In the end, Duncan Robinson said NBA free agency became a swift, seamless, successful pursuit, producing the desired outcome, and income.
“It was always going to be Miami first, ‘Let’s try to make something with Miami work, and then we’ll go from there,’” he said on his The Long Shot podcast that was released Thursday. “It became clear pretty quickly that Miami was the right situation.”
And a profitable one, with Robinson, coming off of consecutive record-setting 3-point seasons for the Heat, receiving a five-year, $90 million contract at Monday’s start of free agency.
Read more from the South Florida Sun Sentinel.
Miami football 2022 offensive signees closest current roster ranking comparison
The Miami football program only signed three offensive players during the early signing period last month. Quarterback Jacurri Brown, tight end Jaleel Skinner and wide receiver Isaiah Horton are the only offensive players in the Miami 2022 Class. Miami lost only four starters on offense from the 2021 team.
The Hurricanes have to replace offensive linemen Navaughn Donaldson and Jarrid Williams and wide receivers Mike Harley and Charleston Rambo. Miami was able to flip Skinner from Alabama. Skinner is one of three 2022 Miami signees ranked in the top 100, but the only one on offense.
Each of the three Miami signees on offense has a comparable player at their position on the roster with where they were ranked when they signed. Skinner is the most talented TE on the Miami roster. The third-ranked TE in the Class of 2022, Skinner received a grade of 0.9631. Miami has three top 10 TEs on its roster.
Elijah Arroyo signed with Miami in the Class of 2021 as the seventh-ranked TE with a grade of 0.9170. Miami starting TE Will Mallory signed with Miami in the Class of 2018. Mallory was the eighth-ranked TE in 2018 with a grade of 0.9183. Whoever Miami hires as the new offensive coordinator will likely play all three TEs.
Brown is the 18th ranked QB in the Class of 2022 and is rated 0.9052. Jake Garcia who signed with Miami in 2021 was the eighth-ranked QB in his class and received a rating of 0.9761 from 247 Sports. Tyler Van Dyke who signed with Miami in 2020 was the seventh-ranked pro-style QB in 2020 and graded out at 0.9173.
Horton is the second lowest-ranked player in the Miami 2022 class, the 50th ranked WR and received a grade of 0.8948. The grade for Horton is nearly identical to Harley who had a 0.8939 grade and was the 41st ranked WR in the Class of 2017. Current Miami WRs Brashard Smith and Daz Worsham are the closest ranked to Horton.
Worsham was the 81st ranked WR and graded 0.8783 when he signed with Miami in the Class of 2020. Smith was the 36th ranked WR in the Class of 2021 and graded 0.9157. Worsham will have a difficult challenge earning playing time as an outside WR in 2022. Smith is the likely second-team WR behind Xavier Restrepo.
The hiring of Mario Cristobal as head coach is expected to upgrade the talent on the Miami football roster as a relentless recruiter. Cristobal helped Miami add top 100 signees Skinner and defensive ends Nyjalik Kelly and Cyrus Moss since he was hired last month. Miami is likely to add more players on National Signing Day next month.
Jimmy Butler’s agent subtly rips NBA for length of Nikola Jokic’s suspension given how long Markieff Morris has been out
Some people within and around the Heat organization are apparently still upset over the incident, particularly with how Jokic was able to get away with a relatively light penalty.
Bernie Lee, who is Jimmy Butler’s agent, recently took to Twitter and seemingly took a shot at the league.
He then missed the next 30 games and the guy who purposely hurt him missed 1. https://t.co/VyBXs2VvBO
— Bernard Lee (@BernieoLee) January 23, 2022
The NBA is reportedly in the midst of deciding what disciplinary action to hand out to Grayson Allen of the Milwaukee Bucks. Allen recently committed a flagrant foul on an airborne Alex Caruso, causing the Chicago Bulls guard to fall hard and sustain a fractured wrist.
Lee responded to a Bulls insider who was speculating on Twitter about the penalty that Allen might receive based on league precedent, which includes the way the league handled the situation between Morris and Jokic.
This is Morris’ first season playing for Miami. He appeared in 10 games before going on the shelf and averaged 7.7 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.4 assists per contest.
