A freak injury to the right thumb of Mike Miller is expected to keep one of the NBA’s top three-point shooters sidelined for an extended period of time.
Miller fractured a bone and tore a ligament when the thumb on his shooting hand got tangled in a teammate’s jersey during a post drill at practice last Wednesday. He underwent surgery Friday to repair the damage. He will remain in a cast for four weeks, then move to a brace for several more weeks, then prepare once again for the start of the season. The Heat don’t expect him back on the court before January.
Pat Riley met with Erik Spoelstra and other team officials about options on dealing with the injury. They chose Jerry Stackhouse, on a one-year fully unguaranteed minimum salary contract, for temporary relief. It is the wrong move.
Stackhouse won’t rock the boat, won’t bring drama, and will bring a high caliber of veteran leadership. But let’s be clear — this team does not need more veteran leadership. James, Wade and Bosh provide plenty of that. It needs an injection of youth and athleticism. It needs to develop for the future. It needs to identify players with the type of floor-spacing shooting stroke that it has just lost. It needs to find tough, quick defenders.
Stackhouse is none of those things. He is old (he turns 36 next month). He is working on wonky knees. He is a glaring defensive liability on a team that puts a premium on it. He is a man no longer capable of providing any of the offensive value he once did. And he has never been a good three-point shooter (31% for his career). He provides nothing this team needs.
He is nothing more than a sub-optimal stand-in for Miller. But when Miller gets healthy, he’s gone. Why sign someone who has no chance of being a member of the Heat come playoff time? Why sign someone who has no chance to be a part of the Heat’s future? Why eat up a valuable roster spot on such a player?
With the Stackhouse addition, the Heat roster stood at 17. The team had until 6 p.m. today to get its roster to the regular-season limit of 15 as they prepared for tomorrow’s season opener against Boston. Beverley and Butler were the final two cuts.
Beverley and Butler were both competing for the Stackhouse spot. They had a real shot at being a big part of the Heat’s future. Danny Green was a better option than both of them.
In an alternate universe, all three could have been retained. In an alternate universe, the Heat could have kept Beverley as its potential point guard of the future (by waiving Magloire), Green as its potential shooting guard of the future (by passing on Stackhouse), and Butler as its potential small forward of the future (by waiving Howard). That’s a quality developmental backcourt. Read more…
Mike Miller is injured.
Miller sustained what appears to be a serious thumb injury on his right hand – his shooting hand – during Wednesday’s practice. He was injured when he got his hand snagged in a teammate’s jersey.
The Miami Heat have not yet announced the findings from an evaluation by a hand specialist yesterday, but the team is bracing itself to be without its best shooter for an extended period.
Although LeBron James has said that he is confident that Miller will play a majority of the regular season, this is no doubt a huge blow to the Heat. Having signed a five-year, $29 million contract with the Heat this past off-season, Miller was supposed to provide critical floor spacing for a trio of superstars in James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh who work best in space.
Instead, the Heat is left without a single backup shooting guard on the roster — none!
Pat Riley has met with Erik Spoelstra and other team officials about options on dealing with the injury. They appear destined to turn to Jerry Stackhouse for temporary relief. It is the wrong move.
Stackhouse won’t rock the boat, won’t bring drama, and will bring a high caliber of veteran leadership. But let’s be clear — this team does not need more veteran leadership. James, Wade and Bosh provide plenty of that. This team needs depth. It needs players who can play. It needs to identify a player with the type of floor-spacing shooting stroke that it has just lost, packaged in the body of a man who can provide solid backcourt defense.
Stackhouse is not that. He is old. He is working on wonky knees. He is a glaring defensive liability on a team that puts a premium on it. He is a man no longer capable of providing any of the offensive value he once did. And he never had the ability to stroke the long ball; he is a career 30.7% shooter from beyond the three-point line. He provides nothing this team needs.
There is simply no way Stackhouse will be a contributing member of the Miami Heat come playoff time, neither this season nor any other in the future. So why sign him now?
But the Heat does have a glaring need. Even when healthy, the slow-footed 6-foot, 8-inch Miller is more of a small forward than he is a shooting guard capable of defending the perimeter. The Heat desperately needs a quality shooting guard.
A possible solution comes from the unlikeliest of places. The Cleveland Cavaliers.
