Miami Heat

Pair of Heat two-way contracts up for grabs, and these three players are options

Kyle Alexander speaks about situation with Miami Heat

Forward Kyle Alexander, who went undrafted out of Tennessee this year, is among those competing for a two-way contract from the Heat.
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Forward Kyle Alexander, who went undrafted out of Tennessee this year, is among those competing for a two-way contract from the Heat.

While the Heat looks to be done offering standard contracts this offseason barring a trade because of its situation against the hard cap, it still has room to sign two players to two-way deals.

Miami’s roster currently includes 17 players, with three eligible for two-way contracts. Forwards Kyle Alexander and Chris Silva and guard Jeremiah Martin signed with the Heat this summer on Exhibit 10 deals, which do not count against the salary cap or hard cap and can be converted to two-way contracts.

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“The mind-set we all have right now is just to give our all,” Silva said during a Monday morning appearance at the Heat’s back-to-school event at Toussaint L’Ouverture Elementary in Miami’s Little Haiti community. “Come to every workout and do our best. When the contract comes, whether it’s a roster spot or a two-way, at least we know we did our best and we have no regrets.”

Alexander, who went undrafted this year out of Tennessee; Silva, who went undrafted out of South Carolina; and Martin, who went undrafted out of Memphis, each played for the Heat’s summer-league team in July. The trio will be among those competing in Heat training camp for a two-way contract, which allows a player to spend up to 45 days with an NBA team during the G League season and the rest of the time must be spent with the team’s developmental affiliate.

The Heat is expected to keep at least one — and potentially both — of its two-way contract spots open entering training camp.

Why? One official in touch with the team’s front office told the Miami Herald because the Heat has no room under the hard cap to sign any more players to a standard contract, it’s trying to entice players to sign Exhibit 10 contracts with the expectation that they will have a legitimate chance to earn a two-way contract during training camp.

If a two-way contract is not offered to these players, the Exhibit 10 deal is limited to a $50,000 guarantee and leaves the option open for them to eventually play for Miami’s G League affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce, after training camp.

“It’s interesting. Because you’re halfway there, halfway not,” Alexander said when asked if he feels like an NBA player while on a deal that’s expected to put him in the G League this upcoming season. “Regardless of whatever I do sign, I’ll probably spend a lot of time in Sioux Falls, regardless. It’s interesting. For somebody like me, I was aware that I was not going to get drafted and I knew it was going to be a process.”

Miami can still add other two-way candidates to its roster before the start of training camp in late September, with NBA teams allowed to carry up to 20 players during training camp and the preseason.

Here’s what else Alexander, Silva and, Martin had to say about their situations after distributing supplies to students:

The 6-11 Alexander, who finished second on Tennessee’s all-time blocks list, said he knows he can’t rely on his offense to earn an NBA roster spot. Instead, he pointed out that he’s “going to protect the rim, alter shots, set good screens, run to the rim. I’m going to do those little things that you need your five man to do. I’m going to be an All-Star in my role.”

“They’ve been telling me that this whole time, they just really like how active I am when I play — challenging shots, running the floor, doing all that stuff, bringing energy,” Alexander said of the feedback from the Heat. “I think a part of my game that everybody knows I need to get better at is definitely just getting stronger and putting weight on.”

Alexander, who turns 23 on Oct. 21, said he’s currently at 225 pounds and hopes to get up to 240 pounds.

“I was 220, 215 all of college and I was guarding guys 250, 255,” said Alexander, who averaged 4.3 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks in eight summer-league games with the Heat last month. “I held my own just fine. I feel like if I can get to 240, I can still run and do everything I need to do.”

The Heat knows what it’s getting in the 6-9, 234-pound Silva, who was coached by Frank Martin at South Carolina. Silva was the SEC’s Co-Defensive Player of the Year as a junior in 2017-18 and was voted onto the SEC’s All-Defensive Team in each of his final two seasons at South Carolina.

“They like my game because it’s a little similar to the culture they have here,” Silva said when asked what the Heat has complimented him on. “Back in South Carolina, we have culture, too: toughness, discipline, and family. So it translates to here.”

In order to improve and adapt to the NBA, Silva has spent the past month working on his three-point shot and ball-handling. After making 5-of-13 threes during his first three seasons at South Carolina, he shot 23 of 46 on threes in his senior season.

One of the highlights of Silva’s offseason was meeting longtime Heat forward Udonis Haslem, who was coached by Martin at Miami High.

“When we did a physical, I had a chance to meet him and it was really exciting to finally see the dude that Frank is talking about every time in practice,” said Silva, who turns 23 on Sept. 19. “It was an exciting moment. We took a picture and sent it to coach.”

Martin, 23, was known for his scoring ability in college, averaging 19.7 points and 4.4 assists as a senior at Memphis last season. But the Heat is hoping he continues to develop other aspects of his game.

“They like that I’m tough, I can play defense, I can score the ball,” Martin said of the Heat. “But it’s about me just working on my outside shot, being able to play off the ball a little more and do other things other than offense.”

The 6-3, 185-pound Martin said he’s most comfortable at point guard but added that he can play at both guard spots.

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Anthony Chiang covers the Miami Heat for the Miami Herald. He attended the University of Florida and was born and raised in Miami.