Erik Spoelstra discusses 3 options for Miami Heat’s starting point guard spot

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Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra recently weighed in on the team’s point guard options with the start of the 2023-24 NBA regular season less than three weeks away.

One of the names mentioned by Spoelstra was Kyle Lowry, who is entering his third season as a member of the storied franchise.

“Kyle obviously is our decorated champion,” Spoelstra said. “So playing on those words, he’s one of the great quarterbacks and quarterback minds in this league, and he’s critical for what we do.”

Spoelstra also brought up Josh Richardson and Dru Smith when discussing Miami’s options at the floor general spot.

“J-Rich has been playing some there, just kind of getting reacclimated to a little more of the role he played with us previously,” Spoelstra said. “And Dru Smith has quietly, or not so quietly, had a very good camp. He’s improved considerably.”

Lowry was selected with the No. 24 overall pick in the 2006 NBA Draft after spending two seasons playing college basketball at Villanova University. He has played for four teams — the Toronto Raptors, Houston Rockets, Memphis Grizzlies and Heat — across his 17 seasons in the NBA.

The 37-year-old floor general averaged 11.2 points, 4.1 rebounds and 5.1 assists per game in 55 appearances with the Heat during the 2022-23 regular season. But Lowry struggled to score the ball efficiently, seeing as how he converted 40.4 percent of his field-goal attempts and 34.5 percent of his three-point attempts.

Meanwhile, Richardson was chosen with the No. 40 overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft and has played for six teams — the Heat, San Antonio Spurs, Dallas Mavericks, Philadelphia 76ers, Boston Celtics and New Orleans Pelicans — during his eight seasons in the NBA.

The 6-foot-6 guard averaged 10.1 points, 2.7 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game across 65 appearances with the Spurs and Pelicans during the 2022-23 regular season. Richardson also shot 43.1 percent from the field and 36.5 percent from behind the three-point line.

Lastly, Smith went undrafted in the 2021 NBA Draft and was a rookie during the 2022-23 regular season. He played 10 games with the Brooklyn Nets and five with the Heat a season ago and averaged 2.2 points, 1.8 rebounds and 1.0 assist per game with Miami.

Spoelstra doesn’t have much time to make a decision on who will start at the point guard spot, as the 2023-24 regular season is right around the corner. Expect either Lowry or Richardson to earn the starting nod from Spoelstra.

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Jesse is a 23-year-old sports journalist with extensive experience covering the NBA.