Dan Gilbert’s team has just done the Miami Heat a huge favor. It has waived second year guard Danny Green. Read more…
As expected, the Heat have cut Kenny Hasbrouck and Shavlik Randolph loose.
Hasbrouck faced long odds to earn a spot. But he did nothing to help his cause during preseason play. He made just 9 of his 41 shots, including just 1 of his 15 three-point attempts, averaging 4.6 points, 3.0 assists, and 1.4 rebounds in 24 minutes per game.
The Hasbrouck-Beverley competition for a possible final roster spot was the most hotly scrutinized, debated and captivating storyline of the second half of the offseason – starting during Summer League play (where Hasbrouck dominated), through training camp and into the preseason. Hasbrouck was thought to have had the more NBA-ready game. That never materialized. Beverley struggled somewhat himself, but did average more points, rebounds, assists and steals during the preseason, while averaging fewer turnovers and fouls in nearly identical minutes. Beverley was also the vastly superior defender and three-point shooter.
The question now is whether the Beverley win will translate into a roster spot.
Teams are allowed to carry as many as 20 players in the offseason, but must cut to 15 by opening night. The Heat roster currently stands at 16. Fourteen are veterans with fully guaranteed contracts. Da’Sean Butler has a partial guarantee, but has been all but assured a spot as he continues his rehabilitation.
It would appear that the Heat have run out of available slots for Beverley. The situation was equally true when Beverley signed his fully-guaranteed, multi-year contract nearly three months ago, prompting speculation that he could be added with a roster spot that would be freed up by waiving fourth-string center Jamaal Magloire.
For a Heat team with limited options with which to meaningfully improve – having just traded away four first-round draft picks, the Heat’s competition will have roster-building advantages almost every summer – and considering Beverley’s considerable upside, waiving Magloire, who is unlikely to see any playing time this season, would appear to be the prudent approach.
Randolph and Hasbrouck do get nice parting gifts – both had $250,000 guarantees in their deals.
The final contract details are in.
Here’s a look the specifics for all 18 players currently under contract to the Heat:
LeBron James and Chris Bosh were each signed-and-traded to a six-year, $109,837,500 contract in July 2010. They will each make $14,500,000 this season, with $1,522,500 raises every year thereafter (i.e., equal to maximum allowable 10.5% of this season’s salary). Each contract contains an Early Termination Option after the fourth season and a Player Option after the fifth season, effectively allowing each player to re-enter free agency prior to both the fifth and sixth seasons of his deal. Each contract also contains a 15% trade bonus. The contracts were each signed utilizing Bird rights, and then acquired by the Heat with cap room. James and Bosh will be 32 and 31, respectively, at the end of their contracts.
Dwyane Wade was re-signed to a six-year, $107,565,000 contract in July 2010. He will make $14,200,000 this season, with $1,491,000 raises every year thereafter (i.e., equal to maximum allowable 10.5% of this season’s salary). His contract contains an Early Termination Option after the fourth season and a Player Option after the fifth season, effectively allowing him to re-enter free agency prior to both the fifth and sixth seasons of his deal. The contract also contains a 15% trade bonus. The contract was signed utilizing Wade’s Bird rights. Wade will be 34 at the end of his contract.
Mike Miller was signed to a five-year, $29,000,000 contract in July 2010. He will make $5,000,000 this season, with $525,000 raises every year thereafter (i.e., equal to maximum allowable 8.0% of this season’s salary). His contract contains a Player Option after the fourth season, as well as a 15% trade bonus. The contract was signing utilizing cap room. Miller will be 35 at the end of his contract. Read more…
The Miami Heat signed rookie Da’Sean Butler to a two-year, $1.3 million contract on Monday. Given the rules of the collective bargaining agreement, despite Butler’s ongoing rehabilitation from his gruesome left knee injury and his resultant uncertain NBA future, the contract was anticipated for quite some time.
Butler’s minimum salary contract will pay him $473,604 and $788,872, respectively, for this season and next. The first season is $300,000 guaranteed. The second season is fully unguaranteed, becoming 50% guaranteed if he is not waived before June 20, 2011, and becoming fully guaranteed if he is not waived before opening night of next season.
