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#pounditTuesday, January 18, 2022

Articles tagged: Miami Heat

Heat could reunite with one of their former All-Stars?

Goran Dragic looking on

The Miami Heat already reunited with Mario Chalmers, but their next potential reunion could be an even more impactful one.

Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported on Saturday that former Heat guard Goran Dragic “would love nothing more” than to return to the team. Winderman added that Dragic was in attendance for Miami’s home game against the Washington Wizards earlier in the week.

The 35-year-old Dragic was a core player for Miami for many years, having played the previous seven NBA seasons with them. That included an All-Star selection in 2018, a trip to the Finals with the Heat in 2020, and becoming a beloved fan favorite along the way. However, the Heat traded Dragic to the Toronto Raptors this past summer as part of the Kyle Lowry sign-and-trade.

Dragic has made just five appearances for the rebuilding Raptors this year, and his current status is clouded in a bit of mystery. He took a sudden and indefinite leave of absence from the team in November. Details remain scarce about why he left and when he might be back.

The veteran guard also posted a video of himself working out at the Heat team facility on Friday. Former teammate Jimmy Butler was among those to “like” and comment on the video. Dragic has since deleted the post though.

Winderman notes that the Heat cannot directly reacquire Dragic from the Raptors this season due to CBA rules. That means that a third team would have to get involved (e.g. Dragic is traded elsewhere, gets bought out by his new team, and then re-signs with the Heat). But Dragic never really seemed keen on Toronto in the first place, so it makes sense that he would ideally like to return to Miami.

Photo: Feb 15, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; Miami Heat guard Goran Dragic (7) warms up before a game against the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Mario Chalmers had funny boneheaded moment on first day back with Heat

Mario Chalmers looking on

Fan favorite Mario Chalmers is officially back with the Miami Heat, and he is wasting no time in reminding us why he was so beloved in the first place.

The veteran guard, who played for the Heat for eight seasons and won two NBA championships with them, returned to the team on a 10-day contract this week. His first day back was on Friday, and he had a funny boneheaded moment while conducting a Zoom interview with reporters.

Before Chalmers started speaking, a Heat employee said, “Can we get some hands raised, please?” This was to direct reporters to use the “raise hand” feature on Zoom to ask their questions. Chalmers, however, thought it was meant for him and physically put up his own two hands.

Take a look at the priceless video.

Chalmers’ hilarious “oh” when he realized that the employee was talking to reporters and not him is what really makes that entire video.

The Heat won on Friday against the Houston Rockets, but Chalmers did not play. He was able to swish some threes in warmups beforehand though.

Chalmers is 35 years old and last played in the league in 2018, so it makes sense that the Heat would not just throw him in there right away. That said however, Chalmers still found a way to entertain us on Friday, which he already did plenty of during his first stint in Miami.

Photo: Jan 21, 2015; Charlotte, NC, USA; Miami Heat forward guard Mario Chalmers (15) warms up before the first half of the game against the Charlotte Hornets at Time Warner Cable Arena. Mandatory Credit: Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

Chris Bosh excites Heat fans with tweet

Chris Bosh

NBA teams have had to wade deep into the talent pool to find replacement players with COVID-19 cases increasing across the league. Even some players who haven’t played in the league in years have received calls. Does Chris Bosh want to be next?

Bosh, who announced his retirement nearly three years ago, got Miami Heat fans excited with a tweet he sent on Thursday. The 37-year-old saw the news that the Heat have signed Mario Chalmers to a 10-day contract, and he jokingly suggested that they should get the old band back together.

Chalmers hasn’t played in the NBA since the 2015-16 season, though he has continued to play overseas and in the G League. Bosh was forced to retire early due to a blood-clotting issue. His last game was on Feb. 9, 2016.

Bosh and Chalmers won two titles together in Miami.

We can’t rule out anything with some of the names we have seen pop up over the past few weeks. That said, Bosh seems far more likely to go into coaching than he does to suit up for a team.

