Tag: Keith Benson

Miami Heat v Boston Celtics

Report: Heat add undrafted forward Greg Whittington to training camp


The Heat are one of the few teams that actually offer training-camp hopefuls a legitimate shot at making the roster. They’ve added undrafted Georgetown forward Greg Whittington, who played for Miami in Summer League, to the mix of players who will be competing for a spot, according to RealGM’s Shams Charania:

As of now, the Heat have 12 guaranteed contracts plus Hassan Whiteside, who is obviously going to make the roster. Tyler Johnson, James Ennis, Keith Benson, Corey Hawkins and Whittington will be competing for the last two spots on the roster.

Heat add to training-camp competition by signing Corey Hawkins

UC Davis v Washington State

The Heat have 12 players with guaranteed salaries and Hassan Whiteside, a lock to make the regular-season roster.

The final two spots?

There’s plenty of competition.

Miami has Tyler Johnson ($422,530 guaranteed), James Ennis (unguaranteed), Keith Benson (unguaranteed) and now a fourth player in the mix.

Heat release:

The Miami HEAT announced today that they have signed guard Corey Hawkins

Albert Nahmad of Heat Hoops

Hawkins went undrafted despite starring at UC Davis and winning Big West Player of the Year last season. He averaged 20.9 points, 4.9 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game and made 48.8% of his 3-pointers.

But he’s 24 and obviously faces a huge step up in competition. He’s also just 6-foot-2 and better suited to play shooting guard, though he can handle point. Plus, as if the rest weren’t enough, he has lackluster athleticism.

As much as I like Hawkins’ game, that’s a lot to overcome.

Hawkins, son of Hersey Hawkins, looks like the typical college star whose skills don’t translate to the NBA. But, if he’s one of the exceptions, someone whose basketball intelligence outweighs his deficiencies, there’s at least an opening in Miami for him.

Nowtizki back at practice, other updates from NBA camps

Dirk Nowitzki

During NBA training camps there are a rash of small injuries and guys missing games for an assortment of reasons, so many you can’t keep track. We’re here to help. Here is a little Friday rundown of camp notes from around the NBA.

• Dirk Nowitzki returned to the full Mavericks practice on Friday. Nowitzki is dealing with irritation and swelling in his knee, which has had him miss time and consider surgery. It’s good he’s back on the floor, what really matters is how the knee feels tomorrow.

• Amar’e Stoudemire went through walk through with the team but may not play in the Knicks Friday night exhibition to rest his knee.

• James Harden has suffered a mild groin strain (at least we think it’s mild) will not play for the Thunder Friday night against the Jazz. OKC will be cautious but it is not believed to be serious and he should be good to go next Tuesday when the Thunder play at home.

• Paul Millsap also will miss that Friday night Jazz/Thunder game for personal reasons.

• While we’re at it, Jamaal Tinsley also will sit out that game for the Jazz for personal reasons.

• MarShon Brook’s foot is still bothering him and he may miss most of the preseason.

• While we’re talking Nets, Avery Johnson is trying to keep Brook Lopez’s minutes down this preseason as he plays his way back from a foot injury.

• As you might expect since he just got to training camp this week, Royce White will not play for the Rockets on Friday night.

• Shannon Brown is expected to be back on the floor with the Suns Friday night after dealing with an eye injury this week. Brown and a teammate collided in practice and he got black eye complete with blood on the eyeball, plus all kinds of swelling.

• It’s not a surprise, but Dwight Howard will not play for the Lakers Saturday night, however Kobe Bryant is expected to go.

• Toronto’s Andrea Bargnani is not 100 percent and is said to be battling fatigue.

• Rudy Gay is dealing with some him soreness, but he isn’t missing any camp time and is expected to play in exhibition games.

• Jerry Stackhouse was out with knee issues at the Nets practice Friday. Get used to that.

• Josh Selby is still not practicing with the Grizzlies due to an ankle problem.

• The Hawks have waived Keith Benson.

• The Sixers have waived Mikki Moore and Xavier Silas.