Butler will be competing for the 15th and final roster spot with Patrick Beverley (who received a shocking, two-year, $1.3 million fully-guaranteed contract of this own), Kenny Hasbrouck (who received a $250,000 partial guarantee), and Shavlik Randolph (who received a $250,000 partial guarantee).
Butler is still not healthy. He figures not to be for quite a while. Doctors originally thought Butler could be cleared for some basketball activity by the end of September. But the 6-foot-7 swingman had a setback with his surgically repaired knee in July, leading to a second surgery that pushed the estimated timeframe back to the beginning of the NBA season. Butler is now expected to return to game action by February.
“I couldn’t tell you when I’ll be back,” says Butler. “I’ve been trying to find out from my doctors and trainers when would be the perfect time and I get the same answer every time. Everybody’s body is different, so when you’re better, you’re better. You’ll know when you’re better and we’ll know you’re better. So, they will let me know when I’m good to go and I’m fine to do something. All I can do is just wait it out.”
Despite the setbacks, Butler seemingly has the inside track on the final roster spot. Riley has said that he considered Butler to be the 21st best player in the 2010 NBA Draft. He seems intent on keeping Butler through his rehabilitation.
Butler played four seasons at the University of West Virginia, finishing his career with 107 career wins, the most in school history. As a senior he was named First Team All-Big East, averaging a team-high 17.2 points, 6.2 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 38 games.
For his career Butler started in 110 of 146 games for the Mountaineers, averaging 14.4 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.06 steals while shooting .448 from the field, .353 from three-point range and .732 from the foul line. He scored 2,095 points during his career, ranking third in school history behind Jerry West and Hot Rod Hundley. Butler also ranks among school leaders in career double-figure scoring games (1st), field goals (3rd), three-pointers (4th), free throws (5th), rebounds (11th) and steals (12th).
Butler was originally selected by the Heat with the 42nd pick in the 2010 draft. The Heat was very attracted to his versatility and all-court game. It remains to be seen whether he can retain his already questionable explosiveness and athleticism after rehabilitating from one of the most severe types of injuries an NBA player can sustain.
It is certainly nice to have the benevolent Butler as an official part of the Miami Heat organization.
The Miami Heat signed Patrick Beverley to a two-year, $1.3 million fully-guaranteed contract on Monday. That much we know.
What we don’t know is why. Why did the Heat sign him? Why did they sign him so soon? And why did they fully guarantee his contract?
Despite the guarantee, Beverley is still far from a lock to make the regular season roster.
The Heat currently has 14 veterans under guaranteed contract. Teams can have as many as 20 players under contract during the offseason, but must pare down to 15 by the start of the regular season.
Beverley figures to compete with Kenny Hasbrouck, Shavlik Randolph, and Da’Sean Butler for the 15th and final spot. Hasbrouck and Randolph have each signed a $250,000 partially guaranteed two-year minimum salary contract, while Butler should be signed shortly. Despite the ACL tear in his left knee, Butler is currently thought to have the inside track.
Beverley was initially selected with the 42nd overall pick by the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2009 NBA Draft. His draft rights were immediately traded to the Heat in exchange for a 2011 second-round pick and cash considerations.
If Beverley should fail to make the opening day roster, the Heat would lose his draft rights. Pat Riley will have wasted the $1,500,000 (and the 2011 second round pick) it took to acquire his draft rights, the $473,604 he is guaranteed for this season, the $788,872 he is guaranteed for next season, and the $788,872 in tax consequences his contract will almost certainly cause next season. That’s a total of $3,551,348. Wasted.
So why did the Heat sign him? Read more…
Da’Sean Butler had played his way into a surefire first-round selection in the 2010 NBA Draft with a spectacular senior campaign at West Virginia last season, sinking six game-winning shots, earning second-team All-America honors, and leading the Mountaineers to the Final Four for the first time since 1959. With a first round selection comes the virtual guarantee of becoming a multi-millionaire.
And then one fateful play changed the course of Da’Sean’s career. With a little less than nine minutes remaining in the Mountaineers’ national semi-final match-up with eventual champion Duke on April 3rd, Butler drove to the basket and collided with the Blue Devils’ Brian Zoubek. Moments later, the senior forward lay on his back clutching his left knee, writhing in pain caused by a torn ACL, a sprained MCL and two bone bruises.
