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Heat’s first-round pick Jovic sizzles in summer-league victory over Warriors with 25 points, ‘No

Perhaps coincidence. Perhaps reason for hope. And certainly perspective needed because it is summer league.

But Nikola Jovic’s best performance three games into summer league came Tuesday in the Heat’s first victory of summer league, a 94-70 decision over the Golden State Warriors at the California Classic at Chase Center.

Scoring 25 points, including 5 of 7 on 3-pointers, and adding nine rebounds, the No. 27 pick in last month’s NBA draft, offered a smoother performance on both ends than his first two outings.

“The transition from Europe to here was really tough,” the Serbian big man said, “and today, thanks to my teammates and coach and everyone who believed in me, my shots went in.

“The first two games were really rough for me. I was just trying to get to know everybody. The game, like I said, it’s different.”

Malik Allen, the Erik Spoelstra assistant who is guiding the Heat summer roster, said it merely was a matter of time for such a moment.

“He’s been so sort of humble, and he wants to be good like right away, which is a great trait to have,” Allen said. “He was almost like apologetic after the last two. And I just told him, ‘You just got to keep playing and keep trusting, keep playing, and keep learning.’ And he’s been great with it.

“You could see it coming, just getting more and more comfortable with what we’re trying to do. He really responded and I was happy for him. Like I said, the last couple of days he’s been too down.”

Whether it was a Dirk Nowtizki-like stepback jumper, confidently converted 3-pointers or defensive containment when switched onto smaller guards, the 6-foot-11 19-year-old showed a greater degree of comfort.

Extra shooting on the team’s July 4 day off helped.

“We had a shooting workout [Sunday],” Jovic said, “trying to get my shot on, and I hit some good shots today. I’m just trying to get used to it.”

For Jovic it all is part of a transition away from his backcourt role overseas.

“I never played power forward or center,” he said, “so this is my first time actually. I know I’m not that good at it.

“I’m trying to get used to it.”

As for Jovic’s defensive stands against Warriors guard Moses Moody, a member of the Warriors’ main roster who scored 13 Tuesday, Allen said the moments were encouraging.

“I can’t sit here and say his NBA defense overall is ready to go in a playoff game,” Allen said. “But, at the same time, he’s done a really, really nice job in terms of picking things up and taking the challenge when teams try to get him switched on the ball.

“That’s what you want. You want competitiveness on the ball and he’s shown that.”

Overall, Jovic said, a step forward.

“I watched how I played. I watched both games a few times,” Jovic said of the Heat’s two opening losses. “Because, like I said, I’m not playing with the ball that much, I have a different role with the team. I’m trying to figure things out.

“After two rough games, I think I looked all right today. Now I know I can get a few more buckets in the NBA.”

The Heat also got 12 points and nine rebounds from forward Haywood Highsmith, a member of the team’s 15-player standard roster, and 11 points from guard Mychael Mulder, who is on a two-way contract.

Also solid with their play were Heat summer tryout candidates Jamaree Bouyea (13 points) and Kyle Allman Jr. (10 assists).

Guard Javonte Smart, who led the Heat in scoring in each of their first two games at the California Classic, was given the day off, with five more summer-league games to follow for the Heat at the NBA Las Vegas Summer League.

The Heat also played without forward Jamal Cain, who was listed in NBA health-and-safety protocols for the second consecutive game.

The Heat opened with a lineup of Jovic, Highsmith, Robinson, Mulder and Allman Jr.

Jovic had played off the bench in the previous game, after he started the summer opener. He opened Tuesday’s scoring with a 3-pointer.

Unlike the first two games on the Warriors’ home court, the game was played in the absence of spectators.

The Heat next play Saturday in Las Vegas at 5:30 p.m. Eastern (NBA TV) against the summer roster of the Boston Celtics.

The Heat’s roster in Las Vegas will be bolstered by center Omer Yurtseven and guard Marcus Garrett, who began last season with the Heat on a two-way contract.