Photo: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

NBA announces penalties for Lonzo Ball, Kyle Lowry tampering

Lonzo Ball warming up

The NBA has completed its tampering investigations regarding the deals involving Lonzo Ball and Kyle Lowry, and the result was nothing more than a slap on the wrist.

The Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat will both have to forfeit their next available second-round draft pick, the NBA announced on Wednesday.

That punishment is light considering the NBA could have fined the franchises up to $10 million each and handed out suspensions to team executives. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the league told teams in a memo that the Bulls and Heat “fully cooperated with the investigations” and that their cooperation was taken into account.

Chicago acquired Ball in a sign-and-trade deal with the New Orleans Pelicans. The deal was reported almost immediately when the free agency legal tampering period began, though it wasn’t completed until Aug. 8.

The Heat acquired Lowry in a sign-and-trade deal with the Toronto Raptors. The deal was completed on Aug. 6 but Lowry announced an hour into free agency on Aug. 2 that he would be signing with Miami.

Sign-and-trade deals can be complex to pull off. So when the deals were reported so quickly, red flags apparently were raised for the league.

The NBA reviewed electronic messages from agents and team executives during their investigation. The Pelicans and Raptors were also investigated due to their involvement, but no punishment was announced for either team.

Photo: Mar 26, 2021; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Pelicans guard Lonzo Ball warms up before their game against the Denver Nuggets at the Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Viral photo shows Heat waiting in hall for Nuggets after Jokic-Morris incident

Jimmy Butler

The Miami Heat players were apparently waiting for the Denver Nuggets after Monday’s game like Bishop behind Q’s locker in “Juice.”

Photographer Aaron Ontiveroz of the Denver Post posted an incredible picture to his Instagram page of the Heat gathering in the hallway after Denver’s Nikola Jokic delivered a cheap shot on Miami’s Markieff Morris (video here). Ontiveroz writes that the Heat players, led by Jimmy Butler, were looking to confront the Nuggets but that security intervened.

In the picture, you can see Butler and other Heat players (including Kyle Lowry, Bam Adebayo, and Dewayne Dedmon) glaring menacingly. Andy Elisburg, the GM of the Heat, appears to be the one preventing them from going any further. None of Miami’s players were made available to the media for comment after Monday’s game.

That amazing picture of the Heat definitely adds to the overall surrealness of the Jokic-Morris episode. We haven’t seen anything quite like this one since the incident that took place in Los Angeles a few years ago.

Photo: Jan 22, 2020; Miami, Florida, USA; Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (22) controls the ball against the Washington Wizards during the second half at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

John Wall could end up with top contender?

John Wall in a suit

John Wall seems likely to leave the Houston Rockets sooner than later, and one top contender may be ready to pounce.

David Aldridge of The Athletic said in an article this week that he predicts Wall will end up with the Miami Heat. Aldridge mentions that Wall lives in Miami during the offseason and that the Heat are famous for extending the careers of talented players who have been felled by injuries.

The ex-All-Star Wall has essentially agreed to part ways with the rebuilding Rockets. But the roughly $90 million Wall has left on his contract makes him effectively untradeable, leaving the 31-year-old to wait for a buyout.

If and when Wall does secure a buyout, the Heat make plenty of sense. After a Finals appearance in 2020, they reloaded this offseason with the signings of Kyle Lowry, PJ Tucker, and Markieff Morris. Miami’s current sixth man is 21-year-old Tyler Herro, who is more of a natural 2-guard.

Wall averaged 20.9 points and 6.9 assists per game last season and could easily lead a second unit. He might also provide some much-needed insurance for an uncertain Heat backcourt rotation.

H/T Heat Nation

Photo: Nov 8, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Wizards guard John Wall (2) walks on the court after the game against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Victor Oladipo seems to be looking for a girlfriend

Victor Oladipo

Miami Heat star Victor Oladipo is growing tired of the single life and is now on the hunt for love.

