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:
Undrafted Georgetown forward Greg Whittington has reached agreement on a 1-year, non-guaranteed deal with Miami, league sources tell RealGM.
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
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.
Miami is another team that is also interested in Crawford.
The Heat lack dynamic playmakers off the bench, and staggering the minutes of Dwyane Wade and Goran Dragic is one solution. So is hoping Mario Chalmers bounces back from a down season.
Another: Trading for Crawford.
However, it’s tough to see a logical deal.
Miami has a couple players with similar salaries to Crawford – Chalmers and Chris Andersen – that it probably wouldn’t mind trading. Andersen would particularly fit with the Clippers, who could use another backup center besides Cole Aldrich.
But how would the Heat sweeten the pot? They can’t trade a first-round pick and have no unprotected second-rounder before 2021. Unless the Clippers really like Tyler Johnson or James Ennis, it’s hard to see Miami making this worth the Clippers’ while.
Still, with Lance Stephenson, Pablo Prigioni and Austin Rivers, Crawford is a little more expendable. The Clippers would be more balanced with Andersen rather than Crawford (and save in luxury-tax payments). Is that enough to warrant the talent downgrade? I don’t think so, but it’s at least worth a conversation.
The Heat have 12 players with guaranteed salaries plus Hassan Whiteside, who’s a lock to make the team. Benson will compete with Ennis and Tyler Johnson ($422,530 guaranteed) for the final two regular-season roster spots.
Benson is a 6-foot-11 center with good timing for blocking shots. The Hawks drafted him No. 48 in 2011, and he played a few games for the Warriors the following season. The Michigan native has played in the D-League and overseas since.
The Heat have several players capable of playing center – Whiteside, Chris Bosh, Chris Andersen and Amar’e Stoudemire. Udonis Haslem and Josh McRoberts could even play the position in certain small-ball lineups.
Unless Miami trades Andersen, it’s hard to see Benson sticking over Ennis or Johnson, who play positions of greater need. Most likely, the Heat waive Benson and assign his D-League rights to their affiliate. Because he hasn’t played in the D-League in two years, he’s a D-League free agent and eligible for assignment.