Javonte Smart

Heat Waive Potter, Smart, Smith, Stewart

The Heat have waived Micah PotterJavonte Smart, Dru Smith, and D.J. Stewart, per a team press release. All four players were on Exhibit 10 contracts.

All four players were undrafted rookies, and if they spend at least 60 days with the Heat’s G League squad, the Sioux Falls Skyforce, they could earn a bonus of up to $50K.

Potter, 6’10”, played two seasons with Ohio State before transferring to Wisconsin. He showed an impressive shooting touch for a big man, connecting on 38.6% of his three-point attempts and 84% of his free throws as a senior. He also had a strong preseason showing with the Heat, appearing in three games with averages of 10.3 PPG and 11.3 RPG in 24.0 minutes.

Smart, a 6’4″ guard, played college ball at LSU, averaging 16.0 PPG, 3.7 RPG, and 4.0 APG (35.6 MPG) in 28 games as a senior. He appeared in five preseason contests with the Heat.

Smith, a 6’3″ guard, played for Evansville before transferring to Missouri. He averaged 14.3 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 3.8 APG, and 2.1 SPG (34.1 MPG) in 26 games as a senior. He appeared in three preseason games with the Heat.

Stewart, a 6’6″ wing, declared for the draft after two seasons at Mississippi State. He averaged 16.0 PPG, 3.4 RPG, and 3.1 APG (35.0 MPG) in 28 games as a sophomore and appeared in four preseason contests with the Heat.

The moves leave the Heat with 14 players on guaranteed contracts and both two-way slots filled.

Heat Add Potter, Smart, Smith To Camp Roster

The Heat have added forward Micah Potter and guards Javonte Smart and Dru Smith to their training camp roster, according to a team press release.

Potter appeared in six Summer League games with Miami and averaged 7.3 PPG and 3.5 RPG. He went undrafted out of Wisconsin.

Smart averaged 5.5 PPG, 2.8 RPG and 2.2 APG with Miami’s summer league squad. Smart played three seasons at LSU, becoming just the seventh player in school history to record at least 1,200 points, 300 assists and 111 steals.

Smith, who attended Missouri, also appeared in six Summer League games with the Heat and averaged 8.0 PPG, 2.5 APG and 1.17 SPG.

All three were signed to Exhibit 10 deals, bringing Miami’s camp roster to 19, one below the limit, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald tweets.

Exhibit 10 contracts give NBA teams a chance to bring players to training camp and get a look at them without guaranteeing them a regular season roster spot or any real salary. All three could potentially earn a $50K bonus if they remain on the Sioux Falls Skyforce roster for at least 60 days. The Skyforce are the Heat’s G League affiliate.

The trio could also be competing for Miami’s open two-way slot.

Eastern Notes: Bucks, Pacers, Butler, Heat

The two second-round picks the Bucks sent to the Grizzlies in the Grayson Allen trade were the 2024 and 2026 selections Milwaukee had just acquired from Indiana in a trade for the No. 31 pick, according to RealGM.

In the deal with Indiana, Milwaukee gave up the No. 31 selection in exchange for this year’s Nos. 54 and 60 selections along with those two future second-rounders. The team subsequently flipped the second-rounders to Memphis along with Sam Merrill for Allen.

The upshot is that the Bucks gave up Merrill and the No. 31 pick (Isaiah Todd) in exchange for Allen, the No. 54 pick (Sandro Mamukelashvili), and the No. 60 pick (Georgios Kalaitzakis).

Here’s more from around the East:

  • The Pacers officially announced a pair of additions to Rick Carlisle‘s staff, stating in a press release that Jannero Pargo has been hired as a player development assistant and Zach Chu has come aboard as the team’s manager of game strategy and analytics. Pargo spent the last two seasons with Portland, while Chu worked under Carlisle in Dallas.
  • Jimmy Butler‘s new maximum-salary extension with the Heat will actually be a three-year deal that begins in 2023/24, meaning it’s being tacked onto his 2022/23 player option, according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Instagram video). Butler’s salary in ’23/24 will likely be 35% of that year’s cap, so the exact value of his extension isn’t yet known.
  • The Heat are taking their usual approach to their two-way contract slots, not filling them right away and instead auditioning several players for those openings. As Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel writes, the next week at the Las Vegas Summer League could go a long way toward determining which players have the leg up for those spots. Javonte Smart, A.J. Lawson, RJ Nembhard, Micah Potter, and Marcus Garrett are expected to be in the mix.

Heat To Sign Four Undrafted Free Agents

The Heat have agreed to sign undrafted rookies Javonte Smart, A.J. Lawson, and RJ Nembhard, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (all Twitter links). Miami is also signing undrafted free agent Micah Potter, according to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype (Twitter link).

