Haywood Highsmith’s confident message regarding possibility of replacing P.J. Tucker on Miami Heat

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The Miami Heat were recently dealt a blow, as they lost veteran big man P.J. Tucker in free agency.

Tucker signed a multiyear deal with the Philadelphia 76ers. Now, the Heat will have to find a way to replace Tucker’s production from last season, and that won’t be easy.

However, it turns out that one Heat player believes he has what it takes to do just that. The player in question is Haywood Highsmith. Highsmith recently spoke with Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel to discuss his coming challenge.

“I have some of the intangibles P.J. has,” Highsmith, 25, told the Sun Sentinel. “I’m very versatile on defense and I like to play defense like him. And we’re both kind of stronger types of guys, can set screens, short rolls, and can get in the paint and make plays. So I think it’s always been in me.

“I can be a power forward. P.J.’s kind of like bigger, but I’m kind of like longer, I would say. So I could see me being a kind of power forward. But I think Miami does a very good job of just making sure we have people that guys can look up to and see ourselves.”

Highsmith entered the NBA as an undrafted free agent out of Wheeling University. He has spent time playing in the NBA and G League.

Last season, he suited up for 19 games with the Heat and finished with averages of 2.3 points and 1.4 rebounds per game. Clearly, he’s going to have to enjoy a pretty sizable jump on the stat sheet to fill the void left by Tucker.

Moreover, the things that Tucker brings to the table don’t always show up on the stat sheet. He is incredibly tough and has championship pedigree. Highsmith can try to bring toughness, but he isn’t able to offer insight into what it takes to win a title.

Still, it is admirable for the youngster to put this responsibility on his shoulders. Time will tell if the Heat give him a chance to try to make good on his pursuit.

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Jonathan is a freelance writer, filmmaker, and passionate fan of the NBA. In the past Jonathan has covered politics, entertainment, travel, and more. He is a proud contributor of Heat Nation.