Heat Cut Lucas, Benson, Kelley, Weber, Whittington

The Heat have waived the non-guaranteed deals of John Lucas III, Keith Benson, Tre Kelley, Briante Weber and Greg Whittington, the team announced (Twitter link). The moves reduce Miami’s roster to 15 players, the regular season maximum. James Ennis is the only remaining Heat player without any guaranteed salary, so today’s moves put him in strong position to make the opening night roster. If the team indeed keeps him through Monday, his salary would become fully guaranteed. Tyler Johnson is also with the Heat on a partially guaranteed deal. The rest of Miami’s 13 players have full guarantees.

Lucas was by far the most experienced of the Heat’s camp invitees, as the 32-year-old point guard was attempting to make it into his ninth NBA season. He didn’t impress in preseason action, going scoreless in about 16 minutes of action in his lone appearance, dishing out one assist and committing one turnover.

Benson, 27, joined Miami on his first NBA contract in three years. The center was efficient during the preseason, averaging 5.8 points and 5.6 rebounds in 11.8 minutes across five appearances.

The 30-year-old Kelley was on his second contract with the Heat after having briefly joined the club before the 2008/09 season. The combo guard averaged 3.5 points, 4.0 assists and 1.5 turnovers in 13.8 minutes per game in a pair of preseason contests.

Weber, 22, signed with the team just this week after his inability to pass a physical scuttled an earlier deal between the sides. The undrafted combo guard who tore his ACL, MCL and meniscus in his right knee while playing for VCU in January didn’t see any preseason playing time.

Whittington went undrafted this June and joined the Heat for summer league the next month. The 22-year-old power forward averaged 2.8 points and 4.8 rebounds in 16.1 minutes per game across four preseason appearances.

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