The Heat get the first shot at impressing All-Star forward Gordon Hayward in free agency in what appears to be a three-team race among Miami, Utah and Boston.
Miami is putting the full-court press on Hayward, going as far as photoshopping him in a Heat jersey in decorative banners outside American Airlines Arena.
Saturday marked not only the official start of free agency, but also the beginning of the NBA Summer League in Orlando. The Heat are prioritizing the former, as assistant coaches Chris Quinn and Juwan Howard are in Miami on “official team business,” according to the Miami Herald — which is thinly veiled code for the team’s meeting with Hayward.
At first glance, sinking out of the top 10 seems harsh for a GM who had the team in the Super Bowl the previous year. But the fiasco of letting Josh Norman go and their inability to adequately replace him weighed heavily in the Panthers’ slide. This draft, led by Christian McCaffrey, and free-agency period, could reverse that fast, but the NFC South is much tougher now than it was in the Super Bowl year.
The poster boy for circumstances out of a team’s control affecting a team and its big decision-maker. Teddy Bridgewater’s blown-up knee created a domino effect of trading a first-round pick for Sam Bradford, replacing their offensive coordinator and much of the staff, making a hard choice about (not) extending Bridgewater and cutting ties with Adrian Peterson likely earlier than planned. Spielman is up for it, but this will be another challenging year.