Josh Harrellson is getting his chance. It’s in his hands now.
Yesterday we told you about Harrellson tweeting he was headed to Miami where he would hopefully be “for 9 months.” But he doesn’t have a deal with the Heat, he simply is getting an extended look, reports Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel.
According to a source familiar with the Heat’s approach, the team will be holding what essentially is a pre-camp camp in advance of the formal Sept. 29 start to training camp at AmericanAirlines Arena, with Harrellson in that mix of camp hopefuls.
According to the source, Harrellson is being brought in for a one-week tryout, with no contract guarantee in place.
Why do it this way? Harrellson had a workout with the Heat before and he buzz was that they liked his shooting but not his conditioning. This extended tryout seems to fit with that — he gets a week to show he has been getting in shape and for them to see his workouts up close for longer.
Harrellson will have to beat out Mickell Gladness for the spot as the final big on the roster. And if the Heat don’t like either of them they could start looking at guys like Chris Andersen and Andray Blatche, but clearly those guys are far enough down the list that others are getting a good look ahead of them.
None of these people are getting a lot of minutes. The Heat will start games with Chris Bosh at the five (a small ball lineup that took them to the title last year) and they still have guys like Joel Anthony off the bench. But the Heat need some size to deal with guys in the East like Andrew Bynum and Roy Hibbert.
Tonight the NBA All-Star Game starters will be announced. Then the coaches have a week to vote and the rest of the roster will be put together by them.
This year should see a few first-time All-Stars, guys bursting on the scene and grabbing fans attention — so we asked people on Twitter who they most wanted to see in his first All-Star Game and I break it down in this PBT Extra.
The winner? Giannis Antetokounmpo with 45 percent of the vote. Which shouldn’t be a surprise, he’s second in the fan voting for the frontcourt in the East (behind only LeBron James). Good news for those fans, the Greek Freak is almost guaranteed to be a starter, he’s getting plenty of media votes and likely a lot from the players as well.
Second place in the poll? Joel Embiid of the Sixers. I’d love to see him, but will players and media members vote in a guy on a minutes restriction? Will the coaches pick him for that same reason? He is on the bubble.
Did Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant talk during the Warriors’ win over the Thunder last night? Westbrook said no, though video and first-hand accounts indicate otherwise.
Even more clearly: Westbrook – who walked near teammates Enes Kanter, Anthony Morrow and Jerami Grant – didn’t want someone talking to someone as they left the floor after the game. ESPN caught Westbrook saying, “Don’t say what’s up to that b— a—.”
You will never convince anyone Westbrook is referring to anyone but Durant.
Between getting laid out by Zaza Pachulia and apparently talking with Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook committed a travel for the ages.
The Thunder guard took an inbound pass against the Warriors and just started walking up court without dribbling. The violation was so blatant, NBA officials even called the travel.
And it’s not as if they’re inclined to blow a whistle in that situation. Before Westbrook, Kemba Walker set a high bar last season, but he got away with this walk:
Russell Westbrook deleted Kevin Durant‘s goodbye text and, months later, told the whole world they still hadn’t talked.
That apparently changed during the Warriors’ win over the Thunder yesterday – though not if you ask Westbrook.
Westbrook dunked in the third quarter, and according to ESPN commentator Mark Jackson, Westbrook told Durant, “Don’t jump.” Anthony Slater of The Mercury News also wrote of the same quote.
ESPN’s telecast caught Durant clearly speaking to Westbrook shortly after. It appears Westbrook is talking back, but his back is to the camera.
After the game, Westbrook denied the exchange:
- Reporter: “Are you and KD on speaking terms?”
- Westbrook: “Nah.”
- Reporter: “You guys had a little exchange in the third quarter.”
- Westbrook: “What exchange?”
- Reporter: “You and KD said something to each other.”
- Westbrook: “Oh. You gotta maybe sit closer to the game. You maybe didn’t see clearly.”
This is so Westbrook – stubborn to the point of denying reality.
That approach worked for him when everyone rightly told him he was a significantly lesser player than Durant. Westbrook ignored that fact until it became false.
I suspect he wants to forget this exchange so he can maintain a cold animosity toward someone he prefers to resent.