Although he’s averaging about two fewer points (15.7 per game) and two fewer shots per game than he did during the Heat’s 11-30 start, Whiteside is shooting better from the field (57.2 percent) and better at the free throw line (71.8 percent) and has posted the fifth-highest plus/minus rating (+142) among the league’s 94 centers over the Heat’s current 23-6 run. Through Miami’s first 41 games, Whiteside ranked 83rd among centers in plus/minus (-100). “He puts our basketball team into a different level when he plays at his highest level and when he keeps on pushing limits to get to another level,” Spoelstra said last week. “He’s had impactful games in the last six weeks that weren’t even close to a 20-20 type game. There’s not many guys like him. There really aren’t.”
August 23, 2017 | 12:06 pm EDT Update
Charlotte Hornets General Manager Rich Cho announced today that the team has signed guard Julyan Stone. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed. Stone (6-6, 200) has appeared in 47 career NBA games (two starts) over three seasons with Denver (2011-13) and Toronto (2013-14), averaging 1.3 points, 1.1 assists and 1.0 rebounds in 7.0 minutes per contest. He most recently joins Charlotte after a stint with Reyer Venezia Mestre of the Lega Basket Serie A in Italy, appearing in 26 games and helping the squad to a 2017 Serie A Championship. Prior to his time with Reyer Venezia Mestre, Stone played with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants of the NBA G League last season, seeing action in 33 games (31 starts), averaging 7.9 points, 8.6 assists, 6.0 rebounds and 1.3 steals in 34.7 minutes per contest.
Boris Diaw did not close any door for his future. Diaw is still free agent and did not rule out a return to Europe. “I won’t close any door” the French forward told Le Figaro. “I will be in the NBA next season? I don’t have a club yet. I have a few contacts with teams but nothing concrete. So I am not sure I will be in the NBA 100% next season. A return to Europe? It may happen” Diaw added.
Gary Washburn: Jayson Tatum said he briefly exchanged text messages with Kyrie Irving yesterday. Said Kyrie was excited about joining #Celtics
But questions remain about Thomas, who was hobbled by a serious hip injury during the most recent playoffs and is still set to undergo tests before training camp to establish his status. What’s more, the fact that he infamously called for the Celtics to “Back up the Brink’s truck” next summer when he’s eligible for a huge payday means Cleveland will have to eventually find clarity on this front. For James’ part, he’s on record as a huge fan of Thomas. “(The Celtics) got a clear-cut star and that’s Isaiah,” James said in late December. “The notion that they don’t have a star I think is ‘fugazi’ as Donnie Brasco would say. Earlier I was watching the movie. So, they’re a good team for a reason and it starts with the head of the snake and that’s Isaiah.”