()



https://www.denverpost.com/2022/07/05/heats-first-round-pick-jovic-sizzles-in-summer-league-victory-over-warriors-with-25-points-now-i-know-i-can-get-a-few-more-buckets-in-the-nba/
NBA free agents: T.J. Warren off the board for Heat, agrees to join Nets

NBA free agents: T.J. Warren off the board for Heat, agrees to join Nets

06/07/2022, USA, Basketball, NBA (Basketball), Article # 30766619

NBA free agents, with the NBA negotiating period now open. The signing period begins at noon Wednesday:

Agreed to terms: Kyle Anderson (Timberwolves), Marvin Bagley III (Pistons), Mo Bamba (Magic), Nicolas Batum (Clippers), Bradley Beal (Wizards), Nemanja Bjelica (Turkey), Bismack Biyombo (Suns), Bol Bol (Magic), Bruce Brown (Nuggets), Troy Brown Jr. (Lakers), Jalen Brunson (Knicks), Chris Boucher (Raptors), Javon Carter (Bucks), Nicolas Claxton (Nets), Amir Coffey (Clippers), Dewayne Dedmon (Heat), Gorgui Dieng (Spurs), Donte DiVencenzo (Warriors), Lu Dort (Thunder), Goran Dragic (Bulls), Aaron Holiday (Hawks), Andre Drummond (Bulls), Drew Eubanks (Trail Blazers), Malik Fitts (Celtics), Bryn Forbes (Timberwolves), Danilo Gallinari (Celtics), Anthony Gill (Wizards), Gary Harris (Magic), Isaiah Hartenstein (Knicks), Sam Hauser (Celtics), Danuel House (76ers), Sergei Ibaka (Bucks), Joe Ingles (Bucks), Damian Jones (Lakers), Derrick Jones Jr. (Bulls), Tyus Jones (Grizzlies), DeAndre Jordan (Nuggets), Luke Kornet (Celtics), Kevin Knox II (Pistons), Zach LaVine (Bulls), Damion Lee (Suns), Robin Lopez (Cavaliers), Kevon Looney (Warriors), Cody Martin (Hornets), Wesley Matthews (Bucks), JaVale McGee (Mavericks), Patty Mills (Nets), Malik Monk (Kings), Mike Muscala (Thunder), Raul Neto (Cavaliers), Jusuf Nurkic (Trail Blazers), Josh Okogie (Suns), Victor Oladipo (Heat), Gary Payton II (Trail Blazers), Theo Pinson (Mavericks), Otto Porter Jr. (Raptors), Bobby Portis (Bucks), Trevelin Queen (76ers), Davon Reed (Nuggets), Mitchell Robinson (Knicks), Ricky Rubio (Cavaliers), Tomas Satoransky (Spain), Anfernee Simons (Trail Blazers), Jalen Smith (Pacers), Edmond Sumner (Nets), Juan Toscano-Anderson (Lakers), P.J. Tucker (76ers), Lonnie Walker IV (Lakers), John Wall Clippers), T.J. Warren (Nets), Delon Wright (Wizards), Thaddeus Young (Raptors).

Best available: James Harden, Deandre Ayton (R), Miles Bridges (R), Colin Sexton (R), Montrzel Harrell, Thomas Bryant, Dennis Schroder, Caleb Martin (R), Hassan Whiteside, Austin Rivers, Rodney Hood, Kent Bazemore, Carmelo Anthony, Rajon Rondo, Dwight Howard, Markieff Morris, Elfrid Payton, Paul Millsap, Kent Bazemore, Wayne Ellington, Blake Griffin, Tristan Thompson, Kemba Walker.

Atlanta Hawks: Sharife Cooper (R), Gorgui Dieng (agreed to terms with Spurs), Kevin Knox II (agreed to terms with Pistons), Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, Skylar Mays (R), Lou Williams, Delon Wright (agreed to terms with Wizards).

Boston Celtics: Malik Fitts (agreed to terms with Celtics), Sam Hauser (agreed to terms with Celtics), Luke Kornet (agreed to terms with Celtics), Brodric Thomas (R)

Brooklyn Nets: LaMarcus Aldridge, Bruce Brown (agreed to terms with Nuggets), Nicolas Claxton (agreed to terms with Nets), Goran Dragic (agreed to terms with Bulls), Andre Drummond (agreed to terms with Bulls), David Duke Jr. (R), Kessler Edwards, Blake Griffin, Patty Mills (agreed to terms with Nets).

Charlotte Hornets: Miles Bridges (R), Montrezl Harrell, Arnoldas Kulboka (R), Scottie Lewis (R), Cody Martin (agree to terms with Hornets).

Chicago Bulls: Troy Brown Jr. (agreed to terms with Lakers), Tyler Cook (R), Malcolm Hill (R), Derrick Jones Jr. (agreed to terms with Bulls), Zach LaVine (agreed to terms with Bulls), Matt Thomas, Tristan Thompson.

Cleveland Cavaliers: Moses Brown, Ed Davis, Brandon Goodwin (R), RJ Nembhard (R), Rajon Rondo, Collin Sexton (R).

