Author: Dan Feldman

Briante Weber

Briante Weber fails physical with Heat

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The Heat reportedly signed undrafted Virginia Commonwealth guard Briante Weber.

But he’s not making it to Miami.

Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel:

The Miami Heat’s training-camp roster is back down to 18 players, two fewer than the league maximum, with undrafted Virginia Commonwealth guard Briante Weber unable to pass his physical due to the knee injury he sustained last season.

“It was a situation I would describe as one we knew could occur,” agent Bill Neff told the Sun Sentinel. “Our goal was we want to be with the Heat. That has not changed.”

It’s unclear whether Weber took this physical before or after he officially signed his contract, but the difference is academic. A team can void a player’s contract if he fails a physical within three business days of the contract’s execution.

I’m not sure why Weber and the Heat went to this trouble – whether it’s officially signing the deal or even just announcing it – if his agent knew Weber would fail the physical. What’s the point? This sounds like spin after the fact.

Weber tore his ACL in January, and that’s a big reason he went undrafted. Otherwise, he would have been intriguing as an athletic and hyperactive defender. If he gets healthy and works his way to Miami, he could help the Heat return to their trapping defense.

In the meantime this is good news for the five Miami players without guaranteed salaries – Keith Benson, Tyler Johnson, James Ennis, Greg Whittington and Corey Hawkins – who are seemingly vying for two regular-season roster spots. Those five face one fewer competitor.

Luis Scola becomes FIBA Americas all-time leading scorer


Not only did Argentina qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics with its win over Mexico, Luis Scola became the all-time leading scorer in FIBA Americas history.

Scola’s 1,288 points passed Brazilian Oscar Schmidt. The Raptors forward padded that total with 14 points in Argentina’s championship-game loss to Venezuela.

Tony Parker also became the all-time EuroBasket leading scorer this year.

51Q: Are the Grizzlies getting too old?

Memphis Grizzlies v Golden State Warriors - Game Five

Three teams posted an average age, weighted by minutes played, above 30 in last year’s playoffs.

One signed LaMarcus Aldridge. Another thought it locked up DeAndre Jordan and initially planned to rebuild if it didn’t get him.

The third: The Memphis Grizzles.

Memphis has made the playoffs the last five years – the NBA’s fourth-longest active streak behind the Spurs, Hawks and Bulls. And the Grizzlies have plenty to show for it. They pulled a 1-8 upset of the Spurs in 2011, reached the Western Conference finals in 2013 and challenged the eventual-champion Warriors more than expected in 2015. Even Memphis’ first-round losses, to the Clippers in 2012 and the Thunder in 2014, went a full seven games.

But the top accomplishment, an NBA title, has eluded the Grizzlies.

Is it too late?

Unlike San Antonio and Dallas, Memphis has intentionally preserved the status quo.

The Grizzlies will once again rely heavily on Zach Randolph (34) and Marc Gasol (30). Tony Allen (33) and Courtney Lee (30 in a few weeks) will be key on the wing. Can Mike Conley (28 in about a month) hold it all together?

Sure, Memphis has gotten younger in some spots. Brandan Wright (27) was an excellent signing.

But the other big offseason acquisition was Matt Barnes (35). The rotation is littered with old players like Vince Carter (38) and Beno Udrih (33). Jeff Green (29) hasn’t performed nearly as well as hoped since last season’s mid-year trade.

If the Grizzlies keep this core group together, it will inevitably drop off. Father Time is undefeated.

It might not happen next season, though.

Plenty of successful aging teams – the LeBron-era Heat, the Mavericks just before that and the Spurs seemingly forever – have remained successful by relying on their experience. Memphis has done that. Memphis can keep doing that. Its full of smart, savvy players.

They’ll have to be smarter than ever this season. Their athleticism is going the wrong direction, and the West is loaded.

A well-built team keeps its championship window as long as possible. The Grizzlies have had a fantastic run, and it might not be over. But if it’s not, it will be soon.

Can Memphis make another big run before its too late?