The Heat ended its Las Vegas Summer League schedule with a thud on Saturday, losing 81-55 to Portland, while playing without leading scorers Terrel Harris and Norris Cole.
Heat assistant/summer league coach David Fizdale, whose team finished the week 3-2, also opted not to use center Mickell Gladness and forward Drew Viney, a Loyola Marymount alum who was probably the most impressive of Miami’s rookies in Las Vegas.
Center Dexter Pittman led Miami with 13 points on Saturday and had some good moments offensively during the week, averaging 11.5 points and 4.3 rebounds. But he remained foul-prone, committing 21 in 76 minutes.
Harris, who hopes the Heat offers him a new contract, scored 25 points in Miami’s Friday win against the Spurs and averaged 15.5 points on 45.5 percent shooting in four games, with just two turnovers. Cole averaged 13 points, 4.8 assists and 2.3 turnovers and did his best work in Monday’s 106-56 thumping of the Lakers.
The Heat, which has 13 guaranteed contracts, eventually will decide whether to sign a veteran center or instead opt for a young player such as Gladness, who played just 12 minutes per game but looked good at times (5.0 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.5 blocks).
Rookie center Justin Hamilton, the Heat’s second-round pick, missed the first two games with a hamstring injury but averaged 9.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 19 minutes in the other three. He might be stashed in Europe next season. Jarvis Varnado, another internal candidate at center, played only two games because of an injury (2.0 points, 3.5 rebounds).
Among veteran centers, the Heat has had conversations with Darko Milicic, whose agent said Saturday there’s no update beyond an initial “fact-finding” inquiry from Miami. The Heat hasn’t ruled out re-signing Ronny Turiaf if he’s interested in taking the $1.2 million minimum. Miami has not called about Chris Anderson, released by Denver. Power forward Andray Blatche, amnestied by Washington, could be an option, though Miami did not contact his agent when he initially cleared waivers.
NOTE: Check back Saturday night for the Sunday buzz, including lots of Dolphins and UM/NCAA investigation tidbits.