Miami’s bench may seem rather shallow, but the Heat are actually operating at the league’s maximum roster size. So when Erick Dampier became a top candidate for replacing the minutes and production of Udonis Haslem, that meant one thing: if Dampier was to be had, one member of the Heat would have to go. Jamaal Magloire, Jerry Stackhouse, Juwan Howard, and Dexter Pittman, were all playing out minimal one-year deals, but in a bit of a surprise, Miami elected to part ways with Stackhouse in spite of their limited number of playable wings.
“I never really got a chance to have any impact on what was happening one way or the other,” Stackhouse told ESPN.com via e-mail. “They know that. “I really feel they had full intentions of [providing that opportunity], but the injury to [Udonis Haslem] coupled with being outrebounded and losing the paint game in all of the losses — and even a few of the wins — put the onus on addressing those issues as opposed to finding out how I could complement what was going on, which I fully understand.
“The business is the business. I have no complaints. I thank Pat Riley and the Miami Heat organization for giving me the opportunity, which allowed me to get in NBA condition [and] will definitely benefit me when another opportunity arises.”
Miami doesn’t need high-minute subs due to the presence of LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, but shouldn’t they have more than Eddie House and James Jones available in case of injury? Particularly considering the minor tweaks that has already caused Wade to miss games during the regular season and preseason?
I guess Stack’s usefulness to the Heat will be re-evaluated if any more injuries arise, but for now, Miami is content to wait for Mike Miller’s return while working Dampier into the big man rotation. No one should question the logic of the Dampier signing; his combination of interior defense (both on-ball and help) and rebounding is an unquestionable boon for Miami. But given the Heat’s needs elsewhere on the depth chart, it’s a bit curious that they chose to part with Stack as opposed to the now redundant Jamaal Magloire.
Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma trolling now in ad for Wish shopping app
For three seasons, Briante Weber has bounced around the fringes of the NBA. The defensive-minded point guard has played in short stints (often 10-day contracts) for the Grizzlies, Heat, Warriors, Hornets, and last season he got in 13 games for the Rockets (plus five in Memphis). He’s spent most of his career in the G-League, working for his chance to get in the door.
Miami is bringing him into training camp, reports Shams Charania of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports.
Guard Briante Weber has agreed to a partially guaranteed deal to return to the Miami Heat, league sources tell Yahoo.
There is roster space in Miami if Webber blows them away. Miami has 12 fully guaranteed roster spots and, with Webber, two partially-guaranteed deals (Malik Newman, who was undrafted out of Kansas, is the other).
Rather than a potential rebuild — or another “Russell Westbrook vs. The World” season — the Oklahoma City Thunder were one of the big winners of the off-season when Paul George agreed to re-sign with the team. They also moved on from Carmelo Anthony, will get Andre Roberson back from injury, and added Dennis Schroder to give them a shot creator off the bench.
“I’m very, very excited. Paul has been an unbelievable teammate, obviously a great friend. I’m very, very excited that he is back and we’re ready to make some noise. We are just going to take it one day at a time. I think our team has a lot of great, young talent. We have one goal now and that is winning a championship.”
While it’s hard to envision the Thunder reaching that goal (as constructed), the Thunder could well be the three or four seed in the West and have home court in the first round of the playoffs. While the margin for error in the West will be minuscule (with 12 teams having a shot at the eight playoff spots), with the Thunder’s strong top-10 defense and two stars who can take over games nightly, they should be one of the more consistent regular season teams in the West.
Either way, the Thunder are a lot more interesting with George than without. It’s going to be a good season for the Thunder.
PBT Extra: Carmelo Anthony officially a Houston Rocket now — this can work
Did the Houston Rockets get better this summer? The conventional wisdom is no, they will miss the switchable defense and versatility of Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute against the NBA’s other elite teams.
But with Carmelo Anthony officially signing with the Rockets on Monday, don’t expect a big step back, something I cover in this latest PBT Extra.
The Rockets had the second-best offense in the NBA last season (almost tied with the Warriors) and ‘Melo can enhance that — he can still punish switches in the post, he has a catch-and-shoot game, and while he may not be as efficient as he once was, the man can get buckets. Whether he starts or comes off the bench, expect Mike D’Antoni to find him minutes while Chris Paul and James Harden rest where he can be an offensive focal point.