In a recent episode of the Miami Heat podcast 5 on the Floor, host Ethan J. Skolnick said that the Heat view Gabe Vincent as their backup point guard and Max Strus as their backup small forward. Miami gave them both standard, two-year deals; they had two-way contracts last season.
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Strus and Vincent may not have rotation spots once Victor Oladipo comes back, but they’ll have to play spot minutes until he does. Entering the 2021-22 season, Tyler Herro slots in as the sixth man who will direct the offense in the second unit. He’ll need Strus and Vincent to knock down shots. (It’s safe to assume Markieff Morris and Dewayne Dedmon will back up P.J. Tucker and Bam Adebayo, respectively. Sorry, KZ Okpala.)
Neither former two-way player proved they were ready for regular rotation minutes last year. Vincent went from shooting 40 percent from 3 in the G League to 30 percent in the NBA last year. Strus wasn’t much better, at 33.8 percent from 3. Now, in Duncan Robinson’s 15-game rookie season when he was on a two-way deal, he made only 10 of his 35 attempts from downtown. But Vincent and Strus each attempted a much higher volume of 3s last year — just shy of 150 each.
The Heat have decided not to add a 15th player like J.J. Redick. Miami will instead rely on these two unproven players in the regular season. Maybe a full off-season — Max Strus looked good in summer league — will turn them into competent 15-minute-per-game regular-season players. Or maybe the Heat will need to look to make a trade or a signing to shore up their bench.