 1 receiver and No. 12 overall prospect.

So is he really considering UM? Linebacker BJ Jennings, a UM oral commitment who also visited Miami this weekend, told Canesport that Jeudy told him that he’s considering UM.

But Jeudy’s high-school coach, Jevon Glenn, told CaneSport: “I talked to him after, he's still with Alabama. He just went down because he had nothing else to do for the most part. He was thinking about going to North Carolina [Saturday but] didn't feel it so stayed at Miami. He just went down, wasn't going to think about flipping."

There’s better news for UM with four-star Maryland based running back Anthony McFarland, who named UM as his front-runner:

“I don’t know where I want to go right now but, as far as having a good relationship and being in a great environment, if I had a top school right now, it would be Miami, Maryland, and then Alabama in that order," McFarland told Rivals. "I’ve never put out a list of schools in order before but it’s getting down to the last minute so I need to have an order. Things change every week so it could be different next week.”

Asked who has impacted his recruitment the most, McFarland told Rivals: “I would say [UM oral commitment] Trajan Bandy. That’s my guy. When he found out I was one of the top backs thinking about Miami he started texting me and sending me messages and information about Miami. He lives there so he’s just telling me everything. It’s going to be tough for me to not go to that school.”

Rivals rated McFarland the nation’s No. 3 all-purpose back and No. 135 overall prospect in the 2017 class.

For lots of Dolphins nuggets, including encouraging news on the team’s cap situation, please click here.

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