3 p.m. Tuesday update: Amar'e discusses signing with Heat; Local radio change; A look at Justise Winslow's summer league play, what he has shown, what Wade has discussed with him and why his minutes are being limited
A few highlights from Amar'e Stoudemire's conference call with Heat writers today:
### Why did he come to Miami?
"I believe the team we're establishing can be a contender in the East for sure. Playing back in Florida, I have a lot of roots, friends and family in Florida. I thought it was a great fit."
Stoudemire has a home in South Florida and "I've been there seven years so far."
### He said he got "a lot of calls" from other teams.
### What are the strengths of his game? "I bring instant scoring. That's something I can do my entire career without a problem. Just my leadership qualities will rub off also."
### Stoudemire said he's a power forward who can --- and is willing --- to play center and utilizing that flexibility "is an advantage to us."
### Regarding playing time, Stoudemire said: "My body is strong enough [where] I can play how ever long they need."
### Stoudemire said he never told Pat Riley the role he wanted. "He knew exactly what I bring to the table. The Miami Heat was the first team that visited me in 2010. They're equipped to understand my style of play."
### Stoudemire said the Heat's power rotation can be very good: "It can be really good. For me, to play along Chris [Bosh] and [Hassan] Whiteside. If Chris is in there with me, I can play inside, I can play outside."
### He said Riley "knows the importance of winning" now and that's "he's put us in position.... It's now time to make a push. We understand what we can do this year with the team."
### Stoudemire said he "has known Chris and Dwyane [Wade] for a long time. Dwyane and I played at the Olympics in 2004. I played with Goran Dragic when I was a rookie in Phoenix."
### Stoudemire, who has had knee issues in the past: "I feel great. Two straight years of feeling strong; that's a positive thing for me."
### Stoudemire said he didn't talk to the Heat after his Knicks buyout in February because he wanted to join a championship contender. He opted for Dallas.
### Stoudemire said he has taken some classes at UM and has trained at FIU.
Joe Goodman will have more on Stoudemire in a story later and I'll have UM, Dolphins, Heat and Marlins chatter posted this evening.
### By the way, tonight's Heat-Celtics game at 7 p.m. EST from Las Vegas will be available live only on the NBA's Summer League pay package on the Internet. NBA TV airs the game on tape at 1:30 a.m. tonight.
### Entercom, which purchased The Ticket and 14 other radio stations from Lincoln Financial, apparently wants to bring in its own management.
Maureen Lesourd, who became The Ticket's GM in April 2013, is leaving the station soon.
It's the latest among several high-level changes in local sports-talk radio this year. WMEN-640 has new ownership and is now being run by longtime South Florida broadcast executive Dean Goodman. WQAM hired a new program director this year (Ryan Maguire) and has new ownership (CBS, replacing Beasley).
More Heat chatter from Las Vegas:
After a promising start, Justise Winslow’s first Summer League has hit a minor obstacle, his playing time curtailed by a condition that seldom shows up in any box score: “general soreness.”
And for the past few days, the 10th overall pick in last month’s NBA Draft has been on something of a maintenance program, words that typically applied only to Dwyane Wade in the Heat’s lexicon.
Winslow said he dealt with similar soreness at Duke and can play through it. After all, the rookie forward didn’t miss any of the Blue Devils’ 39 games last season en route to a national championship.
But the Heat is taking no chances. Miami held him out of the final summer league game in Orlando and the first one in Las Vegas, then limited him to 12 minutes in Monday’s 86-83 loss to Denver.
Those 12 minutes featured just one shot attempt (a three-pointer, which he sank, early in the game), an assist, a rebound and two turnovers. Denver’s Ian Clark launched the game-winning three-pointer over him with 1.4 seconds left.
Winslow and the Heat decline to identify the troublesome body parts.
“I felt good out there,” Winslow told me late Monday night inside Cox Pavilion. “Coach is just limiting my minutes. [It’s] just general soreness, from playing a lot of games. Nothing serious.
