Heat live updates: What Spoelstra and players are saying on locker-room clean out day

Two days after being eliminated from the playoffs, the Heat on Friday conducted a media session with Erik Spoelstra and several players.

Jimmy Butler, Terry Rozier and Tyler Herro declined to speak to reporters.

The Heat must decide whether to grant Butler’s request for what would essentially be a one-year contract extension through 2026-27. Miami also must decide whether to keep Herro, trade him or move him to the bench (which Heat executive Udonis Haslem said would help team chemistry).

Player interviews are expected to occur over a few hours; please check back for updates, which we will place on the top:


▪ Asked about the perception that the Heat doesn’t take the regular season seriously enough:

“We are going to look at everything but to say we didn’t philosophically take the regular season seriously is totally off base. I can see why people would point to that because of the missed games. We’re not a load management team. There are still opportunities to find ways to win a handful of more games.

“Our goal is not to fight for the play-in every year... We are going to have to work to find ways we can improve across the board.”

▪ On the offense, which was bottom five in the league in points per 100 possessions: “The consistency became a challenge to overcome. The styles of play were different based on who was available. We have to look at... if we have everybody available, what is the best plan?”

▪ Why does the Heat have so many games missed due to injury?

“We are going to look at everything... We want to look at all the different angles on it. This is becoming a league wide thing. Everybody wants guys available. If you don’t have guys available, it will affect. It’s a topic right now. I get out. We will do everything we can as an organization to find solutions in that department.”

▪ On the team’s 23-21 home record: “Everyone felt it in our locker room. Our guys wanted to play well in front of our fans. For whatever reason, this year we weren’t able to find consistency at home.”

▪ Spoelstra said: “Nobody wants this to be over at the beginning of May... That’s the frustrating part. Sometimes the greatest frustrations and disappointments can lead to the most growth.”

▪ On Herro: “The biggest positive is he had one game, where the entire [Boston] game plan was to take him out and to respond in a big way in Game 2, that helped drive the win, is a massive positive.

“That’s going to drive him and motivate him. He’ll probably take the same number of days off that I will and learn from his experiences.”

▪ On Butler: “Going into whatever chapter this is, one of the later chapters in his career,... this is like the sweet spot, the beauty, where you get to work with somebody together for six years. We will heading into our sixth year working together. I can’t wait for training camp.”

▪ On working on USA Basketball’s coaching staff this summer, including the Olympics: “I’m honored about this summer, the training camp in Las Vegas.”

▪ He praised the growth of Nikola Jovic. “Seeing Bam’s leadership has been one of my joys, how he influences in a different way.”


Has he thought about the fact that he might have played his last game for the Heat, considering Miami is up against the second apron and well above the luxury tax threshold?

“There’s time for some of that to be thought about,” he said. “I think about that. Some things will have to see how it goes. I don’t have any answers to know as of right now. More so just appreciating the season. Didn’t end the way we wanted it to. I hate it for the fans that we didn’t get to give them the ending they deserved.”

Martin is expected to opt out of the third year of his three-year contract. He would be paid $6.8 million next season if he unexpectedly opts in, but ESPN’s Bobby Marks said he’s positioned to command a team’s full $12.5 million mid-level exception if he opts out, as expected.

“There were games and opportunities I had that I probably didn’t capitalize on.,” he said. “I’m not the best at giving myself credit. Still a lot of things to be proud of.”

Martin said: “It’s humbling to end like this after the last two years we had.”


▪ On the early playoff exit, Adebayo said: “I got so much time. I don’t even know what to do with it.”

▪ Adebayo offered a “big thank you” for the fans. “I remember when it was empty my rookie year.”

▪ What was it like being captain this season? “It [stinks] because you learn it’s not about you. You’ve got to think of so many other people [first]. It can’t be about you no more.”

▪ He spoke of the need to play with pace more. “We played a slow pace throughout the regular season and it cost us some games.”

▪ What will he add this summer? “To pinpoint, I would say being able to coach my teammates through the offense while the game is happening, tell my teammates where to go.”


