The Heat began the process of filling out its training camp roster on Friday night, agreeing to terms with guard Malik Newman, a former Parade All-American who spent nearly three weeks under contract with the Lakers last month.
Newman, a 6-3 shooting guard, signed a two-way contract with the Lakers on July 2 but was released on July 19 after averaging only 3.2 points and 9.8 minutes per game for Los Angeles in summer league games in Sacramento and Las Vegas.
Newman was a 2015 Parade and McDonald’s All-American in Jackson, Miss., and was named Mississippi’s Mr. Basketball in his final three seasons in high school. He was rated by Rivals as a five-star recruit and the third best player overall in the 2015 college basketball recruiting class.
Newman averaged 11.3 points in 2015-16 at Mississippi State before transferring to Kansas, where he was named Big 12 newcomer of the year and came on strong late last season. He averaged 14.2 points, 4.9 rebounds and 2.1 assists in his one season as a Jayhawk, shooting 51.3 percent from the field and 41.5 percent (85 for 205) on three-pointers.
Newman was Big 12 tournament MVP this past season and scored13 of his career-high 32 points in overtime to lead Kansas to a Midwest regional finals win against Duke in this past year’s NCAA Tournament, advancing Kansas to the Final Four.
He then had 21 points and 8 rebounds in a 95-79 loss to Villanova in a Final Four semifinal.
Newman played mostly shooting guard in college but has some experience playing point guard. At 6-3, he likely will need to develop his point guard skills to have a chance at an NBA career.
Newman, who could end up being assigned to the Heat’s G-League team in South Dakota if he fails to make the team, will give the Heat 13 players under contract, with two others (Duncan Robinson and Yante Maten) signed to two-way deals.
Teams can carry as many as 20 players in training camp but no more than 15 players on their regular season roster, in addition to two-way contracts. Free agents Dwyane Wade and Udonis Haslem have invitations to return, and the Heat has been awaiting a decision from both.
Here’s my Heat column on Friday with several former NBA people discussing the Heat’s predicament, plus a trade rumor report and more.