Dallas Mavericks: Jalen Brunson (agreed to terms with Knicks), Theo Pinson (agreed to terms with Mavericks).

Denver Nuggets: Facundo Campazzo (R), Vlatko Cancar (R), Bryn Forbes (agreed to terms with Timberwolves), Markus Howard (R), Davon Reed (agreed to terms with Nuggets), Austin Rivers.

Detroit Pistons: Marvin Bagley III (agreed to terms with Pistons), Carsen Edwards, Luka Garza, Frank Jackson, Rodney McGruder, Jamorko Pickett (R), Kemba Walker.

Golden State Warriors: Nemanja Bjelica (signed to play in Turkey), Chris Chiozza, Andre Iguodala, Damion Lee (agreed to terms with Suns), Kevon Looney (agreed to terms with Warriors), Gary Payton II (agreed to terms with Trail Blazers), Otto Porter Jr. (agreed to terms with Raptors), Juan Toscano-Anderson (agreed to terms with Lakers), Quinndary Weatherspoon (R).

Houston Rockets: Bruno Fernando (R), Daishen Nix (R), Trevelin Queen (agreed to terms with 76ers), Dennis Schroder, John Wall (agreed to terms with Clippers).

Indiana Pacers: Ricky Rubio (agreed to terms with Cavaliers), Jalen Smith (agreed to term with Pacers), Terry Taylor (R), T.J. Warren (agreed to terms with Nets), Duane Washington Jr. (R).

Los Angeles Clippers: Nicolas Batum (agreed to terms with Clippers), Amir Coffey (agreed to terms with Clippers), Isaiah Hartenstein (agree to terms with Knicks), Rodney Hood, Semi Ojeleye, Jay Scrubb.

Los Angeles Lakers: Carmelo Anthony, Trevor Ariza, Kent Bazemore, Wayne Ellington, Dwight Howard, Mason Jones, Malik Monk (agreed to terms with Kings).

Memphis Grizzlies: Kyle Anderson (agreed to terms with Timberwolves), Jarrett Culver, Tyus Jones (agreed to terms with Grizzlies), Yves Pons (R), Tyrell Terry (R).

MIAMI HEAT: Dewayne Dedmon (agreed to terms with Heat), Udonis Haslem, Caleb Martin (R), Markieff Morris, Victor Oladipo (agreed to terms with Heat), P.J. Tucker (agreed to terms with 76ers).

Milwaukee Bucks: Javon Carter (agreed to terms with Bucks), Serge Ibaka (agreed to terms with Bucks), Wesley Matthews (agreed to terms with Bucks), Jordan Nwora (R), Bobby Portis (agreed to terms with Bucks), Rayjon Tucker, Luca Vildoza, Lindell Wigginton (R).

Minnesota Timberwolves: Jake Layman, Nathan Knight (R), Josh Okogie (agreed to terms with Suns), McKinley Wright IV (R).

New Orleans Pelicans: Gary Clark (R), Tony Snell.

New York Knicks: Solomon Hill, Mitchell Robinson (agreed to terms with Knicks).

Oklahoma City Thunder: Lu Dort (agreed to terms with Thunder), Mike Muscala (agreed to terms with Thunder), Isaiah Roby, Paul Watson (R).

Orlando Magic: Mo Bamba (agreed to terms with Magic), Bol Bol (agreed to terms with Magic), Ignas Brazdeikis (R), Gary Harris (agreed to terms with Magic), Robin Lopez (agreed to terms with Cavaliers), Admiral Schofield (R).

Philadelphia 76ers: Charlie Brown Jr. (R), James Harden, DeAndre Jordan (agreed to terms with Nuggets), Paul Millsap, Myles Powell (R).

Phoenix Suns: Deandre Ayton (R), Bismack Biyombo (agreed to terms with Suns), Aaron Holiday (agreed to terms with Hawks), JaVale McGee (agreed to terms with the Mavericks), Abdel Nader, Elfrid Payton, Ish Wainright (R).

Portland Trail Blazers: Keljin Blevins (R), CJ Elleby (R), Drew Eubanks (agreed to terms with Trail Blazers), Joe Ingles (agreed to terms with Bucks), Anfernee Simons (agreed to terms with Trail Blazers), Ben McLemore, Jusuf Nurkic (agreed to terms with Trail Blazers), Dennis Smith Jr., Trendon Watford (R).

Sacramento Kings: Donte DiVencenzo (agreed to terms with Warriors), Josh Jackson, Damian Jones (agreed to terms with Lakers), Louis King (R), Jeremy Lamb, Neemias Queta (R).

