With Wednesday marking a week since the NBA announced it was suspending the season because of the coronavirus pandemic, the league said in a memo sent out Sunday night that it’s now allowing players to travel elsewhere.
The NBA reportedly recommends its players stay in market to avoid travel and remain close to their teams, but it is allowing them to travel elsewhere if they want to go home or be with family and friends. However, because the outbreak is also affecting other parts of the world, players are not allowed to travel outside of North America.
But the Heat’s two All-Stars haven’t left Miami yet.
Wing Jimmy Butler has chosen to spend the NBA’s shutdown in his South Florida home, according to a source. Butler, like most of the world, is remaining home as much as possible and he’s also going through off-court workouts there to remain in shape for the possibility of the continuation of the season.
Center Bam Adebayo also remains in South Florida, as he monitors the situation and works to figure out the next step, according to a source. There’s a a chance Adebayo could travel home to North Carolina at some point during the stoppage, but that hasn’t happened yet.
Based on photos veteran Heat forward Udonis Haslem posted onto Instagram on Monday, Adebayo and Haslem recently went through a workout together. Adebayo has also been busy creating an amusing daily series of Twitter posts to describe his “mood” during the hiatus, which appears to be a sign of his boredom.
Also, NBA teams are not allowed to hold group practices, meetings or workouts for an indefinite period of time. But facilities remain open for individual workouts.
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The gamble the Heat didn’t take
While the NBA remains hopeful it will resume the season at some point, there’s also the fear that this season could be completely lost.
In the scenario that this season doesn’t continue, the short-term gamble the Heat decided not to take in February is noteworthy.
The Heat worked diligently in an effort to trade for Thunder forward Danilo Gallinari up until the Feb. 6 trade deadline, but the deal never came to fruition because Heat officials and Gallinari couldn’t come to an agreement on an extension, according to multiple league sources.
The 31-year-old Gallinari, who is set to become a free agent this upcoming offseason, prioritized years when it came to an extension and wanted a deal that would have included substantial guaranteed money in 2021-22. But the Heat balked at that idea because it wants to preserve max cap space for the summer of 2021 for a pursuit of Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo, who can become a free agent that summer, and others in what should be a loaded free-agent class.
The Heat didn’t want Gallinari merely as a three-month rental because of the draft compensation that would have been required by the Thunder to complete the deal. In order to complete the trade with Oklahoma City, the belief is the Heat would have had to lift the protections off the 2023 first-round pick it owes the Thunder to unlock its 2025 first-round pick to trade to Oklahoma City in a deal for Gallinari.
While adding Gallinari as a short-term rental would have likely improved this season’s Heat roster, it would have come at the cost of an additional first-round pick. There was no way of knowing in early February that an unprecedented league stoppage was approaching, but trading that pick for a few months of Gallinari under these current circumstances would have been unfortunate.
Gallinari would have played in just a month’s worth of games with the Heat if this season ends up being completely lost.
▪ Fox Sports Sun announced Tuesday that it will replay some of the best Heat wins from this season on every date the Heat was previously scheduled to play during the league’s stoppage. This series begins Wednesday and runs through April 14, which would have been the end of the regular season.
With the exception of the April 5 broadcast, the games will be replayed beginning at 8 p.m. A condensed 30-minute version of the postgame for each of the telecasts will also air following the conclusion of that game.
An additional viewing for the game and postgame will air again the following day at noon.