Damian Lillard, Tobias Harris among the NBA Summer League standouts

tobias harris
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LAS VEGAS — The NBA Summer League unfortunately came to a close on Sunday night, ending a week and a half of wonderful basketball being played on the UNLV campus. Okay, so not all of the basketball was necessarily wonderful … but there were some players that helped themselves out quite a bit while spending time in Sin City.

There were a lot of options, of course, considering 24 teams took part in the annual extravaganza — with some ridiculous rosters listing up to 19 players — but the following players seemed to accomplish the most while playing in Vegas.

  • Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers – Not a lot of basketball fans knew what the Portland was picking when the Trail Blazers went with the Weber State point guard early in the first round of this year’s NBA Draft. Well, if Summer League wasn’t an aberration, the Blazers selected themselves a solid-to-spectacular player. Lillard was named a Summer League Co-MVP (along with Josh Selby of the Memphis Grizzlies) on his way to averaging 26.5 points, 5.3 assists, 4.0 rebounds and at least two awe-inspiring plays in each of the four games he played. The most memorable is going to be his dunk on Keith Benson, but the pinpoint passing — exhibited here on a connection with fellow rookie Will Barton — wasn’t bad either.
  • Josh Selby, Memphis Grizzlies – Selby earned a vote for the NBA’s All-Rookie team this year, but the majority of the media agreed quite strongly that it wasn’t well-deserved. The former Jayhawk earned all of his Co-MVP honors over the past ten days in Vegas, though, en route to averages of 24.2 points, 2.4 steals and a ridiculous 64.3 shooting percentage from beyond the 3-point arc (and trust us, that isn’t a small sample size as he was chucking at will). It’s tough to tell if Selby’s Summer League performance will translate to the regular season where he’ll be back to being a role player rather than the go-to guy, but it was fun while it lasted in lovely Las Vegas.
  • Adam Morrison, Los Angeles Clippers – There was a time when Morrison was regularly chided for being overrated after being the third overall pick in the 2006 NBA Draft. Now that he’s become a basketball vagabond, however, Morrison’s become something between a sympathetic figure and a cult hero … and, judging from the MVP chants heard in the Cox Pavilion on Sunday afternoon, we’re leaning toward the latter. Whether or not he makes an NBA roster again is still up in the air, but the 20 points and five rebounds he averaged this week were a nice reminder of how great he is at putting the ball in the bucket.
  • Malcolm Thomas, Chicago Bulls – Thomas played alongside Kawhi Leonard at San Diego State, but while Leonard made waves with the San Antonio Spurs, Thomas was relegated to a couple of NBA call-ups while playing for the NBA Development League’s Los Angeles D-Fenders this past season. After watching him this week, though, there’s little doubt he’s talented enough to make more money than the D-League has to offer next season seeing as he averaged 11.4 points and 12.4 rebounds (oh, and this didn’t hurt either).
  • Tobias Harris, Milwaukee Bucks – Depending on what one thinks about Bismack Biyombo’s birth certificate, Harris was either the youngest or second-youngest player in the NBA last season. The former Tennessee Volunteer played like anything but a youngin’ in Las Vegas, however, as he averaged 21.5 points and eight rebounds over five games. Whether or not he earned himself more minutes after an inconsistent rookie year is still up for debate, but it was clear he was better than almost everyone on the floor at Thomas & Mack Center.

Plenty of other players stood out in lovely Las Vegas, of course, but those listed above stood head and shoulders above the rest. Now only time will tell where they stack up among Summer League legends like Nate Robinson, Jerryd Bayless and Anthony Randolph.

Video: Damian Lillard throws it down on Keith Benson

Damian Lillard, Austin Rivers

Our man Scott Schroeder was just telling you, Damian Lillard is on his way to being the NBA Summer League MVP in Las Vegas. Which is nice. Come this fall when training camp opens that award will matter about as much as his two Big Sky Player of the Year awards. Still, as Summer League drags on Lillard is one of the bright spots.

Plus, he does things line that to Keith Benson.

Portland may have a real find here. You have to be careful about drawing big conclusions from Summer League, but Lillard has put himself on the “guys we’re going to watch early in the season” list to see how he adjusts.

Hat tip to Ball Don’t Lie for the video.