Oladipo, who was traded to the Heat in March and later had season-ending surgery to repair his right quadriceps tendon, took to Twitter on Friday to voice his frustration.

The revelation came shortly after Drake released his much-anticipated new album, “Certified Lover Boy.” Oladipo and other NBA stars were quick to pick it up, but clearly some of the lyrics got into their emotions a bit.

Or at least that appears to be the case with Oladipo.

Oladipo had previously been linked to Instagram model Natalia Castillo, but dismissed those rumors prior to being traded to Miami. He declared himself single at the time and that apparently remains the case six months later.

Oladipo’s tweet sparked quite a debate in his comments. Some inquired about potentially dating the 6-foot-5 millionaire, while others took a much different tone.

NBA investigating Lonzo Ball and Kyle Lowry sign-and-trades over possible tampering

Lonzo Ball

The NBA is notorious for its strict anti-tampering policies, and that could get at least two teams in trouble for moves made this offseason.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne, the league has launched an investigation into the Chicago Bulls’ sign-and-trade acquisition of Lonzo Ball, as well as the Miami Heat’s sign-and-trade for Kyle Lowry, over possible tampering. The league wishes to look into whether there was contact prior to 6 p.m. ET on Monday, as such contact would have been prohibited prior to that time.

It’s not clear what punishment the teams involved might face if they are found to have tampered with Ball and Lowry. Commissioner Adam Silver has the power to levy substantial fines and strip teams of draft picks for tampering, which can be thoroughly investigated thanks to a controversial set of rules that came into force in 2019. Silver could even void the deals if he feels that is appropriate.

Free agent tampering has always been an iffy proposition in the NBA. Numerous deals were reported as agreed to within minutes of free agency’s opening, and it certainly seems unlikely that coveted free agents came to an agreement with teams that quickly unless there was some prior legwork done. Lowry, for instance, had long been linked with the Heat before the deal got done. It’s simply a matter of how aggressively the NBA wants to combat it.

Kyle Lowry announces he will sign with Heat

Kyle Lowry

The Miami Heat have the point guard they covet.

Kyle Lowry announced less than an hour into free agency on Monday that he would join the Heat, joining forces with Jimmy Butler.

Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports had been first to report that Lowry would sign a three-year deal and would join via a sign-and-trade with the Toronto Raptors.

Lowry leaves behind the Raptors as one of the franchise’s greatest-ever players. The Heat have been considered frontrunners for him for some time, and even looked into trading for him at the trade deadline. He’s close with Butler, and the two should lead a fantastic defensive unit in Miami.

The Heat also agreed to new contracts with Butler and Duncan Robinson on Monday, securing their core for years to come. There are rumors that they might have another big addition in mind as well.

Photo: Chensiyuan/Wikimedia via CC-by-S.A. 4.0

Heat viewed as frontrunners to sign Kyle Lowry?

Kyle Lowry

Kyle Lowry rates as one of the top free agents available this offseason, and the point guard figures to have no shortage of suitors. One looks to be a team that trailed him as a trade target last season.

Grant Afseth of SI reported that the Miami Heat are viewed as the frontrunner to sign Lowry. The Dallas Mavericks and New Orleans Pelicans are also expected to be interested.

The Heat have a $19.4 million team option on Goran Dragic, with a decision due imminently. If that option is declined, it opens up the possibility of Lowry being brought in. The Heat leaned primarily on Kendrick Nunn as their starting point guard last season, and while his scoring ability has value, he’s a restricted free agent and Lowry would be a definite upgrade.

The Heat targeted Lowry in trade talks during the season, but were unable to get a deal over the line. That interest clearly hasn’t faded, and the fit makes a lot of sense for a Heat team aiming to contend now.

Photo: Chensiyuan/Wikimedia via CC-by-S.A. 4.0