Some Saturday Heat and Canes items (See the 7th paragraph, in bold, for an update on Saturday night's Heat Summer League result):
### When the Heat begins play against Toronto at 10:30 tonight in the Las Vegas Summer League, one of the issues that must be sorted out over the next week is whether second-round pick James Ennis needs to be stashed overseas or whether it’s prudent to bring him to training camp.
The early impression is that Ennis -- an athletic, rangy 6-7 forward -- probably needs more development overseas. He’s athletic and a strong finisher in the open court, but his game needs polishing – especially his ball-handling and perimeter shooting. After a rocky start, he finished 11th in scoring in the Orlando Summer League, at 14.3 points per game (43.2 percent shooting) and 4.3 rebounds.
The Heat’s best player in the Orlando Summer League, guard Ian Clark, is playing for Golden State in Las Vegas, but his representation said he remains very interested in Miami if the Heat is interested. (It could come down to which NBA team is willing to offer him much of a financial guarantee.)
Clark playing shooting guard at Belmont, where he finished third in the nation in three-point field goal percentage last season. He transitioned to point guard with the Heat in Orlando and finished fifth in the Summer League in scoring at 16 points per game, shooting 49 percent.
“He had a very good week for us,” Pat Riley said, adding he tried to dissuade Clark from shifting to Golden State’s team in Las Vegas.
Former Texas point guard Myck Kabongo was a disappointment in Orlando, and his playing time was limited as the week progressed. And though center Jarvis Varnado had some good moments, he was clearly outplayed by first-round centers Andre Drummond (Detroit) and Mason Plumlee (Brooklyn) in head to head matchups.
### LATE SATURDAY NIGHT UPDATE: Ennis was decent, but hardly extraordinary, in the Heat's 81-72 win against Toronto to open its Las Vegas Summer League play. Ennis had seven points and seven rebounds but also four turnovers and shot 3 for 9.... Varnado had a good night (13 points, five rebounds, four blocks).... Kabongo was again a non-factor, with two points in 16 minutes. And the Heat was outscored by 22 with Kabongo on the floor.... D.J. Kennedy (St. John's) and James Nunnally (Santa Barbara) led Miami 16 apiece.... FYI: Ian Clark played just 11 minutes for Golden State on Saturday, scoring one point.
### Riley, who said in late June that the Heat would pursue no outside free agent aggressively in July, surprisingly disclosed Friday that Miami pursued several perimeter players with its $3.2 million mid-level exception, but none of them bit. (It would have been easier to amnesty Mike Miller if one of them had accepted the offer.)
Who was Riley talking about? Keep in mind that aside from a star like Chris Paul, there were a half dozen appealing unrestricted free agent perimeter players (younger than 30) who have agreed to deals so far this offseason, at higher than the Heat’s mini mid-level: J.J. Redick, Jarrett Jack, O.J. Mayo, Corey Brewer, Martell Webster and 6-7 small forward Chase Budinger (who does most of his offensive work on the perimeter).
There’s nobody remaining in free agency who’s probably worth the exception money, Riley said. And none of the shooting guards, small forwards or swingmen still available are clearly better than Miller. Richard Hamilton, Metta World Peace and Corey Maggette are serviceable, but Riley said he is interested in young veterans, and none of those three qualifies.
The other unrestricted free agents still available at those positions include James White, Damien Wilkins, Sam Young, Dahntay Jones, Luke Babbitt, Hedo Tukoglu (very much on the decline), Roger Mason Jr. and Cartier Martin.
### Riley and owner Micky Arison will meet Tuesday and decide whether the Heat will use the amnesty provision before the deadline at 11:59 p.m. Tuesday. Riley has said he doesn't plan to use it "as of today," but clearly left the door open for a change of plans.
### The Heat's Las Vegas opener will air on NBA TV, on tape, at noon Sunday. NBA TV will carry the Heat's Sunday game against Atlanta live at 10 p.m.
### Tough start for the former UM players at the Las Vegas Summer League. As many of you know, Dallas guard Shane Larkin broke his ankle in a practice and will miss two to three months. Kenny Kadji started Cleveland's opener in Las Vegas and shot 3 for 9 and committed six fouls in 21 minutes, closing with six points and six rebounds. Durand Scott received only 2:55 minutes of playing time for the Spurs and went scoreless.
### Among players who received DNP/CDs (did not play, coach’s decision) in their Las Vegas openers: former Heat center Dexter Pittman (on the Spurs) and ex-Gators guard Kenny Boynton (on the Lakers).
### Already with 20 oral commitments, UM continues to pursue a bunch of other players in the 2014 class, including Raleigh-N.C. four-star receiver Braxton Berrios, who reportedly is strongly considering Miami. He grew up a Canes fan and has cousins in Miami.
And four-star junior college defensive tackle Corey Johnson told rivals.com that he will choose between UM and Kentucky.
### UM players continue to anticipate that Wisconsin starting defensive end David Gilbert will transfer to UM, but the school says it's still not definite. And with a history of foot problems, he must be cleared medically. Having graduated from Wisconsin, he would be eligible to play immediately.
### The UM baseball program received very good news Friday when it learned that only two of its commitments signed MLB contracts before the 5 p.m. deadline for draft picks to sign. That means UM will welcome these four well-regarded newcomers, among others:
Willie Abreu (Hialeah, FL – Mater Academy – OF), who was picked in the 14th round by Cincinnati; Derik Beauprez (Cherry Creek, CO – Cherry Hills Village – RHP/1B), who was picked in by the 25th round by Boston… Zack Collins (Pembroke Pines, FL – American Heritage – C/1B), who was chosen in the 27th round by Cincinnati; and Jacob Heyward (McDonough, GA – Eagle’s Landing Christian – OF), who was plucked in the 38th round by Atlanta.
According to Perfect Game’s ranking, five of UM’s incoming players rank in the top 200 high school prospects in the nation (led by Collins at No. 31). And 12 of UM’s newcomers are in the top 500.
Also significant: pitcher Bryan Radziewski (9-3, 1.78 ERA), selected in the 29th round by St. Louis, decided to return to UM.
### Check back later for the Sunday buzz, with Heat, Marlins, Canes and lots of Dolphins.