The image of head coach Bob Huggins consoling his fallen superstar was simultaneously touching and perhaps just a bit uncomfortable. But we can all certainly empathize. Instead of beginning his preparation for a potential starting spot in the NBA, Butler found himself instead fighting for any place at all. Read more…
Mikhail Prokhorov is a newcomer to the NBA, as the wealthy owner of the soon-to-be Brooklyn Nets. At 45 years of age, Prokhorov is Russia’s second richest man, with an estimated net worth of $13 billion. Apparently, he is also a classy guy in defeat.
The Nets were one of the teams shut out of the LeBron James sweepstakes after James’ whirlwind free agent courtship, but Prokhorov says he has no problem with the superstar’s decision to play for the Miami Heat. In fact, he offers James his best.
Prokhorov sent the following letter to the USA Today:
The players are signed, the “Decision” is made, but the passions around this year’s extraordinary class of NBA free agents refuses to die down. What surprises me is the amount of negative commentary directed at the three top free agents (especially LeBron James) who decided to play on the same team and to create a great franchise together. Of course, any club owner dreams of having those players, including me, but all questions of how the announcements were made aside, I respect their choice, and no one has the right to judge them.
I want to say that I support LeBron, the best athlete in the NBA. He had a truly difficult choice to make. Any move he made was sure to be viewed as wrong, and to leave many unhappy fans. Basing his decision on achieving results on the basketball court shows that the sportsman won the day, not the showman or the businessman. What is wrong with that?
We are seeing the birth of a new, dynamic team with such star players, and all of us can await the new season with great anticipation. I wish them success and give them my moral support. I will be happy for us to beat the Miami Heat in the conference finals, maybe not this season, but in the very near future.
Raptors general manager Bryan Colangelo went on the air yesterday, now three weeks after his former All-Star power forward decided to leave Toronto in favor of the Miami Heat, and basically declared that Chris Bosh quit on his team during the stretch run of the regular season.
After seemingly being a lock for a playoff spot midway through last season, the Raptors collapsed amidst a more difficult second half and missed the postseason by just one game. Bosh missed all of the twelve total games he missed throughout the season during the second half.
Talking on radio station FAN 590 in Toronto, Colangelo said Bosh wasn’t the same player toward the end of the year. He also complained that Bosh took an excessive amount of time returning from injury, an apparent reference to the seven games Bosh missed in February with a sprained ankle. Read more…
The Miami Heat are poised for a reunion with fan-favorite Eddie House.
The three-point specialist has agreed on a two-year veteran minimum contract that will pay him $1,352,181 and $1,399,507, respectively, with the second year subject to a player option.
House, who won the 2008 NBA championship with the Boston Celtics, reportedly had more lucrative offers elsewhere but was intrigued by the Heat’s rebuilt roster. The Bulls were thought to have been the front-runners for House, with the Celtics also in play to bring him back. Instead, he has chosen to re-join the team that originally drafted him out of Arizona State with the 37th overall pick ten years ago.
House is the very definition of a hired gun. He’s almost strictly a jump-shooter, but he’s a great one. He’s one of the better overall three-point shooters in the entire league, both in quantity of makes per-minute and accuracy, having made 749 threes during his career at a 39.0% conversion rate.
He moves off the ball well, has an incredibly quick release, and absolutely no conscious about hoisting up his beautiful rainbow arcing shot. He can come off the bench and change the flow of a game with his shooting. The Heat will look to leverage that skill.
He’ll play anywhere from 15 to 20 minutes per night, serving as either the team’s de facto point or shooting guard. He’s not a point guard, at 6-foot, 0.5 inches more a severely undersized shooting guard with decidedly few point guard skills, though he can play that role in low-pressure situations. When he enters the game, it will most often be as a two-guard from an offensive standpoint, with Dwyane Wade, Mike Miller or LeBron James handling the majority of the ball-handling duties, and as a point guard from a defensive standpoint.
He plays the game with an overriding passion, and provides his teammates and fans with a massive jolt of energy every time he checks into the game. He wants the ball in his hands all the time and will boisterously call for it every moment he’s on the floor. When he gets it, and makes it, he’ll jump and scream and launch his fists through the air as he runs back down the floor. Read more…