Miami Heat

30 teams in 30 days: Which Heat team shows up? Will Olynyk make a difference?

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30 teams in 30 days: Which Heat team shows up? Will Olynyk make a difference?

The 2016-2017 campaign was a tale of two seasons for the Miami Heat, with the first half of the season being a nightmarish 11-30 start, followed by a fairy tale run of success in which they did a 180-degree turn and didn’t have their postseason dreams dashed until the very last day of the regular season.

So who are the real Heat?

Miami brass is banking on the latter with the Heat electing to bring back most of the players from last season with the biggest newcomer being former Celtics forward Kelly Olynyk.

The Heat team that you see on the floor this season was not what they were banking on coming away with in the offseason.

When Gordon Hayward elected to sign with the Celtics instead of returning to Utah or joining the Heat, that opened the vault for Miami to bring back Dion Waiters (four years, $52 million) and James Johnson (four years, $60 million) on deals that were significant upgrades on their previous salaries.

Those aren’t the only head-scratching contracts on the Heat payroll.

Miami is still on the books for Tyler Johnson’s four-year, $50 million contract (he signed an offer sheet with the Brooklyn Nets in the summer of 2016 and the Heat matched the offer) which has three years and about $45 million left which means Miami’s core for now is centered around the Tyler and James Johnson (not related), Waiters, Goran Dragic and Hassan Whiteside.

A decent group of players, but certainly nothing more than a team that’s fighting for one of the last playoff spots, despite a payroll that’s more indicative of a team with deep playoff run aspirations.

For this thing to work out, someone from among this group will have to emerge and coach Erik Spoelstra will need to do what he tends to do every year which is to get the most out of a roster that remains void of proven All-Star talent.

And this comes at a time when most of the top teams in the East (Cleveland, Boston, Toronto, Washington) were solidifying their core with players with an established track record for success and the benefit of playoff experience.

Miami will look to avoid missing out on the playoffs back-to-back years for the first time since 2002 and 2003.

Look for Miami to once again play a scrappy brand of basketball, with Dragic and Whiteside leading the way.

Dragic, who averaged 20.3 points and 5.8 assists last season, has put up solid numbers throughout his career but has yet to take his game – or the  Heat as a team for that matter – to a level that would cement his place among the league’s top playmakers.

And while Whiteside has shown steady improvement at center, the 7-footer’s inability to stretch the floor is indeed a concern for Miami, which is why the addition of Olynyk, another 7-footer who is a career 36.8 percent 3-point shooter, was huge for them.

Key free agent/draft/trade additions: Kelly Olynyk (Boston)

Key losses: Josh McRoberts (Dallas)

Rookies of note: Bam Adebayo.

Expectations: 42-40 (Third in the Southeast Division, eighth in the East)


 

Report: Ex-Celtics forward Jordan Mickey finalizing deal with Heat

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Report: Ex-Celtics forward Jordan Mickey finalizing deal with Heat

Former Celtics forward Jordan Mickey, cut by Boston earlier this summer, is about to sign a $1.5 million deal with the Miami Heat, The Vertical reports.

Mickey, a 6-8 forward from LSU, split time between the Celtics and the Maine Red Claws of the NBA Developmental League since being drafted in the second round by Boston with the 33rd pick overall in 2015. He played in 25 NBA games last season, averaging 1.5 points and 1.4 rebounds in 3.6 minutes per game. 

Mickey joins ex-Celtics big man Kelly Olynyk in Miami. Olynyk signed a four-year, $50 million free agent deal with the Heat in July.


 

Ray Allen to Celtics fans: ‘Get over it’

Ray Allen to Celtics fans: ‘Get over it’

Regardless of what you think of Ray Allen, the man has a point. 

On his 42nd birthday, Instagram account BostonCeltics4ever posted a picture of Allen in a Celtics uniform saying to like the post to wish Allen a happy birthday. 

As you might expect, a lot of Celtics fans didn’t want to do that because he left the team for the Heat and has since seen teammates Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett talk about him in a less than flattering light. 

As such, fans politely and impolitely commented “no,” leading Allen to respond. 

Said Allen: 

“Y’all need to get over it!!! where were you all when the team tried to trade me. It’s a business, we go where it’s necessary just like you all do in your jobs!!!!I will always be a Celtic no matter what any of you say. Get over it!!!!

“Oh and Thank you everyone for wishing me a happy birthday!!!”

Allen is right. Later in Allen’s tenure, the team tried to trade him to Memphis and Phoenix before he eventually departed in free agency. 

The UConn product spent five seasons in Boston before playing the final two years of his career with the Heat. The C’s gave his No. 20 to Gordon Hayward this offseason.