Heat Notes: Injury Updates, Trade Assets, Lowry….

Even though half of the rotations are listed on the injury report, there was some good news for the Heat as they met today for their final practice before embarking on a five-game trip to the West Coast, writes Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald.

Jimmy Butler, who missed three straight games with a left calf strain, and Josh Richardson, who was unavailable Monday because of a back issue, both participated partially in practice. Haywood Highsmith, absent Monday due to illness, was able to participate fully.“I feel a lot better now,” Highsmith said. “I’m still trying to catch my breath. Let my breathing drop and my chest drop. I’m trying to get up and down and condition myself and all that, but I feel so much better. I think I lost weight by not eating and sweating a lot. But I’m fine now.”Miami also got an encouraging update on Caleb Martin, who sprained his ankle in the first quarter Monday and was ruled out for the remainder of the game. Martin did not train today and it is not sure if he will be able to play during the trip, but it seems that he avoided a serious injury. “I feel much better than expected,” he said. “…The x-ray came back clean. So for the most part everything is fine. Be smart and take it day by day. There’s some swelling and bruising, so you have to work on that.Miami appears to be mentioned as a potential destination for any star who becomes available, but Heat players are confident the current roster can compete for a title if there isn’t a major addition before the trade deadline, according to The Athletic’s Joe Vardon . The organization didn’t get Damian Lillard, who was rumored to be going to Miami all summer, and lost Gabe Vincent and Max Strus from last season’s NBA Finals team, but the organization has remained competitive and is in fifth placed in the East 18 year rankings. -12. Vardon points out that the Heat still have enough draft assets and young talent available to make a run at any of the players available in Chicago or Toronto or even Donovan Mitchell if Cleveland decides to part ways with him. One reason for the Heat’s success is point guard Kyle Lowry, who is still productive at age 37, Vardon added. Lowry is starting to average 29.3 minutes per game in his 18th NBA season, and he impressed his former coach in Monday’s game against Philadelphia. “When the ball goes up, man, deep down, he just competes,” said Nick Nurse, who spent several years with Lowry in Toronto. “I can’t tell you how many times we talked about, ‘We’re going to bring you here, we’re going to play this amount of minutes’ … and then the ball came up and the game was tough and we needed him out there, he wanted them out there. He would have smashed all those plans and continued to play and make plays.The Heat also have a young, talented core that can keep the franchise competitive after veterans like Lowry and Butler leave, notes The Sun-Sentinel’s Ira Winderman, who envisions a future built around Bam Adebayo, Tyler Herro and Jaime Jacques.

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