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1 posts from July 8, 2013

July 08, 2013

Heat summer league notes; Canes, Dolphins tidbits

Some quick notes on a Monday night:

### One of the questions entering Summer League was whether Heat center Jarvis Varnado had improved enough to factor into a decision about whether to use the amnesty clause on Joel Anthony, who is due $3.8 million each of the next two seasons.

So far, the results have been mixed. Varnado, the NCAA’s all-time leading shot blocker, has nine blocks in two games, including five in Monday’s 93-86 victory against Brooklyn in Orlando. 

He has expanded his offensive game, evident by his 19-foot jumper in Sunday’s loss to Utah, but also has had trouble finishing around the basket at times and shot 4 for 11 and 2 for 7 in the two games.

His rebounding numbers (13 in two games) have been decent but hardly extraordinary. He has been foul-prone, with six in each game. (Unlike normal NBA games, players are not disqualified from summer league play for collecting six fouls.)

And on Monday, Varnado was outplayed by Nets center Mason Plumlee, who had 9 rebounds and 23 points – including a follow-up dunk over Varnado late in the game. 

### Forward James Ennis, who struggled in the summer league opener, played better Monday, with 17 points (6 for 12 shooting), five rebounds and three steals. Former Belmont point guard Ian Clark replaced Myck Kabongo in the starting lineup and scored 19 points but also committed five turnovers. Kabongo had two points in 12 minutes on Monday.

The Heat’s biggest standout Monday was former Tennessee forward Scottie Hopson, who scored 22 points in 26 minutes on 8 for 13 shooting. He played in Greece and Israel the past two seasons. The Heat continues summer league play at 5 p.m. Tuesday against Orlando (NBA TV).

### There remains optimism about the Heat’s chances of re-signing Chris Andersen because of his stated desire to return and because the more he signs for, the more he's due from Denver (as a result of being amnestied) would be reduced. But eight days into free agency, Andersen still had not informed the Heat of a decision as of late Monday afternoon.

The Heat wants him back for $1.7 million, which is the NBA veteran’s minimum for players with his years of service, plus the maximum 20 percent raise. If Andersen got the $3.2 million mini-level exception that’s available to the Heat and other taxpaying teams, the $4.5 million he’s due next season from Denver would be reduced, by an amount believed to be $900,000. 

The offset would be much less, believed to be $150,000, if he signs for the minimum.

Andersen is expected to make a decision this week. Any decision on whether to amnesty Anthony would need to be made between Thursday and July 17.

### For those who have asked, Pro Bowl fullback Vonta Leach still had not decided as of Monday evening whether to join the Dolphins, who are interested in him on a low-money deal. Though he likes Miami, he has been waiting for a couple weeks to see if another team is willing to give him a more sizable contract.

The Dolphins remain the front-runner unless another team surprisingly wows him financially in the next two weeks.

### One other Heat note: Center Chris Bosh will visit India from July 16-19 to help promote the sport. He will be the 22nd NBA or WNBA player to visit there since 2006. 

### There was no surprise at UM on Monday when two-sport star Derrick Griffin announced he’s going to prep school for three months. UM was never very optimistic that he would qualify academically this year. He still hasn’t met the necessary ACT requirements.

Griffin told stateoftheu.com that he will enroll at UM in December and play basketball this season, then play football, as well, next season. But he still needs to qualify before any of that becomes a reality. Griffin is a receiver in football, a forward in basketball.

### UM never vigorously pursued Booker T. Washington quarterback Treon Harris and never had interest in him as a quarterback. So there was no great disappointment at UM when Harris announced Monday that he is orally committing to FSU. “That’s the school I’ve liked ever since I was a young kid,” he told rivals.com.

### Hialeah quarterback Alin Edouard’s commitment to UM remains shaky. He re-tweeted a 247sports.com story on Monday that said it seems only a matter of time before he de-commits. He said he plans to visit other schools and that Tennessee, Louisville, Arizona, Cincinnati and Marshall have been pursuing him the most aggressively.