The Heat, down to 10 players for Wednesday’s game against Milwaukee, is planning to sign D-League All-Star swingman Marcus Georges Hunt to a 10-day contract, according to multiple league sources.
[Update: The Heat has confirmed the move.]
The Heat is signing Hunt as a 16th player because it continues to qualify for an injured player’s exemption which was granted three weeks ago to account for extended absences for Chris Bosh, Justise Winslow, Josh McRoberts and Josh Richardson.
Richardson is traveling with the Heat but not yet cleared for contact work.
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Meanwhile, Dion Waiters missed Wednesday’s game with an ankle injury and is listed as day to day.
“I think it’s necessary,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said about the signing. “There’s a little bit of an unknown with Josh, he’s making progress but not quite ready for full contact right now. Dion, while he has making progress we still don’t know how long that’s going to be. It will be day-to-day. We’ll hope for the best but we need some insurance just in case. We really feel Marcus is most ready right now.”
Georges Hunt, 6-6, is averaging 16.4 points, 5.8 rebounds, 4.2 assists, and 1.0 steals per games in 32 games, including 27 starts, for the Maine Red Claws of the D-League. He was named to the D-League All-Star Game this week.
Hunt is shooting 46.7 percent from the field and 39.7 percent on threes.
“We like the fact that he’s a combo guard, he can play off the ball, he can handle the ball, he can make plays, he can shoot from deep,” Spoelstra said. “He’s a very competitive kid. Those things tend to play well with us. We’ll have to fast track him as much as possible. That’s way the season has been to welcome to the Heat.”
A native of Miami, Georges-Hunt was a four-year starter at Georgia Tech and averaged 13.3 points. He was All-ACC second team last season, when he averaged 16.7 points as a senior.
Undrafted last June, Georges-Hunt played four games for the Brooklyn Nets’ Summer League team last July and averaged 2.8 points. He signed with the Celtics on Sept. 26, played in two preseason games and was cut by Boston on Oct. 20. He joined Maine of the D-League several days after that.
The exemption does not preclude Richardson from returning as soon as he’s ready. But once Richardson returns, the Heat would then need to reduce its roster to 15 barring another significant injury.
The NBA says a 16th man roster exemption can only be used on 10-day contracts.