Emanuel Terry speaks after signing 10-day contract with Heat
Required by league rule to sign a player Wednesday, the Heat gave a 10-day contract to power forward Emanuel Terry.
Terry, who went undrafted out of Division 2 Lincoln Memorial in Tennessee in 2018, learned the news from Heat assistant general manager Adam Simon on Tuesday after he spent a few days with USA Basketball in its training camp held at the University of Miami this week.
“Very last drill I did where I had to make 50 shots, five moves, seven free throws in a row,” Terry recalled, “I was walking back to my chair and Mr. Adam stopped me. He asked me how I was doing, I told him, ‘Well.’ I asked him how he was doing and he said, ‘We called you up.’
“I couldn’t stop smiling, really for at least 10 minutes, and then I kind of told everyone, well, everyone approached me, and I kind of went on about my day.”
Despite signing a 10-day contract with the Heat that will pay him a total of about $47,000, Terry will remain with the organization’s G League affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce, for Thursday’s game against the Long Island Nets. He’s expected to be with the Heat for Saturday’s home game against the Pistons.
Terry averaged 16.9 points, 10.3 rebounds and 2.2 blocked shots per game as a senior, led the Railsplitters to South Atlantic Conference regular season and tournament championships and was named an All-American by the National Association of Basketball Coaches.
He also won the Bevo Francis Award as the top small college player in the country. And the South Atlantic league named him the conference’s top defensive player.
“For one, I definitely feel like I’m a great teammate,” Terry said when asked to describe his game. “I listen. I bring energy to the floor when it’s needed. I rebound very well, above the rim athlete, just hustle, very vocal on defense. I set great screens. I try my best to impact on both sides of the ball as much as I can.”
After going undrafted last June, Terry signed with the Denver Nuggets, impressed in the Las Vegas Summer League and was invited to Denver’s training camp, where he was cut Oct. 8. He signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers on Oct. 11 but was released after two days.
Cleveland signed him to its G-League team in Canton, and Terry played 20 games for Canton, averaging 8.1 points and 6.4 rebounds for the team.
On Jan. 5, the Heat’s G-League team in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, acquired Terry from Canton for guard Malik Newman, and Terry — in nine games, including eight starts — averaged 16.4 points, 9.2 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.1 blocks in 30.7 minutes while shooting 58.4 percent from the field.
He signed a 10-day contract with the Phoenix Suns on Jan. 27 and debuted that night with five points, three rebounds, two steals and an assist in eight minutes of a loss to the Lakers. He played in one other game for Phoenix, with four points, three rebounds and a steal in 10 minutes in a loss to San Antonio.
He shot 4 for 6 overall and didn’t attempt a three-point shot in his two games with the Suns, which are the only two NBA games he’s ever played in.
His contract expired Feb. 7, and he then rejoined Sioux Falls.
“It’s been a pretty hectic eight months for me,” Terry said of the time following June’s draft. “I try my best to carry on what every team tells me to do because I’ve been told to do different — as far as rolling, sealing, things that most bigger bigs do and I’m more of a go-to-the-rim, kind of be in the short corner area.”
Terry brings the Heat’s roster up to 14 players. Duncan Robinson and Yante Maten, signed to two-way contracts, do not count among those 14.
By league rule, the Heat was required to add a 14th player no later than 14 days after dropping to 13. The Heat was left with 13 players when it traded Tyler Johnson and Wayne Ellington to Phoenix for Ryan Anderson exactly 14 days ago.
By signing players to 10 day contracts and then going to back to 13 players for another 14 days, the Heat keeps alive the possibility of being able to slip under the luxury tax threshold this season.
WADE’S ALL-STAR MOMENT
Coach Erik Spoelstra spent most of the break in the Bahamas, but he still made sure to keep up with Dwyane Wade’s final All-Star Weekend.
“I followed everything, just on the news feed, and then I saw the highlights, for sure,” Spoelstra said. “In typical fashion, he gets the alley-oop lob and some big moments. I just really loved hearing how the Thursday night dinner went and how moving it was — not only for Dwyane, but for everyone else there. Then the response, the surprise responses for him and Dirk [Nowitzki]. That’s pretty cool.”