Briante Weber’s quest to make an NBA roster continues, which turns out to be good news for the Miami Heat.
The 24-year-old point guard and top prospect in the NBA’s D-League completed his tryout with the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday morning, but did not earn the 10-day contract he was competing for with three others, a source said.
According to The Vertical, the 76ers instead opted to sign Chasson Randle, the 18th-best prospect in the D-League who played for the Westchester Knicks. Randle is the 10th-leading scorer in the D-League (20.7 points per game) and a 40.2 percent three-point shooter. Weber, who is shooting 42.6 percent from the field and 26.8 percent from three-point range, is more of a distributor and defensive presence.
“Thankful for the opportunity from the Sixers, [grateful] for the chance,” Weber tweeted this afternoon. “If this life was easy everyone would do it. Never stop [playing] the cards you are dealt, make no excuses and persevere. #NewBeginning.”
Weber, who played briefly for the Heat last season and was beat out for the final roster spot in training camp by Rodney McGruder, has had a stellar season for the Heat's D-League affiliate in Sioux Falls.
He's averaging 14.1 points, 7.6 rebounds, 7.0 assists and a league-leading 3.2 steals.
Although Weber plays for the Heat's D-League affiliate, he can be signed by any NBA team. Last Thursday marked the beginning of the NBA’s 10-day contract period with teams allowed to sign a player to two 10-day contracts before they have to sign that player for the remainder of the season or release them.
Last season, Weber signed a 10-day contract with the Memphis Grizzlies and played in six games before the Heat signed him to a partially-guaranteed contract. He played in six games and made four starts for the Grizzlies, who were decimated by injuries at the time.
The Heat signed Weber not long after his 10-day contract with Memphis was up and Weber played in three games including the playoffs for Miami, a total of nine minutes. He eventually returned to Sioux Falls and helped lead the Skyforce to its first championship along with McGruder.
With Miami's roster at capacity (at least until the team likely released Chris Bosh after Feb. 9), the Heat can’t sign Weber and bring him up from D-League, which makes him free to sign with any NBA team interested in him and with available roster space.
The only other way Weber could be called up is if Miami qualifies to add a 16th player under the hardship rule, which requires at least four players to miss at least three games and then to be ruled out at least for an additional two weeks after being examined by an indepedent league doctor.
The Heat has three players who currently fit that bill: Josh McRoberts (stress fracture in foot), Justise Winslow (season-ending shoulder surgery) and Bosh, who isn't expected to play for the franchise again.
Josh Richardson, who has a left foot sprain, missed his first game since the injury on Sunday in the loss to the Clippers. An MRI and x-ray on his foot were negative and the team doesn’t expect Richardson to be out long.
▪ Goran Dragic and the Miami Heat received a small dose of justice Monday when the league office announced it had fined Lakers guard Jordan Clarkson $15,000 for throwing a forearm above the shoulders and striking Dragic in the chin last Friday night.
The incident occurred with 5:29 remaining in the third quarter of the Lakers’ 127-100 win over the Heat on at Staples Center and resulted in both Dragic and Clarkson being ejected.
Dragic and Heat coach Erik Spoelstra both believed the league did wrong by ejecting Miami's starting point guard after he got up and charged toward Clarkson before being restrained.