San Antonio Spurs: Devontae Cacok (R), Danilo Gallinari (agreed to terms with Celtics), Lonnie Walker IV (agreed to terms with Lakers), Joe Wieskamp (R).

Toronto Raptors: Isaac Bonga, Chris Boucher (agreed to terms with Raptors), Justin Champagnie (R), David Johnson (R), Yuta Watanabe (R), Thaddeus Young (agreed to terms with Raptors).

Utah Jazz: Trent Forrest, Juancho Herangomez, Danuel House (agreed to terms with 76ers), Elijah Hughes (R), Eric Paschall, Hassan Whiteside.

Washington Wizards: Joel Ayayi (R), Bradley Beal (agreed to terms with Wizards), Thomas Bryant, Anthony Gill (agreed to terms with Wizards), Raul Neto (agreed to terms with Cavaliers), Tomas Satoransky (signed to play in Spain), Cassius Winston (R).

KEY: (R) – restricted free agent, team has right to match outside offers.

(As reported by Sun Sentinel, ESPN, The Athletic, The Associated Press and other NBA media outlets.)

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https://www.denverpost.com/2022/07/05/nba-free-agents-t-j-warren-off-the-board-for-heat-agrees-to-join-nets/
Heat’s Nikola Jovic sizzles in summer-league victory over Warriors with 25 points

Heat’s Nikola Jovic sizzles in summer-league victory over Warriors with 25 points

06/07/2022, USA, Basketball, NBA (Basketball), Article # 30766620

Perhaps coincidence. Perhaps reason for hope. And certainly perspective needed because it is summer league.

But Nikola Jovic’s best performance three games into summer league came Tuesday in the Heat’s first victory of summer league, a 94-70 decision over the Golden State Warriors at the California Classic at Chase Center.

Scoring 25 points, including 5 of 7 on 3-pointers, and adding nine rebounds, the No. 27 pick in last month’s NBA draft, offered a smoother performance on both ends than his first two outings.

“The transition from Europe to here was really tough,” the Serbian big man said, “and today, thanks to my teammates and Coach and everyone who believed in me, my shots went in.

“The first two games were really rough for me. I was just trying to get to know everybody. The game, like I said, it’s different.”

Malik Allen, the Erik Spoelstra assistant who is guiding the Heat summer roster, said it merely was a matter of time for such a moment.

“He’s been so sort of humble, and he wants to be good like right away, which is a great trait to have,” Allen said. “He was almost like apologetic after the last two. And I just told him, ‘You just got to keep playing and keep trusting, keep playing, and keep learning.’ And he’s been great with it.

“You could see it coming, just getting more and more comfortable with what we’re trying to do. He really responded and I was happy for him. Like I said, the last couple of days he’s been too down.”

Whether it was a Dirk Nowtizki-like stepback jumper, confidently converted 3-pointers or defensive containment when switched onto smaller guards, the 6-foot-11 19-year-old showed a greater degree of comfort.

Extra shooting on the team’s July 4 day off helped.

“We had a shooting workout [Sunday],” Jovic said, “trying to get my shot on, and I hit some good shots today. I’m just trying to get used to it.”

For Jovic it all is part of a transition away from his backcourt role overseas.

“I never played power forward or center,” he said, “so this is my first time actually. I know I’m not that good at it.”

As for Jovic’s defensive stands against Warriors guard Moses Moody, a member of the Warriors’ main roster who scored 13 Tuesday, Allen said the moments were encouraging.

“I can’t sit here and say his NBA defense overall is ready to go in a playoff game,” Allen said. “But, at the same time, he’s done a really, really nice job in terms of picking things up and taking the challenge when teams try to get him switched on the ball.

“That’s what you want. You want competitiveness on the ball and he’s shown that.”

The Heat also got 12 points and nine rebounds from forward Haywood Highsmith, a member of the team’s 15-player standard roster, and 11 points from guard Mychael Mulder, who is on a two-way contract.

Also solid with their play were Heat summer tryout candidates Jamaree Bouyea (13 points) and Kyle Allman Jr. (10 assists).

Guard Javonte Smart, who led the Heat in scoring in each of their first two games at the California Classic, was given the day off, with five more summer-league games to follow for the Heat at the NBA Las Vegas Summer League.

The Heat also played without forward Jamal Cain, who was listed in NBA health-and-safety protocols for the second consecutive game.

The Heat opened with a lineup of Jovic, Highsmith, Robinson, Mulder and Allman Jr.