He would like to return next season. Would he be disappointed if he didn’t return?

“I don’t know if I’ll be disappointed.... But I definitely would like to come back. I felt like I got a snippet of what it could be. With a full training camp, I will have a better understanding of what Spo wants out of me.”


He said he does not plan to play for Mexico in Olympic qualifying...

He wants to improve becoming a “consistent knock down shooter.”

Jaquez, noting that teams scouted against him and tried to take away some of his bread and butter moves, said he must “develop a counter for reading defenses and getting to my spots.”


Swider, who was on a two-way contract this year, said the Heat has indicated it wants to keep him a part of its program. He expects to play for the team in the Las Vegas Summer League.

“The Heat, a lot of these undrafted guys, did a great job developing them,” he said. “I hope to be one of their success stories. I know they know what they’re doing.

“I’ve improved defensively, learning the concepts of the Heat, how we play. I’ve proved I can play in the NBA.”

Swider earned $559,000 this season as a two-way player.


An impending free agent, Highsmith said “when that time comes to figuring out where I will be playing next season, I’ll go through it and pray about it. Definitely want to stay in Miami. My family lives here, my daughter lives here. That’s a priority to be around my daughter a lot.”

The Heat, already above the luxury tax next season, might be in better position to keep Highsmith than Martin, but it’s far from certain that they will be able to keep either.

He said he’s “grateful for the organization to put through this developmental system.”

Asked what he has learned about Heat culture, he said: “Before I got here, I had no idea what Heat culture was. Being around here a couple years, it feels like family here. It’s all about winning.

“Figuring out ways to win a championship. It’s not about tanking or load management. It’s all about winning. Sometimes it’s tough love here. They are going to tell you how it is, not sugercoat it. Tell me if I’m not playing hard enough, look me in my eyes man to man. It matches me, who I am and how I got here.”

He said he wants to “add more to the offensive end for sure, try to be a playmaker, coming off screens as a ball-handler. Becoming more comfortable for me.”


He said the back injury that limited him in the final weeks of the season will not “linger or last.”

He offered this insight on the back injury:

“Towards the end of the season, that Philly game, started being an inflection point, that one in Philly. There were a million different thoughts of how to proceed, the best way to handle it.

“I was going to try to do whatever I could to be available. In hindsight, I don’t have any regrets. I certainly feel I would have had more regrets the other way...

“That was a bitter way for us to finish the season for us, foremost, and then for me, dealing with emotions, frustrations, challenges I’ve been fortunate enough not to deal with in my career.”

He said “I feel my prime is still ahead of me.”


He said “I haven’t given much thought” to whether he will exercise his $4 million player option.

“I love this Heat organization, this Heat culture, what they bring to the table. There’s nothing like a con that would deter me from this Heat culture.

“Overall, the year was a learning experience, coming into the Heat culture. It was a great big learning curve for me.”


The Heat has a $2.1 million player option on him; that decision is pending.

He said his priority is improving defensively: “The more I can do with my body.. will allow me to be more impactful on the defensive end.

“Offensively, I feel I can impact it without having to focus on it. I understand how we move the ball and play off each other.


Cain, who played on a two-way deal this season, said “I’m still blessed with the opportunity be here. Still have a lot to get better at.”

He declined to say if he will seek opportunities elsewhere, saying he leaves that to his agent.


“I got an overwhelming hit of [Heat culture] on arrival, and that really hit me. I inherited everything this organization is about and felt every part of that.”

Mills will be an unrestricted free agent. He spoke of being the first “No. 88” in Heat history.

He mentioned similarities between Spurs coach Gregg Popovich and Spoelstra, the NBA’s two longest tenured coaches with their teams and two of the best all time.

“After being with Pop for so long and inheriting everything that was Spurs culture, I didn’t know what to expect in coming here. There are definitely some similarities in approach to this game.

“Seeing how intense Spo is and passionate,.. it’s clear he steers the ship here. When he stands in front of you and makes a mark, it’s very easy to follow that way.”