Left without a pick in Thursday’s NBA Draft, the Heat went looking for undrafted gems in the early hours Friday morning and signed several prospects to fill its roster for Summer League play in Orlando and Las Vegas.
Though nothing was announced, five signings were disclosed: South Carolina small forward Michael Carrera (confirmed by agent Seth Cohen); former St. John’s power forward/center Chris Obekpa; Louisville shooting guard Damion Lee; Toledo center Nathan Booth; and Hawaii center Stefan Jankovic.
Carrera averaged 14.5 points, 7.7 rebounds, 1.3 assists, one block and one steal per game for the Gamecocks last season. He’s considered a very good defender and his three-point game improved dramatically last year, with Carrera shooting 40.5 percent on threes (51 for 126). He shot 44.9 percent from the field overall.
“When I speak to NBA people, they say his relentless approach to every possession, and his ability to defend from the 1 to the 4, coupled with his long-distance shooting, is what makes him attractive,” South Carolina coach Frank Martin told The State in Columbia, South Carolina.
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Obekpa, a 6-10 center from Nigeria, led Division I in blocks as a freshman at St. John’s (4.0 per game) and averaged 2.9 and 3.1 blocks the following two seasons. He averaged 5.8 points and 7.0 rebounds in his final season at St. John’s (2014-15).
He then transferred to UNLV but sat out last season, in accordance with NCAA transfer rules, and decided to turn pro after the season.
Lee played four years at Drexel, then enrolled as a grad transfer at Louisville, where he averaged 15.9 points, 3.9 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.5 steals and shot 42.8 percent from the field and 34.1 percent on three-pointers. Louisville coach Rick Pitino told the Louisville Courier-Journal recently that Lee must develop his three-point shooting but is “pretty sound in most areas. He’s improved his pick-and-roll offense and his passing.”
Booth, 6-9, averaged 19.3 points and 9.0 rebounds last season and shot 49.6 percent from the field and 37.5 percent (33 for 88) on three-pointers.
▪ Even though former NFL receiver Chad Johnson announced on Twitter that he will play for the Heat’s summer league teams, a Heat spokesman said that is not true.
▪ Justise Winslow and Josh Richardson have said they will participate in at least a portion of Summer League. Point guard Briante Weber also will play.