MILWAUKEE — When it comes to withstanding the injury absences of Terry Rozier and Josh Richardson, the Miami Heat find themselves with limited options in the wake of the passing of the Feb. 8 NBA trading deadline.
Rozier is week to week with the knee sprain suffered in Sunday’s loss to the Boston Celtics at Kaseya Center. Richardson will be reevaluated in two weeks with the shoulder separation sustained in that loss.
In the interim to the Heat can:
— Utilize wing players in backcourt roles, an option with Jaime Jaquez Jr., Caleb Martin and Haywood Highsmith, although none are considered shot creators on the level of Rozier, or, to a lesser degree, Richardson.
— Turn to two-way players Jamal Cain, Cole Swider and Alondis Williams, with all three with the team for the two-game trip Tuesday night against the Milwaukee Bucks and Wednesday night against the Philadelphia 76ers.
— Add a player or players on 10-day contracts. Such contracts pay a 10-day salary of $116,000 for players with two or more seasons of NBA experience. Based on the Heat’s position in the NBA luxury tax, each such contract would come with an additional $203,000 hit against the luxury tax.
— Scour the buyout market, which could present timing issues, with teams still deliberating such moves. Players must be waived by March 1 in order to be playoff eligible elsewhere.
— Remain patient and thankful for the timing. After Wednesday night’s game in Philadelphia, the Heat are idle for their eight-day All-Star break, with only one game between Wednesday and the Feb. 26 road game against the Sacramento Kings.
A short-term option for the Heat could be promoting guard Jamaree Bouyea from their G League affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce, with Bouyea having extensive time in the Heat system, including a 10-day contract with the Heat in this same timeframe a year ago.
Another option could be a similar move with Skyforce wing Justin Champagnie, who was with the Heat in summer league and training camp ahead of this season.
The buyout market at the moment presents limited options for the Heat, with Cory Joseph arguably the best option currently available for the backcourt.
The long road
Instead of an early-evening arrival to Milwaukee on Monday, a mechanical delay with the team flight out of Miami led to a late-night arrival for the Heat.
While the Heat initially were scheduled with a rest advantage, since the Bucks defeating the visiting Denver Nuggets on Monday night, the Heat arrived to Milwaukee well after that game was completed.
Because of that, the Heat canceled their scheduled Tuesday morning shootaround at Fiserv Forum, with yet another late night of travel ahead of Wednesday night’s game in Philadelphia, which completes the eighth of the Heat’s 13 sets of back-to-back games this season.
Heat Family Festival
The Heat will hold their annual Family Festival, a themed, interactive, carnival-like celebration, March 3 from 3 p.m-6 p.m. at Kaseya Center.
The event is in support of the Miami Heat Charitable Fund beneficiaries, which include Baptist Health South Florida & Miami Cancer Institute, Jackson Health Foundation, SafeSpace Foundation and Up2Us Sports.
Tickets to the event that includes interaction with Heat players and coaches, sampling stations from more than 15 South Florida restaurants, as well as the opportunity to play on the Heat’s practice court, are $250 per person, with further details at HEAT.com/FamilyFestival.