Tag: Miami Heat

Miami Heat v Los Angeles Clippers

Report: Heat also interested in Jamal Crawford


There have been no shortage of – somewhat self-fueled – trade rumors involving Jamal Crawford this summer.

The Cavaliers and Knicks are reportedly interested in the Clippers guard.

Add one more team to the list.

Frank Isola of the New York Daily News:

Miami is another team that is also interested in Crawford.

The Heat lack dynamic playmakers off the bench, and staggering the minutes of Dwyane Wade and Goran Dragic is one solution. So is hoping Mario Chalmers bounces back from a down season.

Another: Trading for Crawford.

However, it’s tough to see a logical deal.

Miami has a couple players with similar salaries to Crawford – Chalmers and Chris Andersen – that it probably wouldn’t mind trading. Andersen would particularly fit with the Clippers, who could use another backup center besides Cole Aldrich.

But how would the Heat sweeten the pot? They  can’t trade a first-round pick and have no unprotected second-rounder before 2021. Unless the Clippers really like Tyler Johnson or James Ennis, it’s hard to see Miami making this worth the Clippers’ while.

Still, with Lance Stephenson, Pablo Prigioni and Austin Rivers, Crawford is a little more expendable. The Clippers would be more balanced with Andersen rather than Crawford (and save in luxury-tax payments). Is that enough to warrant the talent downgrade? I don’t think so, but it’s at least worth a conversation.

Report: Heat sign Keith Benson

Keith Benson, Alex Kirk

James Ennis allowed the Heat to push back his guarantee date.

They’ll use that opportunity to give him a little more competition for the regular-season roster.

Shams Charania of RealGM:

The Heat have 12 players with guaranteed salaries plus Hassan Whiteside, who’s a lock to make the team. Benson will compete with Ennis and Tyler Johnson ($422,530 guaranteed) for the final two regular-season roster spots.

Benson is a 6-foot-11 center with good timing for blocking shots. The Hawks drafted him No. 48 in 2011, and he played a few games for the Warriors the following season. The Michigan native has played in the D-League and overseas since.

The Heat have several players capable of playing center – Whiteside, Chris Bosh, Chris Andersen and Amar’e Stoudemire. Udonis Haslem and Josh McRoberts could even play the position in certain small-ball lineups.

Unless Miami trades Andersen, it’s hard to see Benson sticking over Ennis or Johnson, who play positions of greater need. Most likely, the Heat waive Benson and assign his D-League rights to their affiliate. Because he hasn’t played in the D-League in two years, he’s a D-League free agent and eligible for assignment.

Jimmy Butler: “I’m a point guard”

Jimmy Butler, Giannis Antetokounmpo

Since signing a five-year, $94 million extension with the Bulls in July, Jimmy Butler has made a lot of noise about being the leader of the team. He certainly assumed that mantle last year, when he made his first career All-Star appearance and won Most Improved Player while Derrick Rose battled another round of knee injuries and inconsistent play. But now, with both of the Bulls’ backcourt stars expected to be healthy at the start of training camp, there’s been a lot of attention on their relationship, and how they can play together. There’s been talk of tension, which Butler dismisses, even as he dropped a surprising observation about his own role at Team USA minicamp in Las Vegas: he sees himself as a point guard.

From Bulls.com’s Sam Smith:

But sometimes there’s also internal change, which is what the best ones do in the summer. They add to their game, a shot, a move. Their games become the players you didn’t add. We saw it with Michael Jordan and that baseline jumper, Magic Johnson with his outside shot. They’re the same; until they are not. Rose and Noah reportedly have had healthy summers, and Butler continues to work on his own secret weapon.

“First off, I think I am a point guard,” Butler said without joking. “So I’ve done a heck of a lot of ball screen work, ball handling, getting into the paint and still handling, floaters, all that stuff point guards do. If I get a chance, high pick and roll more. I want some triple doubles. I’ve got to get my handle right so I can pass and get it to guys where they can make shots. I told Fred. You ask what position I play, I say point guard.”

It sounds like a joke for the guy who was supposed to be a small forward replacement for Luol Deng. But having another guard who can handle the ball and allow Rose to play off the ball with Butler’s defensive prowess provides a potentially exceptional and previously unknown element to the Bulls arsenal.

At first glance, that seems like a shot at Rose, who when healthy is the Bulls’ starting point guard. But it doesn’t have to be one or the other. If Butler emerges as a capable primary ballhandler, that’s just another dimension to the Bulls’ offense, which already looks to be more dynamic under new coach Fred Hoiberg than it was under Tom Thibodeau. In the past, Rose has played well with another point guard in the lineup. In 481 minutes together, lineups featuring Rose and Kirk Hinrich outscored opponents by 3.5 points per 100 possessions. In 191 minutes together last season, lineups featuring Rose and Aaron Brooks outscored opponents by 16.8 points per 100 possessions, per NBA.com. Considering Butler is a significantly better player than both Brooks and Hinrich at both ends of the floor, putting him in a ballhandling role and allowing Rose to play off the ball has the chance to be an effective option for Chicago.

A lot of people want to make the tension between Rose and Butler out to be something that could tear the team apart, but all indications are that the two stars actually play well together, and under a coach as offensively creative as Hoiberg, there’s no reason to believe that will change.