4 Role players who need a big training camp for the Heat

Miami Heat, Nikola Jovic. Mandatory Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports
Miami Heat, Nikola Jovic. Mandatory Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports /
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Miami Heat training camp begins next week, and these four role players will need to impress to earn consistent playing time this season.

As the NBA offseason comes to a close, the arrival of training camp is right around the corner, presenting an opportunity for players to make a statement with their on-court performance and work ethic. For teams such as the Miami Heat, this is where a player’s dream can come true. It all starts in the trenches.

For the Heat’s core pieces such as Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, and Tyler Herro, this is just another camp for them to come and set the tone for the others, but for the newer players, this is a chance of a lifetime to earn real NBA minutes. With Max Strus and Gabe Vincent departing, this leaves minutes on the table for those willing to put in the work.

Nikola Jovic

For the Heat, four players in particular need to have a big camp and the biggest player who needs it is Nikola Jovic. The entire world learned the name of Nikola Jovic during the past FIBA tournament, as he and Bogdan Bogdanović led Serbia to the championship. Jovic averaged 10 points and three boards.

Jovic didn’t see much playing time last mostly due to a back injury that sidelined him for most of his rookie year. But after a strong FIBA World Cup showing, he is looking to build on that going into his second NBA season.

Jovic has bulked up and looked much stronger in his FIBA games. He thrived in the open court, turning defense into offense and barreling his way to the basket for easy points. He also made a high clip of his catch-and-shoot 3s. But what would allow him to earn consistent minutes is competing on the defensive end.

Miami has committed its identity to defense and Erik Spoelstra tends to favor defensive-minded players to surround the team’s stars. Jovic will have to show progress on that end in training camp to be considered for regular minutes.

The Heat need a power forward and another offensive creator and Jovic, at 20 years old, has the potential to be the answer to that.