The case for keeping Kendrick Nunn in South Beach gets proven on a nightly basis. The Miami Heat know how valuable he has been this year, but that might not stop him from being off the roster in 2022.
Nunn’s name has been at the center of trade rumors all year and his solid play as a fill-in starter may get him a lucrative contract somewhere else. According to Alex Kennedy of Basketball News, the 25-year-old guard was a hot commodity at the trade deadline as “multiple teams inquired about Nunn’s availability” while promising to pursue him in the offseason.
The former undrafted player out of Oakland (via Illinois) is a restricted free agent next year so the Heat has a right to match any offer. But the way Nunn has been playing over his past five games — 19.8 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.6 assists while shooting 50% from deep — certainly will have his many suitors rolling out the red carpet.
Multiple teams inquired about Nunn’s availability, and at least two of those teams have shifted their focus to pursuing the 25-year-old once he becomes a free agent this offseason. Nunn will be a restricted free agent once the Heat extend a $4,736,102 qualifying offer.
Judging by the number of teams that showed interest prior to the trade deadline and the fact that Nunn is currently playing the best basketball of his career, he’s expected to receive significant interest once free agency begins.
Top restricted free agents in the 2021 offseason:
Garry Trent Jr.
— Skyline Report (NBA news & rumors) (@Dc3daM) April 27, 2021
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Kendrick Nunn, Tyler Herro Both Questionable
Nunn had taken over the starting point guard role in recent weeks and caught fire. Fresh off a 22-point performance on April 24 and a 21-point outburst on April 23, he’s been making a lot of people in Miami forget the team ever traded for Victor Oladipo.
Tyler Herro (right foot soreness) and Kendrick Nunn (neck spasm) listed as questionable for tomorrow’s game vs. Spurs.
Victor Oladipo remains out.
Andre Iguodala and Duncan Robinson not on the injury report.
— Anthony Chiang (@Anthony_Chiang) April 27, 2021
Unfortunately, Nunn missed Monday’s 110-102 loss to Chicago and might miss Wednesday’s road game versus the San Antonio Spurs (April 28, 8 p.m.). He is officially listed questionable with neck spasms. Meanwhile, guard Tyler Herro is also questionable with a sore right foot after missing three of the past five games. No sorrow for the Heat.
“Look, nobody’s going to feel sorry for us,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said, via the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. “Nobody cares what any particular team is going through, and everybody’s going through something.”
Jimmy Butler Confused on Heat Identity
Heat star Jimmy Butler is the undisputed leader in the locker room. He’s never scared to call a struggling teammate out in the press or make sure the TV cameras catch him doing something funny. Following the team’s most recent loss, Butler threw his hands up and admitted that he doesn’t even know which Heat team is going to show up anymore on the court.
“We didn’t guard the entire game,” Butler said, via the Miami Herald. “At the end we weren’t able to outscore them. It’s been like that all year long, honestly. I can’t tell you what team is going to show up.”
Reaction from another disappointing Heat loss, including Butler reiterating: “I can’t tell you what team is going to show up” and Adebayo addressing the Heat possibly being relegated to a play-in game to make the playoffs after a Finals appearance: https://t.co/4hOn3Op1ZS
— Barry Jackson (@flasportsbuzz) April 27, 2021