“I’m Rookie of the Year,” Nunn said in an interview with the South Florida Sun Sentinel, not backing down even when reminded of the superior statistics of Memphis Grizzlies breakout rookie Ja Morant.
Miami Heat guard Dion Waiters was visibly upset after Friday’s preseason finale against the Houston Rockets. It had almost nothing to do with the Heat’s 144-133 loss at home. Nor was Waiters miffed about only getting four shot attempts. The frustration was solely a matter of playing time. After the game, he was among the first dressed in the locker room. With his head down and a stern facial expression, he made his way out the side door and did not say a word to anyone.
The next consideration, naturally, is what will become of Waiters, who usually has the common decency to wait until midseason or so to cause a ruckus within the Heat locker room. A check with multiple front-office executives to gauge trade interest in Waiters didn’t bode well for Miami. It would appear he’s not going anywhere. “They’ve been trying to trade him since last Christmas,” one GM told Heavy.com. “No one was trying to take him on then. After this kind of thing, it would be really hard to take him on now. He has had this kind of junk attached to him just about his whole career.”
Within the organization, there was some relief that Waiters was suspended, a signal that his antics won’t be tolerated. The main issue for Waiters appears to be the deterioration of his minutes, which probably won’t improve much with the rise of rookie guard Tyler Herro, a potential starter.
Waiters didn’t help anything by poking around on Instagram and writing, “lol” when a fan suggested rookie guard Tyler Herro is better than him. He also skewered coach Erik Spoelstra, who led the LeBron James-Dwayne Wade-Chris Bosh Heat to two championships, saying, “I would win if I had Bron and Wade plus Bosh.”
Tim Reynolds: Udonis Haslem on Dion Waiters: “Dion’s our brother. Hope he gets back as soon as possible. I love Dion.”
Shandel Richardson: Erik Spoelstra will offer no further comment on Dion Waiters. Heat sticking with statement from Pat Riley
Tim Reynolds: Source: Heat suspending Dion Waiters for season opener, possibly longer.
Surya Fernandez: Heat suspending Dion Waiters for one game. “There were a number of unacceptable incidents this week, culminating with his unprofessional conduct on the bench last night,” said HEAT President Pat Riley. “As a consequence, I feel we had to suspend him.”
Bobby Marks: The one game Dion Waiters suspension will cost the guard $83,448. There is no tax relief since it was a team issued suspension.
Hassan Whiteside did play in the fourth quarter or overtime of Saturday’s 110-109 overtime loss to the Nets. He’s not happy about it and he may be doubting his future with the Heat.
“Man, it’s annoying. Why we matching up?,” Whiteside said after the game. ‘We got one of the best centers in the league. Why we matching up? A lot of teams don’t have a good center. They’re going to use their strength. It’s bull—-. It’s really bull—-, man. There’s a lot of teams that could use a center. [Expletive]. That’s bull—-.”
“I don’t know if it’s because of a minutes restriction or what. The minutes have been like that all year,” Whiteside said. “It’s just really frustrating and its been frustrating. It’s tough. I don’t know man, it’s crazy. I don’t understand it.” When asked if the lack of minutes has made him question his future in Miami, Whiteside said: “I don’t know. Maybe.”
Ira Winderman: Spoelstra, asked if there’s anything he doesn’t like about his team, “Yeah, there’s quite a bit ... We will get better.”
Just one day after Dion Waiters and Erik Spoelstra pointed to the Heat’s screen-setting as an issue, center Hassan Whiteside had another take on the subject. “I mean, it’s just, it’s just, man, the guys aren’t being patient,” Whiteside said when asked about the issue after Tuesday’s practice. “Me and D-Wade showed that all year long. We ain’t had no problems. It’s just being patient, man, just be patient, wait for the screen and let guys set you up and make decisions. There’s so many lobs and those lobs just don’t make themselves. It has to be something.”
But Miami’s starting backcourt of Goran Dragic and Waiters believe the screen-setter is at fault. “It’s really important,” Dragic said. “If me and Dion want to get in the paint then of course we need good screens so we can get there and break down the guys and try to spray it or finish. When there’s no screen then it’s really tough because then you have two guards, two players with nowhere to go. So that’s why it’s really hard to get open shots and create open shots.”
June 15, 2021 | 12:30 pm EDT Update
Gary Washburn: #Celtics assistant coach Jerome Allen has officially accepted an offer to join Dwane Casey’s staff with the Detroit #Pistons according to an NBA source. Allen was one of Brad Stevens’ assistants who interviewed for the BOS job.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Detroit is finalizing deals to hire three new assistants to Dwane Casey’s staff: Boston’s Jerome Allen, ex-Indiana assistant Bill Bayno and Sacramento’s Rex Kalamian, sources tell ESPN. Kalamian, Bayno worked for Casey in Toronto. Allen interviewed for Celtics HC job last week.
Sarah K. Spencer: I asked Nate McMillan what stood out to him the most about Trae Young’s performance last night (18 assists, just 2 turnovers, 25 points). “He called a lot of plays last night on his own, & we want to build off of that, giving him the freedom to call sets & get guys involved.”
June 15, 2021 | 11:37 am EDT Update
Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard and Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green are among the initial commitments to Team USA for the Tokyo Olympics this summer, sources tell The Athletic. Lillard, who turns 31 on July 15, will be playing in his first Olympics after dropping out of consideration for the 2016 Rio Games, where the U.S. men’s team won its third consecutive gold medal. Green, 31, was a part of the 2016 team, which finished the tournament 8-0.
Stevens interviewed Celtics assistants Jay Larranaga, Scott Morrison and Jerome Allen and plans to broaden the search to include Milwaukee Bucks assistant coach Darvin Ham and Billups, a person with knowledge of the process told USA TODAY Sports. ESPN reported the Celtics wanted to interview Nets assistant Ime Udoka, Dallas assistant Jamahl Mosley and Bucks assistant Charles Lee. Coaching insiders indicate the Celtics will hire externally rather than promoting from within.