The Heat have done well during his time away from action. They currently hold the No. 3 spot in the Eastern Conference with a record of 29-17. However, Miami could have certainly used his help at certain points during his absence, especially when the team saw a number of its players go down with injury or COVID-19 issues.
Miami will look to get back on the winning track on Sunday. A matchup awaits against the Los Angeles Lakers.
Florida Panthers Pregame: Matt Kiersted making the most of latest opportunity
When the Florida Panthers need reinforcements on the blueline, Matt Kiersted has usually been the first player they have called upon.
He has yet to let them down.
“Whenever they tell me down in Charlotte that I’m going to get called up, I kind of start mentally preparing myself,” Kiersted said.
“A lot of it is mental, like flying and playing the same day and little things like that, so the more I can mentally get myself in the right head frame and ready to go, the better.”
Previously, Kiersted was one of four players to be called up from the Charlotte Checkers on Dec. 16 after playing on back-to-back nights already when seven Panthers players tested positive for Covid-19.
The result of that game for Kiersted was his first NHL goal and 21:11 of ice time in a 4-1 loss to the Los Angeles Kings.
Fast forward to Jan. 20 and the Panthers needed to make yet another last-minute call-up.
Kiersted was that defenseman.
On Wednesday, Kiersted took a flight from Charlotte to Toronto as a precaution to stay ready to be a potential call-up, as Juolevi suffered a lower-body injury in Tuesday’s loss to the Calgary Flames.
When that lower-body injury flared up enough to where Juolevi needed to be placed on IR on Thursday, Kiersted boarded a flight to Edmonton and got ready to play against the Oilers that night.
“It was different having that long of a flight the day of the game,” Kiersted said. “Whenever you get called up, you gotta be ready for whatever is thrown at you.
“It was a long travel day, but I was able to get to the hotel for a couple of hours and settle down and rest a little bit before the game.”
What was thrown at him was a four-hour flight prior to a matchup with one of the league’s best duos — Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid.
That duo has a combined 113 points and ranks first and third on the points leaderboard respectively.
Despite the strenuous travel, Kiersted played 13:29 in a 6-0 win over the Oilers.
“He flew this morning and we threw him in,” Panthers interim coach Andrew Brunette said after the game.
“Really good for him. That’s a great experience and really shows his maturity level to be able to play a game like that after flying in from Toronto today. Really happy for him.”
Kiersted played a big role in Florida’s 2-1 win over the Vancouver Canucks the following night as well, logging just over 10 minutes of ice time and blocking three shots in a shootout win the Panthers had to grind it out for.
With Forsling still on Covid-19 protocol and Juolevi unable to be activated from IR until Jan. 27, Kiersted has more time to make the most of this opportunity when the Panthers take on the Seattle Kraken on Sunday.
“He’s taken the opportunity well and I think it’s not an easy thing to just jump right in there and play right away,” Panthers rookie Anton Lundell said.
“He’s been very good, he’s a good player, he’s hard to play against, he moves the puck well, and I’m very happy for him.”
Morning Skate Updates
- Sergei Bobrovsky will be the Panthers’ starting goaltender on Sunday against the Kraken.
- Sam Bennett is a game-time decision after suffering a lower-body injury, Joe Thornton would likely play if Bennett cannot go.
- Patric Hornqvist skated this morning, but is still day-to-day, he will not play.
- Frank Vatrano will slide into the lineup tonight for one of Maxim Mamin, Mason Marchment, or Owen Tippett.
FLORIDA PANTHERS ON DECK
FLORIDA PANTHERS AT SEATTLE KRAKEN
- When: Sunday, 9 p.m.
- Where: Climate Pledge Arena; Seattle
- Tickets: CLICK HERE
- TV/Streaming: Bally Sports Florida
- Radio: WQAM 560-AM, SiriusXM
- NHL Betting Odds from BetUS: Florida favored (Money Line -250) — (Puck Line -1.5 -105) — Over/Under 6.5 (-105/-115)
- Last season: Did not play
- All-time regular season series: Seattle leads 1-0-0
- This season: Seattle 4, @Florida 1 (Nov. 22)
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