Jovic had played off the bench in the previous game, after he started the summer opener. He opened Tuesday’s scoring with a 3-pointer.

Unlike the first two games on the Warriors’ home court, the game was played in the absence of spectators.

The Heat next play Saturday in Las Vegas at 5:30 p.m. Eastern (NBA TV) against the summer roster of the Boston Celtics.

The Heat’s roster in Las Vegas will be bolstered by center Omer Yurtseven and guard Marcus Garrett, who began last season with the Heat on a two-way contract.

()



https://www.denverpost.com/2022/07/05/heats-nikola-jovic-sizzles-in-summer-league-victory-over-warriors-with-25-points/
Chicago Bulls call for action while mourning victims of the Highland Park shooting: ‘Our connectio

The Chicago Bulls offered support to victims of the Highland Park shooting and called for change after a gunman killed seven people and wounded more than 30 others during a Fourth of July parade.

The Bulls hold close ties to the Highland Park community. They practiced for more than 20 years in Deerfield, less than 10 minutes from the site of the shooting, and Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen were among many Bulls players and coaches to live in Highland Park during their tenure with the team.

“Over the years, Highland Park has been home to many members of Bulls nation, including a number of Bulls players and staff,” a team statement read. “Our connection with the community is personal, and it holds a particularly special place in our hearts. We are grieving with the community and everyone affected, and we support them as we all mourn this tragedy.”

News of the shooting broke near the end of Bulls practice at the Advocate Center on Monday, prompting summer league coach John Bryant to cut the training session short.

Bryant said the team spent the opening minutes of Tuesday’s practice reflecting on the tragedy.

“It’s hard because it’s in your backyard,” Bryant said. “I told the team just to reflect on their lives. How fortunate we are to wake up today. How fortunate we are to come in and play a game and get paid and really to think about the people who didn’t get that opportunity.

“I think that put in perspective because we play a game, we kind of lose sight of that as young people. We think we’re invincible. And it’s hard because real life happens all the time outside of our bubble of basketball.”

In its statement the team called for increased action to combat gun violence. The Bulls previously partnered with other city teams to form the Chicago Sports Alliance, which directs grants to organizations such as the Chicago Crime Lab.

“Gun violence inflicts pain on our friends, neighbors, families, businesses and communities,” the statement concluded. “This situation is one that we’ve been in too many times, saying what feels like the same words and expressing the same sentiments. The Chicago Bulls are committed to change and using the resources in our power to make a difference and help solve this epidemic of gun violence.”

()



https://www.denverpost.com/2022/07/05/chicago-bulls-call-for-action-while-mourning-victims-of-the-highland-park-shooting-our-connection-with-the-community-is-personal/
Chicago Bulls call for action while mourning victims of the Highland Park shooting: ‘Our connectio

The Chicago Bulls offered support to victims of the Highland Park shooting and called for change after a gunman killed seven people and wounded more than 30 others during a Fourth of July parade.

The Bulls hold close ties to the Highland Park community. They practiced for more than 20 years in Deerfield, less than 10 minutes from the site of the shooting, and Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen were among many Bulls players and coaches to live in Highland Park during their tenure with the team.

“Over the years, Highland Park has been home to many members of Bulls nation, including a number of Bulls players and staff,” a team statement read. “Our connection with the community is personal, and it holds a particularly special place in our hearts. We are grieving with the community and everyone affected, and we support them as we all mourn this tragedy.”

News of the shooting broke near the end of Bulls practice at the Advocate Center on Monday, prompting summer league coach John Bryant to cut the training session short.

Bryant said the team spent the opening minutes of Tuesday’s practice reflecting on the tragedy.

“It’s hard because it’s in your backyard,” Bryant said. “I told the team just to reflect on their lives. How fortunate we are to wake up today. How fortunate we are to come in and play a game and get paid and really to think about the people who didn’t get that opportunity.

“I think that put in perspective because we play a game, we kind of lose sight of that as young people. We think we’re invincible. And it’s hard because real life happens all the time outside of our bubble of basketball.”

In its statement the team called for increased action to combat gun violence. The Bulls previously partnered with other city teams to form the Chicago Sports Alliance, which directs grants to organizations such as the Chicago Crime Lab.

“Gun violence inflicts pain on our friends, neighbors, families, businesses and communities,” the statement concluded. “This situation is one that we’ve been in too many times, saying what feels like the same words and expressing the same sentiments. The Chicago Bulls are committed to change and using the resources in our power to make a difference and help solve this epidemic of gun violence.”

