The Heat’s rookies should be getting people excited
The Heat rebooted over the offseason, and they didn't just do it through signings and getting healthy.
Sure, Miami signed Amar'e Stoudemire and Gerald Green. It is bringing back a healthy Chris Bosh, Josh McRoberts and Dwyane Wade. It'll use Hassan Whiteside for an actual, full season. It had Goran Dragic attend his first training camp and preseason with Erik Spoelstra and Co. But don't forget about the kids, either.
Over at Hot Hot Hoops, nrichards talks about the slightly forgotten Heat rookies who have contributed nicely this offseason: Josh Richardson and Justise Winslow.
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There's no question Winslow expects to be a bigger help than Richardson. The 2015 first-round pick is a projected two-way player, who should be able to defend on the wing right away, and has done a nice job in doing so during the preseason.
We've also seen some development in Winslow's offensive game during the exhibition slate. His shot is still inconsistent, but he's shown some almost Dwyane Wade-like moves slashing to the hoop. His Eurostep is already there. If he can be a legitimate contributor this year, regardless of what Richardson ends up doing, the Heat could find themselves among the tops in the East.
“He's good,” Bosh said about Winslow, the Duke product, to CBS Miami. “I mean he's big, he's physical, I don't really think he's really 19. I gotta see his birth certificate on that one. He's big and physical, strong and fast. He's just that classic Miami Heat player that Pat Riley loves — long arms, his athleticism, he's developing his jump shot.”
If you remember the press conference Riley and Spo had with Winslow after he was drafted, the two gushed about the maturity and high basketball intelligence of the Houston native, which was most prominent throughout the NCAA tournament where he, along with Jahlil Okafor, helped lead Duke to the national title.
“But the thing I like about him most is he's got a great basketball I.Q. to be so young. He's in the right spots. You don't have to tell him much,” Bosh said.