While Scotto specifies that Potter will receive an Exhibit 10 contract, Wojnarowski’s reports simply state that the Heat have agreed to “deals” with Smart, Lawson, and Nembhard. We’re assuming those are more than Summer League agreements, and Exhibit 10 pacts seem most likely.

Last offseason, Miami signed several young players to Exhibit 10 contracts and had them compete for two-way slots in training camp — that could be the plan again.

Smart, who declared for the draft following his junior year, averaged 16.0 PPG, 4.0 APG, and 3.7 RPG for LSU in 2020/21. The 6’4″ guard posted an impressive shooting line of .460/.402/.857 in 28 games (35.6 MPG), earning All-SEC Second Team honors.

Lawson, the 18th-ranked player on ESPN’s list of undrafted prospects, put up 16.6 PPG and 4.1 RPG with a .351 3PT% in 21 games (31.3 MPG) as a junior for South Carolina this past season. The 6’6″ shooting guard joined Smart on the All-SEC Second Team.

Nembhard was a redshirt junior for TCU in 2020/21 and averaged 15.7 PPG, 4.3 RPG, and 4.0 APG in 24 games (34.9 MPG). The 6’5″ guard boosted his three-point percentage to 33.9% and made the All-Big 12 Third Team.

Finally, Potter is the only non-guard of the group, standing at 6’10” and playing power forward and center. In his two years with the Badgers, he averaged 11.6 PPG and 6.1 RPG, showing off an impressive three-point stroke (40.8%) in 52 games (20.3 MPG).

Draft Notes: Mann, Taylor, Cunningham, Hornets

NBA draft prospect Tre Mann expressed confidence that he’s the best guard in this year’s class, as relayed by Michael Scotto of HoopsHype.

Mann, 20, spent the past two seasons at Florida. He held per-game averages of 16 points, 5.6 rebounds and 3.5 assists during the 2020/21 campaign, shooting 46% from the floor and 40% from deep.

“I think I’m the best guard in the draft, top-five for sure,” Mann said.

When asked about his strengths and weaknesses ahead of Thursday’s event, he gave a fair outlook.

“My strengths are my ability to create for myself and my teammates, my craftiness, and my ability to shoot off the dribble on the three-point line or a couple of steps behind the line,” Mann said. “The weaknesses that I think I need to work on are the simpler plays, like making the simple reads out of the ball screens and trying to make the game as easy as possible.”

Here are some other draft-related notes to pass along:

NBA G League Announces 40 Draft-Eligible Participants For Elite Camp

The NBA G League has announced in a press release that 40 draft-eligible prospects are set to participate in the NBAGL Elite Camp next week in Chicago from June 19-21.

The G League Elite Camp is back this year after being canceled in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. The event, which takes place right before the draft combine, will give a few dozen draft-eligible players an opportunity to impress scouts, coaches, and executives through strength and agility drills and 5-on-5 games.

As today’s announcement confirms, a select number of draft-eligible prospects participating in the G League Elite Camp will also be invited to attend the combine itself, which is scheduled for June 21-27 in Chicago.

The list of draft-eligible players who took part in the most recent G League Elite Camp in 2019 included a handful of prospects who were eventually drafted, such as Terance Mann, Cody Martin, Justin Wright-Foreman, Reggie Perry, and Dewan Hernandez.

Many of the draft-eligible participants in the 2019 Elite Camp also made it to the NBA after going undrafted, including Oshae Brissett, Chris Clemons, Tyler Cook, Tacko Fall, DaQuan Jeffries, Caleb Martin, Justin Robinson, and Max Strus.

Two years ago, this event also featured 40 G League veterans, for a total of 80 players. Based on today’s press release, it sounds like this year’s Elite Camp may be pared down to only include draft-eligible prospects, though it’s possible the NBAGL will announce more names within the next few days.

