Final thoughts as the Heat closed out its five-games-in-seven-days stint in the Vegas summer league ...
BANKING ON BEASLEY: Had a chance Saturday to catch up with Minnesota Timberwolves coach Kurt
Rambis, who sees the acquisition of former Heat forward Michael Beasley as the ultimate low-risk, high-reward project.
"It didn't cost us much to get him," Rambis said. "So it was a no-brainer for us to go after him."
Beasley, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2008 draft, was dealt to the T-Wolves for two second-round picks in what amounted to a cap-clearing move that allowed the Heat to retain Udonis Haslem and bring on Mike Miller. Even the most objective observer could see that Beasley easily has more upside than either of those players. There's a good chance that when his career is done, his production will dwarf that of Miller and Haslem - possibly combined.
But Beasley just didn't fit into the Heat's plans after two seasons of issues on and off the court that led to him struggling to live up to expectations. And in the photo above, he looks just like a player who got traded to, well, Minnesota. At any rate, Rambis says Beasley is a microcosm of the T-Wolves roster. A lot of youth. Plenty of promise. Low expectations. High ceilings. And an abundance of opportunity to develop - even if the results aren't always positive in the win column.
"With his skill set, he fits in very well with the way I want to run my offense," Rambis said Saturday. "I can see him playing a couple of positions. And where he likes to score from is exactly where we like to operate, whether it's two-man basketball or individual basketball."
Off the court, Rambis said the T-Wolves are well aware of Beasley's stint last summer in the league's substance-abuse program, and the potential short leash he could be on in the face of stiffer penalties if there's another violation. But Rambis also said he believes Beasley is appreciative of this second chance to sort of rebuild his image in Minnesota.
"I talked to him a little bit, but it was the day after he had emergency root canal surgery last week," Rambis said. "So he probably wasn't in too good of a mood. We've heard about his issues in the past. But, from everybody I've talked to, there's not a mean bone in his body. Lord knows none of us want to be hammered for all of the youthful mistakes we've made in our life."
Beasley has transitioned from a veteran Heat team to a T-Wolves roster that includes 10 players who are 24 or younger. In Minnesota, Beasley will benefit from two things that were sometimes lacking for him in Miami. Patience. And Production.
In the end, it will probably be a win-win situation for both sides.
"I just see him as somebody who, like a lot of our players, needs time, needs growth, needs development, needs maturity," Rambis said. "But we have good pieces. And I see him as a very good piece to our growing group of guys."
SUMMER SCHOOL'S OUT: The Heat closed out its five-game summer league slate with a 4-1 record after Saturday's 73-69 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers. It was a game that featured little drama. With LeBron
James and Dan Gilbert not in attendance, that was to be expected. That intensity and action will come when they meet in the regular season.
Still, Heat summer league coach Dave Fizdale could only think about the missed opportunity. "We were one three-pointer away from being undefeated," a smiling Fizdale said. "That would have been really nice."
The shot Fiz was referring to was the 34-foot dagger former Heat camp invitee Brian Chase nailed for Golden State to send Miami to a 72-69 setback on Wednesday.
But overall, the Heat got solid performances from Shavlik Randolph and Kenny Hasbrouck. Dexter Pittman, the massive center Miami picked in the second-round of the draft out of Texas, came up a bit small in summer league. A toe injury contributed to his struggles. Pittman has the size and skill set to be a solid big man in the league. But he still has a ways to go before he realizes that potential. The next two months are going to be crucial for Pittman in terms of his development going into training camp. But he got the most important thing accomplished this week. He signed that three-year contract.
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra was generally pleased with the Heat's week of summer league work.
"It was a fun group," Spoelstra said. "These guys really came to work. They were very professional and hungry. They really got after it. You could see that the work they've put in paid off. There are opportunities for these guys, even when there doesn't appear to be one. Some of these guys will break through."
AS THE ROSTER TURNS: Miami made another roster addition official on Saturday when the team announced the signing of Zydrunas Ilgauskas. Big Z agreed to a two-year contract worth about $2.8 million
- which equates to the veteran's minimum. The second year of Big Z's deal is at his option.
The Heat is also poised to bring back point guard Carlos Arroyo and center Jamaal Magloire on veteran minimum deals. Juwan Howard also is on the way. Those additions would bring the Heat's roster to 12 (Wade, James, Bosh, Chalmers, Miller, Haslem, Anthony, Pittman, Ilgauskas, Arroyo, Magloire, Howard). The regular-season limit is 15.
Miami will likely add another perimeter defender/shooter (In-house options are James Jones or Yakhouba Diawara). That could leave another spot or two, possibly, for development players from the summer league roster. If that's the case, Randolph, Hasbrouck or Jarvis Varnado are among the top options.
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