()



https://www.denverpost.com/2022/07/05/chicago-bulls-call-for-action-while-mourning-victims-of-the-highland-park-shooting-our-connection-with-the-community-is-personal/
Heat’s Nikola Jovic sizzles in summer-league victory over Warriors with 25 points

Heat’s Nikola Jovic sizzles in summer-league victory over Warriors with 25 points

06/07/2022, USA, Basketball, NBA (Basketball), Article # 30766578

Perhaps coincidence. Perhaps reason for hope. And certainly perspective needed because it is summer league.

But Nikola Jovic’s best performance three games into summer league came Tuesday in the Heat’s first victory of summer league, a 94-70 decision over the Golden State Warriors at the California Classic at Chase Center.

Scoring 25 points, including 5 of 7 on 3-pointers, and adding nine rebounds, the No. 27 pick in last month’s NBA draft, offered a smoother performance on both ends than his first two outings.

“The transition from Europe to here was really tough,” the Serbian big man said, “and today, thanks to my teammates and Coach and everyone who believed in me, my shots went in.

“The first two games were really rough for me. I was just trying to get to know everybody. The game, like I said, it’s different.”

Whether it was a Dirk Nowtizki-like stepback jumper, confidently converted 3-pointers or defensive containment when switched onto smaller guards, the 6-foot-11 19-year-old showed a greater degree of comfort.

Extra shooting on the team’s July 4 day off helped.

“We had a shooting workout [Sunday],” Jovic said, “trying to get my shot on, and I hit some good shots today. I’m just trying to get used to it.”

For Jovic it all is part of a transition away from his backcourt role overseas.

“I never played power forward or center,” he said, “so this is my first time actually. I know I’m not that good at it.”

The Heat also got 12 points and nine rebounds from forward Haywood Highsmith, a member of the Heat’s 15-player standard roster, and 11 points from guard Mychael Mulder, who is on a two-way contract.

Also solid with their play were Heat summer tryout candidates Jamaree Bouyea (13 points) and Kyle Allman Jr. (10 assists).

The Warriors got 13 points from guard Moses Moody, a member of the Warriors’ main roster.

Guard Javonte Smart, who led the Heat in scoring in each of their first two games at the California Classic, was given the day off, with five more summer-league games to follow for the Heat at the NBA Las Vegas Summer League.

The Heat also played without forward Jamal Cain, who was listed in NBA health-and-safety protocols for the second consecutive game.

The Heat opened with a lineup of Jovic, Highsmith, Robinson, Mulder and Allman Jr.

Jovic had played off the bench in the previous game, after he started the summer opener. He opened Tuesday’s scoring with a 3-pointer.

Unlike the first two games on the Warriors’ home court, the game was played in the absence of spectators.

The Heat next play Saturday in Las Vegas at 5:30 p.m. Eastern (NBA TV) against the summer roster of the Boston Celtics.

The Heat’s roster in Las Vegas will be bolstered by center Omer Yurtseven and guard Marcus Garrett, who began last season with the Heat on a two-way contract.

()



https://www.denverpost.com/2022/07/05/heats-nikola-jovic-sizzles-in-summer-league-victory-over-warriors-with-25-points/
Heat draft pick Nikola Jovic’s Miami-based pre-draft training should pay dividends

Heat draft pick Nikola Jovic’s Miami-based pre-draft training should pay dividends

06/07/2022, USA, Basketball, NBA (Basketball), Article # 30766504

About 13 miles from FTX Arena, inside the Columbus High School basketball gym, coach Andrew Moran spent two months working with NBA draft prospects leading up to one of the biggest moments of their lives.

Among the group of hopefuls was Nikola Jovic, a 6-foot-10 forward from Belgrade, Serbia, who would eventually become the Miami Heat’s first-round pick.

Jovic arrived in Miami to train with Moran and the Miami Hoop School, which has worked with Excel Sports Management for the last three years, preparing its clients throughout the pre-draft process. So, the South Florida weather should be a fairly easy adjustment for the 19 year old.

When Moran found out that Jovic was staying in Miami, he was ecstatic.

“I was watching the draft with my wife and I was really excited,” Moran said. “I know a lot of the Heat coaches. I love the player development that they do, it’s one of the best in the league. So, I was super excited for him and then I was also super excited for the Heat, just getting the type of player he is.

“And then I also get to continue to work with him as he’s here in town and on off days. Just helping him throughout the season.”

Moran, who is the founder of the Miami Hoop School and the head coach at Columbus, has been a pro trainer for several years, working with high-profile clients like Heat standout Tyler Herro and Tim Hardaway Jr. of the Dallas Mavericks.

