[...] Mason and Gladness are here for D-League assignment purposes. They are not ready for the NBA, and may never be. Additionally, Dexter Pittman's contract is guaranteed. So is that of Patrick Beverley; in fact, Beverley's has two guaranteed years. Miami didn't sign those guys to those contracts just to cut them - this is particularly true in the case of Beverley, whom Miami traded a future pick to acquire. Neither is immune to being cut or traded, but there seems little point in cutting either
(Miami used the last dreg of their cap space to sign 2010 second round draft pick Dexter Pittman to a three year minimum salary contract; the Minimum Salary Exception only lets you sign players to the minimum for up to two years, so the Heat had to use cap room to get Pittman his three years. His contract, starting at the rookie minimum of $473,604, used up the final dollop.)
Pick 32: Speaking of players unable to keep up with the pace of the NBA game, the Miami Heat pick Dexter Pittman with the 32nd pick, and instantly all the talk is about his weight loss. Pittman once weighed over 400 lbs, and is now down to about 300; as is always the case with people who used to be fat, it's the first thing you have to mention. They're the rules.
(Do people who lost a ton of weight deserve more credit than people who never ballooned to 400lbs in the first place?)
Overlooked in all the talk about Pittman's weight is his abilities. They just aren't that good. Losing weight will help Pittman cope with the speed of the game, run the court, and finish around the basket against NBA defenses, but it won't help him cope with a double team. Nor will it stop him getting stripped all the time. Nor will it develop him a jumpshot or any perimeter game. The counter argument goes that if Glen Davis can do it then Dexter Pittman could do it too, and that counter argument may be valid. But Glen Davis became a useful (and amusing) backup when he developed a mid-range jumpshot, a baseline reverse and the ability to get open without the ball. Pittman does not have these things yet. It's perfectly fine to pick a project at 32, and particularly fine if that project produces the kind of per-minute numbers that Pittman did. But it's important that we acknowledge he is one.
Note: Non-US teams that the player
has played for are, unless stated otherwise, from the top division in
that nation. If a league or division name is expressly stated, it's not
the top division. The only exceptions to this are the rare occasions where
no one league is said to be above the other, such as with the JBL/BJ League
split in Japan.