“I’m out here to play. Coach is going to play who he wants to play. It’s summer league. It’s a long season. More games, more physical, more back-to-back. It’s just something you have to get used to.
“You have to figure out ways to fight through it. Just try to get acclimated to the game as best I can.”
Count Wade among those trying to help prepare Winslow for the rigors of the NBA schedule.
“Everything between me and Dwyane has been helping me transition from college to the pros,” Winslow said. “We barely talk anything Heat [related]. He’s just helping me get adjusted from everything from the lifestyle to the duration of the season, how to take care of my body, diet and nutrition. Everything has been helping me make a smoother transition.”
Heat assistant Dan Craig, who is coaching the team in summer league, said he wasn’t sure if Winslow would be cleared to play more minutes when Miami meets Boston at 7 p.m. Eastern Time on Tuesday.
“We had him on a 10 to 12 minute limit to see how he was feeling,” Craig said of Monday’s game. “His body responded well to it. We’ll get back with the trainers and evaluate his situation for [Tuesday].
“It’s a lot on these guys’ bodies when you have training camp, play in Orlando, then turn around and fly to the West Coast and then play again in Vegas. That’s why we’re keeping an eye on minutes for certain players.”
Winslow displayed all the qualities that appealed to the Heat through the first four games of Summer League: versatility, ball-handling skills, a willingness and ability to play stout defense, good instincts. He averaged 11.5 points in four games in Orlando while playing four positions.
“He has been great for us on both ends of the court,” Craig said. “Very mature, high IQ player for a young guy. Very poised, very confident. Soaks everything up as a player when coaches are talking to him, [in] film sessions. He’s a very skilled individual.”
What has pleased Winslow most about how he has played?
“My ability to make reads offensively and defensively,” he said. “The biggest thing for me is learning the correct spots to be in, especially on defense. I’m going to try to get to the paint.”
On Monday, he took a rebound, dribbled the length of the court and delivered a nifty pass to an open teammate for a layup. So it’s no surprise the Heat has entrusted him with some ball-handling responsibilities.
“It’s something I try to do, trying to handle the ball,” he said. “Guys want the ball in my hand a good amount when I’m out there. It’s hard to stop. When I get a defensive rebound I can push it. It’s probably one of our best offenses, when I can get the ball off the board and push it myself.”
He said because the Heat plays “kind of a position-less system,… I’ve got to be able to do a lot of things ----- post up, cut, set on pick and rolls.”
Improving his mid- and long-range shooting will be one of the priorities this summer. Winslow is shooting 13 for 36 from the field in summer league and 2 for 9 on threes.
He shot 48.6 percent overall and 41.8 percent on threes at Duke, but the three-point line is a shorter distance in college.
“He’s not just going to develop just a midrange [game],” Craig said. “He’s going to develop everything. He’s off to a great start. We’ll have him in the gym with skill development for his entire game.”
After summer league ends, Winslow said he might give his body a bit more rest or do “something light” before resuming rigorous workouts. The Heat will play at least two more games in Las Vegas.
"The most important thing is taking care of my body but you also want to continue to get better,” he said. “Trying to find that balance.”
JOSH RICHARDSON NOTE
### As of Monday, the Heat had not yet made an offer to second-round draft pick Josh Richardson. Miami has been thoroughly impressed by Richardson, who was selected 40th overall, but with an overloaded roster, the Heat wants to assess his Summer League play a bit longer before determining a course of action.
Even if the Heat encourages Richardson to spend a year in Europe --- and there’s no indication that will happen --- Miami would still retain his rights, provided it makes a contract offer. NBA teams retain rights of drafted players until a year after their contract ends with a non-NBA team.
The Heat has 17 players signed, but only 13 have guaranteed contracts. The four who don’t: Hassan Whiteside (who will obviously be on the team), Tyler Johnson, James Ennis and Henry Walker.
Teams can keep 20 players through training camp, but no more than 15 once the season starts.