Here are the 40 draft-eligible prospects participating in the 2021 G League Elite Camp:

  1. Derrick Alston Jr. (Boise State)
  2. Keve Aluma (Virginia Tech)
  3. Jose Alvarado (Georgia Tech)
  4. Juhann Begarin (France)
  5. Chaundee Brown (Michigan)
  6. Jordan Burns (Colgate)
  7. Marcus Carr (Minnesota)
  8. D.J. Carton (Marquette)
  9. Moussa Cisse (Memphis)
  10. Kofi Cockburn (Illinois)
  11. Oscar Da Silva (Stanford)
  12. Darius Days (LSU)
  13. Hunter Dickinson (Michigan)
  14. Dawson Garcia (Marquette)
  15. Marcus Garrett (Kansas)
  16. Haowen Guo (China)
  17. Jay Huff (Virginia)
  18. DeJon Jarreau (Houston)
  19. Carlik Jones (Louisville)
  20. DeVante’ Jones (Coastal Carolina)
  21. Balsa Koprivica (Florida State)
  22. A.J. Lawson (South Carolina)
  23. E.J. Liddell (Ohio State)
  24. Mac McClung (Texas Tech)
  25. JaQuori McLaughlin (UCSB)
  26. Matt Mitchell (San Diego State)
  27. RJ Nembhard (TCU)
  28. Eugene Omoruyi (Oregon)
  29. EJ Onu (Shawnee State)
  30. Scotty Pippen Jr. (Vanderbilt)
  31. Orlando Robinson (Fresno State)
  32. Aamir Simms (Clemson)
  33. Javonte Smart (LSU)
  34. Mike Smith (Michigan)
  35. D.J. Stewart (Mississippi State)
  36. MaCio Teague (Baylor)
  37. M.J. Walker (Florida State)
  38. Duane Washington (Ohio State)
  39. Aaron Wiggins (Maryland)
  40. Jalen Wilson (Kansas)

Draft Updates: Shannon, Smart, Watford, More

Texas Tech sophomore wing Terrence Shannon Jr. will test the draft waters, declaring for the 2021 NBA draft while retaining his college eligibility, he announced today (via Twitter).

Shannon, who started 13 of his 28 games for the Red Raiders in 2020/21, averaged 12.9 PPG and 4.0 RPG on .448/.357/.756 shooting in 26.7 minutes per contest.

While those numbers don’t jump off the page, Shannon is a highly-regarded prospect who is a strong candidate to be drafted. He ranks 33rd overall on ESPN’s list of this year’s top 100 prospects and comes in at No. 37 on Jonathan Wasserman’s big board at Bleacher Report.

Here are a few more updates on the 2021 draft:

  • After testing the draft waters in both 2019 and 2020, LSU guard Javonte Smart will once again declare in 2021 and will go pro this time, he announced on Instagram. As a junior this season, Smart averaged 16.0 PPG and 4.0 APG on .460/.402/.857 shooting in 28 games (35.6 MPG).
  • Smart’s LSU teammate, sophomore forward Trendon Watford, is also entering the draft and intends to hire an agent, he announced on Twitter. Watford, who averaged 16.3 PPG and 7.4 RPG in 28 games (34.6 MPG) for the Tigers, is the No. 55 prospect on ESPN’s big board.
  • Florida State junior guard Sardaar Calhoun is testing the draft waters, he announced on Twitter. He saw limited action in 2020/21, averaging 5.3 PPG in 14.2 minutes per game (25 games), though he did hit 39.7% of his three-point attempts.
  • Keve Aluma, a redshirt junior forward at Virginia Tech, will enter the draft while retaining his college eligibility, he stated on Twitter. Aluma put up 15.2 PPG, 7.9 RPG, 2.2 APG, and 1.3 BPG in 22 games (30.6 MPG) in ’20/21.
  • Jonathan Givony and Mike Schmitz of ESPN (Insider link) share their latest 2021 mock draft, which features Baylor’s Davion Mitchell moving all the way up to No. 7. Mitchell and Gonzaga’s Jalen Suggs were among the players whose stocks increased the most as a result of the NCAA tournament.

John Petty, Chris Smith, Javonte Smart Withdrawing From Draft

Alabama wing John Petty has elected to return to school for his senior year after testing the draft waters, reports Cecil Hurt of The Tuscaloosa News (Twitter link).

Petty, who declared for the draft as an early entrant this spring, averaged 14.5 PPG, 6.6 RPG, and 2.5 APG with an impressive .440 3PT% in 29 games (33.5 MPG) as a junior. He ranked 53rd on ESPN’s list of the top 100 prospects of 2020, making him a candidate to be drafted, but he has decided to wait another year before going pro.

Another candidate to be picked in the second round has also withdrawn from the draft, with Chris Smith‘s father indicating that the UCLA forward is headed back to school, per Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports (Twitter link).

The No. 65 prospect on ESPN’s big board, Smith had a breakout junior season for the Bruins increasing his scoring average to 13.1 PPG while also contributing 5.4 RPG, 1.6 APG, and 1.0 SPG in 31 contests (28.3 MPG).

LSU guard Javonte Smart is also pulling out of the draft, Rothstein tweets. Smart, who doesn’t rank among ESPN’s top 100, recorded 12.5 PPG and 4.2 APG in 31 games (34.2 MPG) in his sophomore season in 2019/20.

