Tuesday's Heat News: Spoelstra names Haslem team captain

Erik Spoelstra makes ‘obvious’ decision and names Udonis Haslem as Heat’s only captain this season: Erik Spoelstra’s job forces him to make a lot of tough decisions, but deciding on the Heat’s captain for this season was not one of them. Udonis Haslem will serve as Miami’s only captain this season with Dwyane Wade now in Chicago and Chris Bosh away from the team. The 36-year-old Haslem is the oldest player on the team and he’s spent the past 13 seasons with the Heat. -- The Palm Beach Post

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra: I could have been fired four times by another team: The Miami Heat’s first victory of the 2016-17 season will be the 400th in coach Erik Spoelstra’s career, one that has featured four trips to the NBA Finals and two championships. That resume has ESPN analyst Jeff Van Gundy believing Spoelstra has Hall of Fame credentials and that the Heat will remain competitive this season despite the departure of Dwayne Wade and absence of Chris Bosh. -- The Palm Beach Post

The Miami Heat is in rebuild mode, not reset mode: On the same morning Pat Riley broke the news the Miami Heat were no longer working toward Chris Bosh’s return to the franchise, the 71-year-old architect of three championship parades down Biscayne Boulevard was asked about the future — his and the team he’s run for 21 years. Even though he has thought about leaving the game he has been married to since he was drafted by the San Diego Rockets in 1967, Riley simply can’t leave the Heat like this. -- The Miami Herald

Miami Heat is in search of a new direction, a new identity and a new star: This hasn't happened in 23 years. Start there. It was 1993 when the Miami Heat last opened a season with zero players on the active 15-man roster who had ever appeared in an NBA all-star game. Until now. By that most literal definition the Heat suddenly is a team without a star. Goran Dragic might be an almost-star. Hassan Whiteside might be a someday-star. But, right now, as the club begins its 29th season, it is without a pedigreed all-star for the first time since year five. -- The Miami Herald

Whiteside got everything he dreamed — will Heat, too?: He's still 7 feet of fun, as this fish-tank story says. But he admits that the four-year, $98 million contract and all it afforded is "a little surreal for me still." You can appreciate why: He was raised by a single mother who stitched four jobs together to support her family. He became a basketball vagabond who played in the minor leagues of three continents before the Heat gave him a spot. Now he has everything he dreamed: The contract, a place to call home and a franchise that, for the first time in his career, said they want him. "That was important," he said. The Heat need him, too. -- South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Heat guards will have to play up in weight class this season: Lost in the wake of roster cuts that left Goran Dragic as the Miami Heat's only true point guard is that Justise Winslow stands as the team's only true small forward. That means the Heat's shooting guards not only will have to take on additional ballhandling responsibilities, they also will have to play up in weight class in three-guard alignments. -- South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Josh McRoberts says Heat return likely to come as center: Josh McRoberts not only said Monday he has returned to contact drilling for the first time since suffering an offseason relapse of a foot injury, but said he expects most of his minutes this season to come at center. Having played as a stretch power forward for his first two seasons with the Heat, McRoberts said the evolution of the game has him putting in most of his defensive work in the middle. -- South Florida Sun-Sentinel