Southeast Notes: Cain, Toppert, Hield

With the state of the Heat‘s roster still very much in flux, two-way small forward Jamal Cain is still hoping for a promotion to a standard contract, writes Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel.

The 6’7″ swingman out of Oakland signed his second straight two-way deal with the club this summer. At present, 13 players are inked to the team’s standard 15-man roster, including 12 on guaranteed contracts, so at least one more addition will be needed before the regular season tips off.

For his part, Cain is confident his game has grown during the offseason and clearly seems to hope he can succeed with more run at the next level.

“I feel like I’ve improved a lot on my on-ball defense and being able to guard bigger players and holding my ground,” Cain said. “And on offense I think I’ve done a better job with my shot selection, being a better shooter and just being a better decision maker with the ball. And, again, always wanted to be stronger, because I’m not the biggest guy.”

Across 18 regular season contests with Miami last year, Cain averaged 5.4 points, 2.9 rebounds, 0.7 assists and 0.6 steals per night. In 15 contests with Miami’s NBAGL club, the Sioux Falls Skyforce, Cain averaged 22.1 PPG, 9.1 RPG, 2.1 APG, 1.3 SPG and 0.5 BPG.

There’s more out of the Southeast Division:

  • In a reader mailbag, Winderman responds to a question about whether or not Pacers shooting guard Buddy Hield could be a contingency trade plan for the Heat, should the club be unable to secure the services of Trail Blazers All-Star point guard Damian Lillard. Winderman writes that, while Hield could help Miami, he is not the superstar all-level scorer Lillard is, and his $18.6MM salary may be a bit prohibitive for further team building.
  • The Wizards’ NBA G League affiliate club, the Capital City Go-Go, have officially announced the hiring of Cody Toppert to be the organization’s fourth head coach, per a team press statement. Toppert’s hiring was initially reported earlier this month.
  • In case you missed it, Hoops Rumors’ Luke Adams examined the full team rosters of the entire Southeast Division ahead of training camp.
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