Monday represents the deadline for college early entrants to withdraw from the draft and maintain their NCAA eligibility. That deadline arrives at midnight tonight, as Rothstein tweets.

Because of the draft postponement, the deadline to declare for the draft as an early entrant actually doesn’t arrive for another two weeks. So if a player like Petty, Smith, or Smart has second thoughts by August 17, he could technically re-enter the draft, as long as he’s prepared to forgo his remaining college eligibility.

Draft Notes: Smart, Mack, Yurtseven, 2021 Draft

As we outlined on Monday morning, this year’s deadline for early entrants to declare for the 2020 NBA draft fell on Sunday night, meaning the league will soon be officially releasing its initial list of early entrants.

As we await that list, we’re still seeing a few more updates trickling in, so we’ll pass along a couple of those in the space below — and take an early look at how this year’s early entry list will impact the 2021 draft class…

  • LSU sophomore guard Javonte Smart has declared for the draft while maintaining his college eligibility, he announced on Instagram. Smart, who presumably submitted his paperwork by Sunday night, averaged 12.5 PPG, 4.2 APG, and 3.5 RPG on .415/.326/.814 shooting in 31 games (34.2 MPG) for the Tigers.
  • Sophomore guard Cam Mack, who previously said he was entering the draft, announced on Twitter that he has changed course and has instead decided to transfer. Mack averaged 12.0 PPG and 6.4 APG in 28 games for Nebraska in 2019/20, but won’t be returning to the Cornhuskers, who suspended him indefinitely near the end of the season.
  • Georgetown big man Omer Yurtseven will enter the draft and won’t return to college, Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports tweets. Born in Turkey, Yurtseven averaged 15.5 PPG and 9.8 RPG in 26 games with the Hoyas. The 7-footer also played two seasons with North Carolina State.
  • ESPN’s Jonathan Givony (Insider link) has updated his 2021 mock draft, removing players who have declared for the 2020 draft and listing Cade Cunningham and Jalen Green as the current favorites to go first and second overall. Both Cunningham and Green would likely be No. 1 on big boards in 2020 if they were eligible to be drafted this year, Givony adds.

Draft Notes: Bol, Williams, Herro, Smart

With the 2019 NBA Draft Combine now over, ESPN’s Mike Schmitz and Kevin Pelton discuss the 2019 NBA Draft prospects whose stock rose or fell over the weekend, beginning with Croatian forward Luka Samanic, whose performance in his first game at the combine was good enough for him to shut himself down and put his name squarely within the first-round conversation.

The other players who impressed scouts and improved their stock include Florida State’s Terance Mann, Georgia’s Nicolas Claxton, Nebraska’s Isaiah Roby, and LSU’s Tremont Waters. Pelton was particularly impressed by Waters’ ability to knock down the NBA-three-pointer from off the dribble, an important skill in today’s NBA for a point guard.

As for those prospects who may have lowered their value, the list begins with two very productive All-American college big men – Tennessee’s Grant Williams and Kansas’ Dedric Lawson. Per the ESPN scribes, both may have put too much emphasis on their developing outside games during 5-on-5 action.

Additionally, Western Kentucky big man Charles Bassey and Utah State big man Neemias Queta both underwhelmed, with Schmitz saying both need improvement in different areas of the game (e.g. skill, fluidity, motor) before being ready to contribute at the NBA level.

There’s more from the lead-up to this year’s NBA Draft this afternoon:

  • If the Wizards are interested in a high risk-high reward option with the No. 9 overall selection, Oregon’s Bol Bol may be an intriguing pick, writes Ben Standig of NBC Sports Washington.
  • Despite struggling at the combine, Grant Williams does not regret playing in the 5-on-5 sessions, telling Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer that he’s “not just trying to show I can shoot, I’m showing I can defend… Be out there and be that guy who was there to win, and cheering on his teammates… I know that defensively I could have been a little better contesting shots. Being analytical — like I normally am — I play different guys certain ways, and that bit me a little bit.” Williams was dinged a bit for only measuring in at 6’6” and potentially being caught up in the “tweener” label.
  • The Celtics have three first-round picks, and while they may not end up keeping all of them, one prospect to keep an eye on for one of their selections is Kentucky guard Tyler Herro. Herro spoke with Boston brass at the combine and said they will be among the handful of teams he will workout for leading up to the draft, per A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston.
  • LSU freshman guard Javonte Smart is withdrawing his name from the 2019 NBA Draft and returning for his sophomore season in Baton Rouge, tweets Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports.