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Heat reduce roster down to 15 after waiving five players

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No surprises here, with James Ennis remaining safe for now.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

As expected, the Miami Heat cut down their roster to the regular season maximum of 15 players by waiving forward Greg Whittington, center Keith Benson and guards Tre Kelley, John Lucas III and Briante Weber.

After their final preseason game against the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday, the Heat still had their 20-man training camp roster intact but they made today's moves in advance of Monday's NBA roster deadline.

Benson appeared in five preseason contests with one start, averaging 5.8 points, 5.6 rebounds and 11.8 minutes. Kelley averaged 3.5 points, 4.0 assists and 13.8 minutes in two preseason games off the bench. Lucas III, who was signed just before training camp started, appeared in one game. Whittington, who had his moments with the Heat in summer league, played in four preseason games and averaged 2.8 points, 4.8 rebounds and 16.1 minutes.

Some of these players may choose to sign with the Heat's Development League affiliate team the Sioux Falls Skyforce. Tyler Johnson took that option last year after he was cut at the end of training camp and later signed on with the Heat in January.

While safe for now, James Ennis still remains on the bubble as his contract becomes fully guaranteed for the season if he makes the opening-night roster.