When he began to work with Jovic, Moran was immediately attracted to his combination of size and guard-like skills that earned him the 2022 Top Prospect Award in the ABA League while playing for Mega Basket in Belgrade.

“Such a versatile player,” Moran said. “First of all, he’s 6-foot-10 playing a guard position, so his playmaking abilities are incredible. I think he fits right into what the Heat are looking for and I think he’s embracing it.

“He was kind of a main guy on his team in Europe, so he knowns how to carry that load a little bit even as such a young player.”

The main focus of Jovic’s pre-draft workouts were improving his ball-handling and shooting. Moran would put him through intense drills that included midrange jumpers, catch-and-shoot, shooting off the dribble and situational shooting.

All that work evidently turned into solid results as Moran says shooting was where the teenager has made the biggest leap during their time together.

“I would say he definitely made a big improvement in his shooting and in pushing through,” Moran said. “When maybe the workout is not going well, we want the guys to continue to give their best effort because in the game it sometimes doesn’t go well, but there’s other things you could do to help your team win.

“And I think in those areas, he’s improved and he’s got some great endurance from his water polo years. So, I think that’s going to help him when he goes into those conditioning tests for the Heat because they’re pretty rigorous.”

When it came to his off-court training, Jovic headed to Wynwood, working with Andy Luaces and Core Fitness Miami.

Luaces, a Miami native, is a personal trainer and owner of Core Fitness. He also has experience working with professional athletes and specializes in helping his clients become more explosive laterally, vertically and linearly while making sure they stay healthy.

During his time with Jovic, Luaces put less emphasis on building power and more on increasing his mobility. He focused on improving Jovic’s posture by strengthening his glutes and hamstrings.

Luaces believes that with his frame and body type, Jovic has the physique to excel as an NBA player.

“I think his strength is going to help him succeed at the next level,” Luaces said. “He’s a strong guy. I think that’s probably his No. 1 physical attribute.”

No matter whether he was on the court or the weight room, Jovic’s coaches were taken back by how professional he was at such a young age.

“I think he’s got tremendous professionalism,” Luaces said. “And I think that’s because he already played professionally in Europe. He came into the gym and took it very seriously. He showed up ready to work, very respectful. … He was happy to be there and he was happy to improve.”

As the newest member of the Heat, Jovic’s going to need that professionalism to fit into the organization’s culture.

Those who worked with him and saw his work ethic and love for the game up close know that it should be a seamless transition, especially since he shouldn’t have to get used to a new city.

“I think he fits right in [with Heat culture],” Moran said. “From the last few days, he got back from New York [for the draft], we were in the gym the very next day. … So, I think that’s exactly the type of player that they are looking for, one that wants to be in the gym and improve.

“Look at the guys that they’ve gotten that nobody really knew about and the improvement that they have had going through that player development that the Heat culture has built, and, I think, he fits right into that. I think those guys are going to love his game and the things he can do as far helping the Heat win.”

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https://www.denverpost.com/2022/07/05/heat-draft-pick-nikola-jovics-miami-based-pre-draft-training-should-pay-dividends/
Former UCF center Tacko Fall joining Utah Jazz for NBA summer league

Former UCF center Tacko Fall joining Utah Jazz for NBA summer league

06/07/2022, USA, Basketball, NBA (Basketball), Article # 30766481

Former UCF center Tacko Fall will be joining the Utah Jazz for the Las Vegas summer league.

The move is a reunion of sorts for Fall and Utah CEO Danny Ainge, who previously served as the director of basketball operation for the Boston Celtics where Fall first played in the NBA.

Prior to the Las Vegas summer league July 7-17, Fall will compete in the Salt Lake City summer league, a four-team league that kicked off Tuesday and runs through Thursday.

Fall could be an option for the Jazz at center after Utah reportedly agreed to trade star center Rudy Gobert to Minnesota in exchange for a package that included four first-round picks last week.

The 7-foot-6, 311-pound Fall began his NBA career in Boston and spent two years there mostly with the G League affiliate in Portland, Maine. Following two seasons in Boston, Fall signed a two-way contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers last fall.

With the Cleveland Charge, Fall averaged a double-double of 15.9 points and 10.8 rebounds in 26.7 minutes per game. After leading the G League in blocks per game (2.7), Fall was named to the NBA G League All-Defensive Team.

While most of his team in Boston and Cleveland has been in the G League, Fall has still found his way onto the NBA court. In three years, he’s appeared in 37 NBA games averaging 2.2 points with 2.4 rebounds.

