Considering the Miami Heat have twice in the past two weeks played games in the void of their top two centers, it might sound odd to consider that the team’s depth at the position might stand as strong as it has been in years.
And yet, even with the recent absences of Bam Adebayo and Dewayne Dedmon, that appears to be the case, potentially creating eventual dollar decisions for the front office.
With Adebayo in the second year of a five-year, $163 million extension, there is no debate about the team’s leading middle man, nothing similar to the previous Adebayo-Hassan Whiteside decision faced by the team.
But when projecting the short term and the long run, the options for Adebayo’s primary backup arguably are as intriguing as when the Heat featured the likes of Isaac Austin, Chris Andersen, Michael Doleac, Amar’e Stoudemire, Kelly Olynyk, Adebayo and even Alonzo Mourning as backup centers.
Dewayne Dedmon: In many ways, there is a ticking clock with Dedman.
First, he is on the clock on the injured list, missing his third consecutive game Wednesday night against the visiting Los Angeles Lakers due to plantar fasciitis in his left foot.
And based on comments from coach Erik Spoelstra, Dedmon could remain sidelined for an indefinite period.
“There’s no point in resting him and then if we’re going to be right back to where he is where we’re managing it every single day,” Spoelstra said, with Dedmon missing five games this season with the ailment, including three previous one-game absences. “He would like to put it behind you. I don’t know necessarily if he’ll be able to fully put it behind him the way Gabe [Vincent] was with the week or two weeks rest. But our hope is that it will be a lot better than it was.”
The second clock element with Dedmon is the Jan. 15 date when his trade restriction will be lifted, after re-signing in the offseason for a significant raise.
In the view of some, a primary reason the Heat reupped Dedmon, 33, at $4.7 million for this season was to be able to aggregate his salary in a trade.
Orlando Robinson: Somewhat the flavor of the week after outplaying Rudy Gobert in the Heat’s Monday night victory over the Utah Jazz, Robinson’s two-way contract not only offers the Heat a discount alternative behind Adebayo, but also a potential backup, should Dedmon be moved out of the picture by his injury or a trade.
Undrafted out of Fresno State, Robinson has significantly improved his physique and his game since an uneven summer league with the Heat, upgrading his game with the Heat’s G League affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce.
“I would say arguably he’s the most improved since summer league of all the guys that we’ve had,” Spoelstra said.
While not necessarily athletic, Robinson, at 22, offers a mature approach, willing to complement others in the lineup.
“For me,” Robinson said, “it’s just another step on the journey.
“I just want to keep doing everything that I can to help the team win.”
Omer Yurtseven: Considering he has not played this season since preseason ankle pain led to November surgery, a timetable that won’t have him back for weeks, it is easy to forget last season’s breakout weeks by Yurtseven when Adebayo was sidelined.
During that stretch, Yurtseven set a Heat rookie record with 14 consecutive games with double-digit rebounds and four consecutive games with at least 16 rebounds, with a four-game stretch of double-doubles.
Then, in training camp, the Heat experimented on numerous occasions with lineups featuring both Yurtseven and Adebayo, including both as 3-point shooters.
Yurtseven will be a restricted free agent at season’s end, necessitating a $2.2 million qualifying offer, making it possible the Heat turn to a potentially most cost-efficient alternative in Robinson.
Nikola Jovic: Even in his position-less world, Spoelstra has seemingly gone out of his way to avoid the term “center” and “Jovic” in the same sentence, which makes sense based on the lithe build of the 19-year-old first-round pick.
Still, the Heat three times have opened with Jovic at center, including Monday night’s victory over the visiting Jazz.
At 6 feet 11, Jovic could certainly grow into a center in a five-out lineup, but that does not appear to be imminent enough to be considered any time soon as Adebayo’s primary backup.
Soruce : https://www.mercurynews.com/2022/12/28/heat-now-with-intriguing-options-alternatives-when-it-comes-to-bam-adebayos-primary-backup/