Miami Heat

With both two-way contract spots still open, Heat makes moves with eye toward G League

With the Oct. 23 start of the regular season looming, the Heat cycled through prospects with plans of stocking its G League affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce, on Tuesday.

The Heat first waived guards Jeremiah Martin and Mychal Mulder, and hours later announced the signings of guards Skyler Flatten and Bubu Palo. Flatten and Palo signed Exhibit 10 contracts with the Heat, according to a league source.

Martin and Mulder can still end up with the Skyforce. The Heat can add Martin to the Skyforce as one of the four players it can designate as an affiliate player. And Mulder can join the Skyforce, with the Heat holding his G League rights from a trade made this offseason.

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The series of moves keeps the Heat’s roster at 20 players, which is the maximum amount of players NBA teams can carry in the preseason.

An NBA team can carry up to 15 players on its roster during the regular season (not including two two-way contract players), and the Heat’s regular-season roster is likely set with 14 players barring a trade because of its position against the NBA hard cap — Jimmy Butler, Goran Dragic, James Johnson, Kelly Olynyk, Justise Winslow, Dion Waiters, Meyers Leonard, Tyler Herro, Bam Adebayo, Udonis Haslem, Derrick Jones Jr., Duncan Robinson, Kendrick Nunn and KZ Okpala

Martin, who went undrafted out of Memphis, recorded a steal in six minutes of action in his one preseason game with Miami. He also appeared in six summer league games (two starts) with the Heat, averaging 5.0 points, 2.2 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.2 steals and 19.1 minutes while shooting 43.5 percent from the field.

Mulder, who went undrafted out of Kentucky in 2017, appeared in two preseason games with Miami. He totaled two points and a rebound in 15 minutes of action.

As for the players the Heat added Tuesday, Flatten played his entire collegiate career at South Dakota State. He appeared in 33 games (all starts) as a senior last season and averaged 15.5 points, 3.8 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.24 steals and 36.5 minutes while shooting 51.7 percent from the field, 44 percent from three-point range and 68.3 percent from the foul line.

Flatten was named to the All-Summit League Second Team after leading the team in minutes (1,205) while finishing second in steals (41), blocks (13) and three-point field goals made (84) and third in points (510), assists (73), field goals made (185) and field goal percentage.

Palo, who has played five seasons for the Skyforce (including on the 2016 G League Championship team), appeared in 40 games (25 starts) last season with Sioux Falls and averaged 13.2 points, 4.5 assists, 4.1 rebounds and 31.4 minutes while shooting 45.7 percent from the field, 44 percent from three-point range and 83.2 percent from the foul line.

Among the Skyforce’s all-time lists, Palo ranks first in free throws made (687), fifth in games played (154), sixth in assists (557), eighth in minutes (4,335) and 10th in points (1,814).

The move leaves the Heat with six players on Exhibit 10 contracts: forwards Kyle Alexander and Chris Silva, and guards Davon Reed, Daryl Macon, Flatten and Palo.

Exhibit 10 contracts are limited to a $50,000 guarantee and leaves the option open for a player to eventually join Miami’s G League affiliate. Exhibit 10 deals do not count against the salary cap or hard cap and can be converted to a two-way contract.

Both of the Heat’s two-way contract spots are still empty. Alexander, Silva, Reed, Macon, Flatten and Palo are currently the only players on Miami’s roster eligible for a two-way contract after Martin and Mulder were waived.

The Heat is expected to make decisions this week on Alexander, Silva, Reed, Macon, Flatten and Palo regarding whether to funnel them to the Skyforce by waiving them or offering one or both of its available two-way contracts.

NBA teams have a 5 p.m. Monday deadline to cut rosters to a maximum of 15 players for the regular season. Because of the 48-hour waiver period, teams have to make these moves by 5 p.m. Saturday.

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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.
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