New Additions for the Miami Heat

Kyle Lowry of the Miami Heat

The Miami Heat have made multiple moves since NBA Free Agency officially opened on August 2nd at 6:00 p.m. Re-signings, trades, and summer league signings have greatly improved their roster.

Miami Heat Roster Additions

Kyle Lowry Sign-And-Trade

The Heat were heavily linked to the former Raptors point guard at the trade deadline but nothing ever materialized. But now Kyle Lowry and his close friend Jimmy Butler have finally teamed up. Lowry agreed to a 3 year $85 million contract with the Heat. In exchange, Miami sent point guard Goran Dragić and young big man Precious Achiuwa.

The big investment in the soon-to-be-36-year-old Lowry could be seen as a big risk, and rightfully so. But he provides the Heat with exactly what they need: an elite defender who can score at will and an upgrade over what they already have. This season, his 9th with the Raptors, he averaged 17.3 PPG, 5.4 RPG, & 7.3 APG while shooting .436/.396/.875 in 46 games while playing 34.8 minutes per game. While his streak of 6 straight All-Star Game appearances came to an end, he still performed at a very high level. He is a perfect fit for what head coach Erik Spoelstra is trying to do.

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PJ Tucker And Markieff Morris Signings

The Heat then when out and signed newly-minted NBA champion P.J. Tucker from the Bucks to a two-year $15MM contract using the mid-level exception. Tucker can do pretty much whatever you ask of him. Although he doesn’t score a lot he can when you need him to. He is an imposing physical presence at Power Forward despite being only 6’5″ and he is an elite defender.

Miami also signed another forward, Markieff Morris, on the veteran minimum for one year. Morris, who spent the last season and a half with the Lakers, averaged 6.7 points and 4.4 rebounds per game last year. He fills a big need as a very solid rotation guy for Miami.

Miami Heat Key Re-Signings

Then there is keeping key existing pieces. First, the Heat re-signed SF/SG Duncan Robinson to a five-year $90M contract, the largest ever for a formerly undrafted player. The past two seasons he has broken out into one of the best shooters in the league with numbers rivaling Steph Curry. He started all 72 games this season and started 68 of 73 the year before. He was a key piece in their run to the finals. Robinson does not give them much good defensively. But that can be made up for with the multiple elite defenders on this team like Lowry, Tucker, and Bam Adebayo.

Dewayne Dedmon agreed to a one-year deal on the vet minimum to return to Miami. After being signed in early April, Dedmon shot 71% from the field and averaged 7.1 points and 5.4 rebounds in just over 13 minutes a game in the 16 games he played in off the bench. He averaged his least amount of minutes per game since the 2015-2016 season, which can be the cause of his is relatively low rebounding number last season. He also brings toughness and veteran leadership which is good for the team and especially for the young frontcourt players like franchise cornerstone Bam Adebayo and second-year big man Ömer Yurtseven.

Victor Oladipo was acquired from the Rockets at the trade deadline and played just four games being suffering yet another injury. He’s injury-prone and has dealt with injuries the past three seasons. He won’t be ready to play until February or March at the earliest this year. But when he is healthy he is an excellent player.

The Oladipo move is low-risk for the Heat since it is just a one-year vet minimum deal. If he is able to rebound they’ll have him for cheap down the stretch and will have his bird rights if they decide to re-sign him next summer.

Heat legend Udonis Haslem also signed a one-year vet minimum year to return to Miami for his 19th season. He likely won’t play much, but what he brings to the team that doesn’t show up on the stat sheet is invaluable.

From Two-Way To The Active Roster

The team also re-signed Max Strus and Gabe Vincent. Both of them played with the Heat last year on two-way contracts and were impressive. Strus, an SF, averaged 6.1 PPG and shot just over 45% from the field while averaging 13 MPG across 39 games off the bench. Vincent, a PG, averaged 4.8 PPG in 13.1 MPG across 50 games, 7 of which were starts. That production from the now 25-year-olds showed enough to convince the coaches and front office to offer them contracts.

Summer League Players

Ömer Yurtseven, a second-year center from Georgetown, signed a two-year contract with the team. He earned it after dominating their first two Summer League games. That includes a 27 point 19 rebound performance in their first game of the California Classic. Yurtseven began last season with the Thunder’s G-League affiliate the Oklahoma City Blue, where he played quite well. He averaged 15.2 PPG and 9.4 RPG in 21.1 MPG across 14 games including 1 start.

Oklahoma City eventually waived Yurtseven and then he signed with the Heat towards the end of the season but did not make an appearance. A day before free agency began the team declined his team option making him a free agent. However, a week later they re-signed him to a two-year contract. Yurtseven will not get a lot of minutes right away which is just fine for now. He definitely has the potential to develop into a player to keep alongside Adebayo in the post.

What’s Next for the Miami Heat

The Heat will continue to fill out their roster and make more moves.  They still need either another big man or another wing player. They will also probably sign some of the rookies on their Summer League roster, whether it’s to the actual roster or on two-way contracts. Former Kansas Jayhawk G Marcus Garrett is likely to be one of them. The other players that seem to have the most likely shot at earning a spot on the team are Javonte Smart (G, LSU) and Micah Potter (C, Ohio State). RJ Nembhard (G, TCU) and DeJon Jarreau (G, Houston) are also possibilities.

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