Barry Jackson

Richardson emerges as starting option; Carolina discusses Kaaya; Wade/Heat/UM notes

Heat's #0 Josh Richardson celebrates a made shot as the Miami Heat hosts the Cleveland Cavaliers on Mon., April 10, 2017.
Heat's #0 Josh Richardson celebrates a made shot as the Miami Heat hosts the Cleveland Cavaliers on Mon., April 10, 2017. pfarrell@miamiherald.com

A six-pack of Heat and Hurricanes notes:

• Though he’s a guard by trade, people around the Heat expect Josh Richardson to emerge as a serious challenger to Justise Winslow and Rodney McGruder for the starting small forward job.

Winslow, who is back from shoulder surgery, will not simply be gifted a starting job, the Heat has said.

And Miami ideally prefers McGruder as a bench player, though he will have a fair chance to win the starting job.

Richardson, at 6-6, has the length and defensive acumen to defend most small forwards.

And some of the Heat’s best lineups last season featured three guards.

“Wherever coach Spo wants to take this positionless game, it can be real small, with him playing five on down to three point guards with Justise at four [or three bigs],” Heat president Pat Riley said this summer, acknowledging Richardson as an option at small forward. “How ever he feels, the whole concept of positionless has to do with the offense. Every player knows all of the positions.”

As for Winslow, one player source says he has looked good in workouts.

“It’s up to him,” Riley said of Winslow being a starter. “He was short-circuited by the wrist and the shoulder. Justise is going to compete like crazy to start. The great thing about Spo, is when we come into training camp, it’s open.”

• Though ESPN reported that LeBron James’ camp expects Dwyane Wade to end up with Cleveland if he reaches a buyout with the Bulls, a Wade associate has been telling people that Miami and Los Angeles are also appealing destinations for Wade.

Chicago media has reported recently that no Bulls buyout talks have happened yet with Wade, and it’s unclear when they will happen.

We would never profess to know what Wade is thinking; only Wade - for whom we have great respect - and those closest to him know that.

So we’re not attempting to mind-read Wade. But the person who mentioned Miami and L.A. to me was the same person who first alerted me to my scoop a few years ago that Wade’s negotiations with the Heat were not going well - the first time that information ever surfaced (and a year later, the sides divorced).

So food for thought.

As WINZ-940’s Andy Slater reported, Wade’s children are encrolled in a South Florida school this year, and the Heat certainly would consider a return.

• On a possible Wade reunion, Udonis Haslem told The Palm Beach’s Tom D’Angelo on Saturday: “I would love to have him back, everybody knows that,” Haslem said.

“Not only is he a great competitor, great teammate I learned a lot from but also a friend of mine, I consider him a brother.

“I just want Dwyane to be happy. This is the last lap for us both. We deserve to finish it the right way. Whatever makes him happy finishing his career. … hopefully it’s in Miami. I would love for it to be Miami. I want him to finish it right and have no regrets.”

Haslem and Dolphins legend/business partner Jason Taylor opened a Subway franchise in Hollywood this past weekend.

• Kevin Durant, asked by The Ringer’s Bill Simmons if he is “ready to play in a league where Heat guard Dion Waiters has a [four-year] $52 million contract?” answered thusly:

"Hell yeah," Durant replied. "He should have got more. . . . But he knows that's his fault.... He's supposed to be better. He knows that. He waited too long to do what he's doing in Miami, I think."

Durant seemingly implied Waiters should have been maximized his skills more earlier in his career with Cleveland and Oklahoma City.

• Among late-round or undrafted Hurricanes rookies, here’s who made teams: Jamal Carter (Denver), Jermaine Grace (Atlanta), Al Quadin Muhammad (Saints), Justin Vogel (Packers) and Brad Kaaya, who was cut by Detroit on Saturday and signed by Carolina on Sunday.

Kaaya will be coached by former UM star Ken Dorsey, who’s the Panthers’ quarterback coach.

Carolina general manager Marty Hurney told Charlotte media, including The Charlotte Observer, that he liked Kaaya and likes the idea of having two young quarterbacks behind Cam Newton.

“Brad is a guy who our scouts like him, our coaches like him,” Hurney said. “He’s a guy who’s got really good intangibles. A quick release, a very professional approach to the position. He had a good preseason and shows promise just like Garrett Gilbert does. With those two guys we have two good young quarterbacks.”

FYI: Jacksonville signed former UM cornerback Tracy Howard to its practice squad. And the Dolphins signed Malcolm Lewis to their practice squad.

• Among Canes who got bad news in the past few days: Jacksonville cut rookie fullback Marquez Williams and Indianapolis released former UM quarterback Stephen Morris.

This is the third in a flurry of Labor Day posts. Here’s a look at the computer whiz who has a say in Marlins baseball decisions. Here’s some Dolphins personnel news from today, including a starter named and some other nuggets. And check back later for more.... Twitter: @flasportsbuzz 

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