Heat players mull future as long offseason begins

Milwaukee Bucks forward Khris Middleton (22) guards against Miami Heat guard Duncan Robinson (55) during the first half of Game 2 of their NBA basketball first-round playoff series Monday, May 24, 2021, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps) (Jeffrey Phelps, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

MIAMI – The Miami Heat enter the offseason earlier than they would have liked.

The Heat were swept out of the first round of the Playoff by the Milwaukee Bucks.

The Heat also enter the offseason with plenty of questions about the future of their roster.

One of the big decisions that the Heat will have to make is if they’re willing to give sharp-shooter Duncan Robinson a big contract.

Robinson said on Monday, “First and foremost a fit, a place where I can feel comfortable. Winning is obviously a priority for me as well. It’s also a business and there’s an opportunity for me to make money to take care of people I love the most. That’s also a priority as well. Any place that can offer all of those is a destination that I would be excited about. Obviously, I’ve had an incredible experience here. Love this organization for many different reasons... We’ll see, for the most part I haven’t shifted my focus towards that just yet.”

Udonis Haslem said he will need to have a conversation with Erik Spoelstra down the line, but he’s focused on his family and his business right now.

Haslem said of his role, “It’s valued because it’s earned. Spo doesn’t praise me and these don’t listen to me just because I show up every day. I roll up my sleeves, I’m in the trenches and I get it done... I ain’t just look like this. I ain’t a model. So obviously I’m doing this for a reason.”

Haslem said the day he can’t do his job, he wouldn’t consider coming back.

The veteran said for the young players to be the best versions of themselves, he needs to push the younger players.

Haslem said that everything head coach Erik Spoelstra gives him is earned.

Haslem said, “The jumper is still there, the energy is still there, and the rebounding is there... This game hasn’t changed. It’s actually gotten easier... People don’t understand the sacrifices of someone like me who can still play this game and have to sit there every night and puts in all the work to put it into others.”

The reward for Haslem is to see his teammates be the best version of themselves, “It’s not an accident, it’s not a coincidence, I’m earning everything that I’m given from Spo, this coaching staff, and these players.”

Haslem said he’s going to the gym tomorrow because he can’t keep up the younger players unless he puts in the work.

Guard Max Strus said he has shown that he’s able to play at this level.

Strus said he didn’t shoot it that well this year and wants to work on his consistency.

Strus said, “For me, I think you just look at Duncan. I think I can be like him. He shoots 40-percent from 3. Just getting reps like that... Being able to shoot off of any action and adding everything to my arsenal.”

About the Author:

David Lang is executive producer of the Local 10 sports department.