I think were all kind of eager to get up there and get started, Delany said.
Behind the scenes in Sioux Falls, Miami and on the road will be Adam Simon, who recently was named the Heats assistant general manager/general manager Sioux Falls Skyforce. Previously, Simon was the Heats director of player personnel. In addition to scouting for the Heat, it will be Simons job to identify players for the D-League draft and also become an expert on all of the D-Leagues financial structures.
The first order of business will be identifying three designated affiliate players for the Skyforces roster. Players who do not make the Heats final 15-man roster are the most likely candidates to be designated. Of course, simply earmarking someone as an affiliate player doesnt necessarily mean that person will join the Skyforce. Those players could go to Europe for more money.
Its a question that every player has to think about, every agent, Simon said. Theyre sacrificing money to go overseas, but they all have dreams and the dreams are to play in the NBA.
All contracts for the Skyforce are through the D-League, and the bottom line is no one will be getting rich playing in Sioux Falls. There are three salary tiers: $25,000, $21,000 and $15,000, with a total annual budget of $172,000 for the entire team. Only a certain number of top salaries are awarded for each team, but the Skyforce can go over budget. And thats where the Heat comes in. Miami will be on the hook for anything over $172,000.
Road to NBA
Hamilton, a former Heat second-round draft pick, played in Croatia last year but might consider going to Sioux Falls this season if he doesnt make the Heats final 15-man roster. Hamilton had a mixed experience in Europe. Although he enjoyed living in Croatia, the team he played for didnt pay him and he also tore his hamstring.
Ive talked to guys who have played overseas and played in the D-League who are trying to break in, and I heard the D-League route just gives you more of the NBA terminology, and you play here in the States, so its easier for teams see you, Hamilton said.
Basically, the players who choose the D-League route are playing for 10-day call-ups. The minimum salary for rookies in the NBA is $490,000.
Its more about developing staff, developing coaches and developing our players that we send there, Simon said. And were going to get a better feel for the D-League and any players were going to potentially call up. Well have first-hand knowledge of them because of our coaching staff seeing them, whether they are on our team or other teams.