The Miami Heat had a pretty good showing in the Orlando Summer League, but now will be challenged even more in Las Vegas.
The Las Vegas Summer League began on Friday, and the Heat will begin on Saturday. It's yet to be determined if Justise Winslow will be playing, as his hope was not to considering he will begin playing with the USA Select team helping prepare Team USA for the Olympics.
The Heat will bring virtually the same roster to Vegas with a few adjustments. Shawn Jones and Kenny Gabriel will not be playing with the team this time around, and Okaro White (Florida St.) will be joining them.
Saturday: Miami vs Dallas -- 10:00 PM EST
Monday: Miami vs Denver -- 8:00 PM EST
Tuesday: Miami vs Phoenix -- 6:30 PM EST
Wednesday-Monday: Tournament Play -- TBD
What are we looking for?
Now, we are watching very closely for what Rodney McGruder can contribute to the Miami Heat. McGruder was signed for 3 years, non-guaranteed this week in the wake of Dwyane Wade leaving. McGruder is a good shooting guard and is resembling of Rip Hamilton. That's one thing to look for in Vegas.
Another will be for standouts looking to be invited to Training Camp. Among those in consideration: Michael Carrera, Stefan Jankovic, Damion Lee, David Walker, and Norvel Pelle. There can be other standouts, but this is the beginning based on what we saw in Orlando. Remember, those invited to training camp can also be sent to the Sioux Falls Skyforce for further evaluation. That's exactly what happened with McGruder.
We do not expect Justise Winslow or Josh Richardson to play, but only be present. The Heat would love to see continued growth and experience from Briante Weber. They'd also like to see McGruder continue to play well. Beyond that, we are looking to see if Jankovic can play against big players and if he can stretch the floor against multiple types of talent. We are looking to see if Damion Lee can be a highlight-type player. We are looking to see if David Walker has the defensive capability to work in the NBA alongside his offensive talent. We are looking to see if Norvel Pelle has the potential to be an energy player.
Clearly, there's a lot that the Heat scouts are trying to evaluate in their team, and even in other players there as well.
Again, remember, it's about the process and player evaluation, not necessarily the wins and losses. Juwan Howard will still be coaching the team. You can see many of the games on NBATV.