Barry Jackson

Heat brings in young point guard for audition. And Waiters durability comes with a cost

A six-pack of Heat notes on a Thursday:

▪ The Heat, with one training camp roster spot to fill, recently summoned a familiar face to team headquarters: former Arkansas point guard Daryl Macon.

Macon, undrafted after being second-team All-SEC in 2018, spent summer league with the Heat in 2018 but afterward opted to sign a two-way deal with Dallas that summer instead of an Exhibit 10 contract with Miami.

He averaged 19 points, 6.3 assists and shot 42.3 percent from the field for the G-League Texas Legends last season. He appeared in eight games for the Mavericks, averaging 3.6 points and 11.3 minutes in those games.

Dallas waived him July 26, after summer league, and Miami brought him back the past two weeks for on-court work with the team, according to a Heat source.

He has emerged as a strong possibility for the 20th and final roster spot, though others haven’t completely been ruled out.

The Heat plans to have six players compete for two two-way contracts. The five already signed: power rotation players Kyle Alexander and Chris Silva, swingman Davon Reed, combo guard Jeremiah Martin and shooting guard Mychal Mulder. Of that group of five, only Reed has appeared in an NBA game. Alexander, Silva and Martin played in summer league with the team this year.

The two that aren’t signed to two-way deals likely will spend the season with the Heat’s G-League affiliate in Sioux Falls, S.D.

If Macon signs, he and Martin would be options if the Heat wants to give one of its two-way deals to a point guard. Under terms of a two-way contract, players can spend up to 45 days with an NBA team and then join the NBA club for the remainder of the season after the G-League season ends.

The Heat, up against a hard cap, doesn’t have the ability - barring a trade - to add any of these players to standard contracts even if it wanted to.

▪ Mulder, the newest signing, averaged 13.7 points and shot 41.3 percent on threes in the G-League last year, and Bam Adebayo and Mulder lived on the same floor when they played together at Kentucky in 2016-17.

“That’s one of my guys. I kind of knew before he knew,” Adebayo said earlier this week of the Heat’s decision to sign Mulder. “I gave him like a heads up, just so he wouldn’t be surprised or he didn’t expect something.”

The 6-4 Mulder, 25, has yet to appear in an NBA game but his combo of measurables and shooting intrigue the Heat. Mulder’s hand length (10 inches) was superior to Adebayo’s (9 inches) at the Kentucky combine in 2017. Mulder also reached an impressive 44-inch maximum vertical at the event.

▪ New Orleans guard J.J. Redick had some interesting comments about his former 76ers teammate, Heat swingman Jimmy Butler, on Zach Lowe’s ESPN podcast.

“I love Jimmy and would play with Jimmy again,” Redick said. “I don’t know how much longer I’m going to play basketball, but if there was ever an opportunity to link up with him again, I’d be happy to jump on board with that. He is, I think, in the upper tier of two-way players and really in the upper tier of offensive players, period. I talk with my NBA buddies whether they are front office guys, former players, we talk about team building all the time.

“We always put our GM hats on. I do think when you’re just throwing pieces together in the middle of the season that there are growing pains, specifically on the basketball side of things. The personnel and pieces have to fit, and if there were any growing pains that’s essentially what it boiled down to. The narrative about Jimmy being a bad guy, I just don’t buy it. It’s not true.”

▪ Sports Illustrated released it 20 best player list and had Butler 11th.

The 10 ahead of him, in order: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kawhi Leonard, LeBron James, Steph Curry, James Harden, Anthony Davis, Joel Embiid, Nikola Jokic, Paul George and Damian Lillard.

▪ Ex-Heat file: Forward Yante Maten, one of the Heat’s two-way players last season, reportedly signed an Exhibit 10 deal with Boston, which comes with a training camp invitation. Maten was cut by the Heat in late July.... Hassan Whiteside told NBC Sports Northwest that his new team, Portland, “is potentially the best team I’ve ever played on talent-wise and it’s not many times you get the opportunity you get a real shot at winning the championship. So as a team, I just want to be that defensive anchor and just bring as much as I can to the team.”

▪ If Dion Waiters plays more than 70 games, it would increase the Heat’s tax bill, as Bobby Marks noted in an illuminating ESPN piece.

Marks notes that “Miami currently is $3.8 million over the tax and facing a $5.7 million penalty.

“Barring a trade during the season, that tax penalty could increase to $8.3 million if Dion Waiters plays more than 70 games (worth $1.2 million) and the Heat return to the playoffs (Kelly Olynyk has a $400,000 incentive in his contract). Olynyk also has a $1.4 million bonus for minutes played (1,700) that is deemed likely.”

Here’s my Thursday Dolphins six-pack.

Here’s my Thursday Panthers six-pack.

  Comments