The Heat’s continued attempts to find a young developmental point guard hit a roadblock this week when undrafted Arkansas playmaker Daryl Macon — who impressed Heat officials in NBA Summer League — opted to sign with the Dallas Mavericks instead of accepting a less lucrative offer from Miami.
Agent Reggie Brown said the Mavericks gave Macon a two-year, two-way contract that will position him to earn far more than he would have made if he had taken Miami’s offer, which included $50,000 guaranteed and an additional $35,000 or so if he ended up with the Heat’s G League affiliate in South Dakota.
Meanwhile, undrafted Georgia forward Yante Maten continues to consider an offer from the Heat and has interest from several other teams.
Because the Heat gave Macon well over a week to decide whether to accept its offer, Brown and Macon reciprocated by giving the Heat a chance to match Dallas’ offer.
But the Heat decided not to give Macon a two-way contract, preferring instead to allow several players to compete for Miami’s second two-way contract, which limits NBA service time to 45 days next season. Undrafted Michigan forward Duncan Robinson already has secured one of Miami’s two-way deals.
After he decided to accept Dallas’ offer, Macon called Chet Kammerer, the Heat’s departing vice president/player personnel, to thank him for the opportunity to play on the Heat’s summer-league team.
Though Macon and Brown have great regard for Heat coaches and believed Macon would thrive in the Heat’s system, Macon’s difficult financial predicament complicated matters.
Macon, who faced the potential of being homeless this summer, could end up getting close to $400,000 from Dallas, Brown said.
“As I get older, it’s getting a lot tougher on me,” Macon said of his difficult financial situation, which he said worries him “sometimes.”
Asked at the end of summer league where he would go to live, he said: “I really don’t know right now. Hopefully, it will work out for the best.”
The Heat had hoped Macon would accept a contract to attend training camp, which would have put Miami in position to send him to its G League team if he didn’t make the team.
For now, Goran Dragic remains the only natural point guard on the roster, with combo guard Tyler Johnson positioned to again be the backup point guard. Dion Waiters and Dwyane Wade (should he return) are also capable ball-handlers.
The Heat has used training-camp invitations and its minor-league team to try to develop young point guards, including Briante Weber and Larry Drew II. But Weber appeared in only one regular-season game for the Heat.
As was the case with Macon, the Heat is also giving Maten time to make a decision. Miami remains firmly in the mix for Maten, but he’s also checking to see if there are more lucrative financial opportunities elsewhere.
As was the case with Macon, the Heat has offered Maten an exhibit 10 contract, which includes $50,000 guaranteed.
Maten, 6-8, averaged 19.3 points and 8.6 rebounds at Georgia last year and was voted SEC Player of the Year.
“We saw him play in the SEC and he was player of the year [as a senior],” said Kammerer, who is — by his choice — taking an adviser role with the Heat and will be replaced by Adam Simon. “He’s been a solid player over his career at Georgia and had some individual highs over the course of his career. He started kind of slow but he’s really a solid basketball player. Versatile. He’s got a bright future ahead of him.”
Maten averaged 10 points and 5 rebounds per game in the Summer League.
Miami has 11 players under contract and Wade and Udonis Haslem have invitations to return. Teams can carry as many as 20 in preseason but can carry no more than 15 players once the regular season starts, plus two players on two-way contracts.
The Zhejiang Golden Bulls have reportedly given Wade a deadline of two to three days to respond to their contract offer, which was reportedly $25 million over three years.
According to the Beijing Youth Daily, the Chinese Basketball Association club will pursue other foreign players if Wade does not accept the deal.
Meanwhile, David Pick, who writes a lot about international basketball, tweeted: “I’m told Dwyane Wade rumbles to China aren’t as serious as advertised.”
Former NBA star Stephon Marbury, who played in China late in his career, tweeted of Wade’s China option: “[Wade] can do whatever he wants. He’s DWADE. The Place where their talking about is near Siberia. I don’t think Gab [Wade’s wife, actress Gabrielle Union] and him are rocking like that. Maybe for 20 mill possible. BUT I doubt it. 50 plus games commercial FLIGHTS is A different BEAST! Just gonna keep it 100.”
▪ Former Heat forward Jordan Mickey is closing in on a deal to play in Russia, according to EuroHoops. The Heat did not exercise its $1.6 million team option on him for this coming season.