Fall is hoping to make an impression in Utah this summer entering his fourth year in the league.

At UCF, Fall recorded 280 career blocks, the most in program history. His career field goal percentage mark of 74% set a new all-time UCF and NCAA DI record.

Email Jason Beede at jbeede@orlandosentinel.com or follow him on Twitter at @therealBeede.

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https://www.denverpost.com/2022/07/05/former-ucf-center-tacko-fall-joining-utah-jazz-for-nba-summer-league/
4 things to watch with the Knicks in Summer League action

4 things to watch with the Knicks in Summer League action

06/07/2022, USA, Basketball, NBA (Basketball), Article # 30766438

It’s been a long three months since the Knicks last played basketball, and another long three months until they play again.

At least we have Summer League in the middle.

For the Knicks, much of the intrigue dissolved when they traded their 11th overall pick last month. They flirted with dealing up to draft Jaden Ivey, who instead went to the team — the Detroit Pistons — who will be the top attraction in Vegas with Cade Cunningham, Saddiq Bey, Isaiah Stewart, Jalen Duren, Killian Hayes and the Boeheim brothers also on the roster.

But there will be storylines and developments to follow for Tom Thibodeau’s squad, with the top four detailed below:

WILL QUENTIN GRIMES TAKE ADVANTAGE?

Last year became a showcase for Obi Toppin and Immanuel Quickley, who both demonstrated their offseason growth and uptick in confidence while averaging over 20 points per game. That ultimately carried over to the NBA season, even if took a few months for Quickley to get rolling.

The 2022 Summer League Knicks should be Grimes Time. The 25th overall pick in 2021 flashed two-way potential and became a favorite of Thibodeau, starting six games before a knee injury derailed his final six weeks. Grimes was better than his modest average of six points on 40.4% shooting. It’s not ridiculous to think he’ll be in contention for the starting shooting guard spot this season, especially with Jalen Brunson now in the backcourt. Brunson, like Evan Fournier, struggles defensively and might be a better fit with Grimes.

Summer League is an opportunity for Grimes, 22, to show what he can do with the ball. He’ll be a featured offensive player in Vegas.

WHERE DO THE 2021 2ND-ROUNDERS STAND?

Assuming the Knicks roster is finished, or close to finished, there won’t be much playing time available for point guard Miles McBride and center Jericho Sims. Especially McBride.

Kemba Walker is gone but he didn’t play much last season anyway. Brunson is arriving and Derrick Rose is returning. There’s also Fournier, RJ Barrett and Quickley eating up minutes in the guard spots. It’s a tough spot for McBride and Summer League won’t determine his rotation spot, but it’s an opportunity to again drum up excitement for his potential. He became a fan favorite despite limited opportunities, which was at least partially due to the Knicks’ messy situation at point guard. McBride was a monster against Summer League levels of competition while averaging 27.8 points and 10.8 assists in six G League appearances.

Sims’ situation is a little different. The Knicks traded one center but signed another, Isaiah Hartenstein, while committing big money to Mitchell Robinson to be their center of the present and future. We still don’t know the fate of Taj Gibson, but, at best on paper, Sims will be the second backup. He’s also a strong candidate for a standard NBA contract after playing last season on a two-way deal, lending a little more importance to Summer League if he’s not signed before the opener Friday.

WHAT ABOUT THE NEWCOMER?

The Knicks traded their first rounder this year but used their 42nd pick on Trevor Keels, a guard from Duke who disappointed in his lone college season but was a five-star recruit in high school. Like with McBride, there isn’t much room in the Knicks rotation for a young guard and it’s easy to see Keels playing in the G League as a rookie. But we haven’t seen him as a pro yet and Friday against the Warriors will be our first glimpse.

WHO WILL EMERGE FROM THE UNEXPECTED?

There are always a couple players who impress enough in Summer League to earn a training-camp invite, which rarely, but sometimes, turns into a roster spot. Regardless, a strong performance places that player on the radar of not only the Knicks, but also the hundreds of scouts, coaches and executives in the arena.

Feron Hunt, who signed a two-way contract with the Knicks last season, and Jean Montero, who inked an Exhibit-10 deal after the draft, are already near locks to attend Thibodeau’s training camp in September. Other intriguing players on the Summer League roster include forward Aamir Sims, guard MJ Walker and forward D’Shawn Schwartz.

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https://www.denverpost.com/2022/07/05/4-things-to-watch-with-the-knicks-in-summer-league-action/
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