Alondes Williams

Heat Notes: Love, Williams, Wright, Jaquez

There were reasons to believe Kevin Love‘s career might be nearing the end when he agreed to a buyout with the Cavaliers during last year’s All-Star break, writes Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel. Instead, the past 12 months have included a trip to the NBA Finals and a new contract with the Heat, as well as the birth of his first child, all of which have combined to make Love very content in Miami.

“I think the thing that’s most gratifying to me is that going to a new location or a new team or a new organization, new city, especially at this stage in your career, you never know what’s going to happen,” he said. “And after that run last year, I got so much fun out of it, as well as guys I’ll have relationships for life, bigger than basketball. My daughter was born on June 10th, right after Game 4 (of the NBA Finals). We bought a new house in Miami. It’s almost like we got to start our life in a place where we have a lot of friends and a lot of great teammates and people in the organization who have become family in a pretty quick time, so it has been a very happy year.”

Love was stuck on the bench in Cleveland, but a big forward who could shoot and rebound and had previous Finals experience was just what the Heat needed. He started 17 of the 21 regular season games he played after signing with Miami and maintained a rotation role throughout the team’s playoff run.

In addition to his on-court contributions, Love has become a veteran leader in the locker room, especially after the retirement of Udonis Haslem, Winderman notes. Love believes he can play for at least another year or two and then may transition into a mentorship role.

There’s more from Miami:

  • Alondes Williams was impressive in Friday’s Rising Stars competition, and he might get a shot at more playing time after the break, Winderman states in a mailbag column. Winderman speculates that the two-way player may be in line for a standard contract if the Heat decide to waive Dru Smith, who’s out for the rest of the season after undergoing ACL reconstruction surgery.
  • Delon Wright was likely promised regular minutes to get him to commit to the Heat, Winderman adds in the same piece. However, the extent of Wright’s rotation role won’t be clear until Terry Rozier and Josh Richardson return from their current injuries.
  • Jaime Jaquez, who jumped over Shaquille O’Neal for his first entry in Saturday’s Dunk Contest, said clearing the Hall of Fame center was a difficult thing to prepare for, per Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. “Listen, I ain’t gonna lie. I didn’t practice jumping over Shaq,” Jaquez said. “I used Bam [Adebayo] as practice. But there’s a big height difference. So I was really nervous when I saw Shaq out there. I’ve seen him a bunch of times. But when he’s standing there, I was definitely feeling nervous.”

Southeast Notes: G. Williams, Micic, A. Williams, Forrest

New Hornets forward Grant Williams was a fan of the franchise while growing up in the city and enjoyed watching Kemba Walker, who has become a close friend and mentor for Williams, according to The Charlotte Observer’s Shane Connuck. In his debut game, he helped his new team win for the first time since Jan. 22.

I always thought it would be at the end of my career, but it’s kind of funny that it happened this way because it allows you to be part of something that can be built around,” Williams said. “You know, new ownership. New team. Bunch of guys who are young and talented. We have a chance to build something special here in the city.

Williams and guard Seth Curry both have local ties, having played high school basketball in Charlotte. Curry is also the son of former Hornets guard Dell Curry.

We just have Mr. Curry in the back right there,” Williams said of Dell, who is now a Bally Sports Southeast TV analyst. “This is something that, as a kid, you always wanted to play for your hometown team. You always wanted to create something special — here. Because, as a kid, you want to get the same joy that you had at that age.

Williams finished with 15 points and eight rebounds in his Charlotte debut.

We have more from the Southeast Division:

  • Like Williams, new Hornets acquisition Vasilije Micic had a good first outing in his new NBA home. Though he played sparingly in Oklahoma City, Micic logged 26 minutes and put up 18 points and nine assists in the Saturday win over the Grizzlies. He admitted he wasn’t expecting to play right away, but he quickly won over head coach Steve Clifford, according to Eurohoops. “He knows where everybody is on the floor. He is a terrific passer and a good pick-and-roll player. And he’s got size,” Clifford said.
  • New Heat two-way guard Alondes Williams turned heads with high-scoring performances in the G League this season, including a 55-point outing on Jan. 7. However, the development of other areas of his game is what ultimately led to the Heat promoting him to a two-way contract on Friday, according to the Miami Herald’s Anthony Chiang. Williams spent training camp with Miami before being waived and suiting up for their NBAGL affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce, to begin the season. “It was more about the overall development,” Spoelstra said. “I think it’s easy to point to some big scoring games. That was really down the list for us. Sure, it’s great that he was able to have those kinds of nights. But it was really about previously playing the role, defending and doing a lot of intangibles and impacting winning while the rest of his game was improving.
  • Hawks guard Trent Forrest hit his 50th active game as a two-way player on Feb. 9 against the Sixers, observes Locked on Hawks’ Brad Rowland (Twitter link). He cannot appear in another game for the Hawks this season due to league rules regarding two-way contracts, unless he’s promoted to a standard deal. However, Atlanta has a full 15-man roster at the moment.

Heat Sign Alondes Williams To Two-Way Deal, Waive R.J. Hampton

The Heat plan to sign free agent guard Alondes Williams to a two-way deal, sources tell ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

Miami confirmed in a press release that it has waived R.J. Hampton and filled the two-way opening by signing Williams.

Williams, who went undrafted out of Wake Forest in 2022, signed a two-way deal with the Nets prior to the 2022/23 season, making playing five minutes in one game with Brooklyn. He was waived in January 2023.

The 24-year-old signed an Exhibit 10 contract with the Heat this past summer, but was released before the regular season began. He has been playing for Miami’s NBAGL affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce.

Williams has impressed at the G League level, averaging 20.3 PPG, 6.5 APG, 5.2 RPG and 1.3 SPG on .499/.373/.739 shooting in 32 Showcase Cup and regular season games in ’23/24 (37.0 MPG). His strong play was recognized by the NBAGL, earning spots in the Up Next and the Rising Stars events at All-Star weekend, which will be held next week in Indianapolis.

After the moves, all three of the Heat’s two-way spots remain full, but they do have a standard roster opening.

Heat Expected To Waive R.J. Hampton

The Heat are expected to cut R.J. Hampton, opening up one of their two-way contract slots, reports Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald (Twitter link).

Hampton, who turned 23 on Wednesday, has battled some injuries this season and has only seen action in 17 total games in the NBA and the G League. In eight appearances for the Heat, he has recorded 10 points, eight assists, and six rebounds in 76 total minutes of actions, making just 4-of-14 shots (1-of-8 three-pointers).

The former first-round pick has been a little more effective for the Sioux Falls Skyforce, Miami’s G League affiliate, averaging 11.9 PPG, 4.9 RPG, and 4.7 APG with a .429/.273/.609 shooting line in nine regular season and Showcase Cup contests (28.0 MPG).

As Chiang notes, the plan will be to fill Hampton’s two-way slot with another developmental prospect.

Skyforce guard Alondes Williams looks like one contender for that opening, Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald observes (via Twitter). Williams is averaging 20.3 PPG, 6.5 APG, and 5.2 RPG on 49.9% shooting in 32 games (37.0 MPG) for Sioux Falls. Skyforce guard Jamaree Bouyea is another candidate to watch, tweets Chiang.

Hampton will receive his full two-way salary from the Heat and will become an unrestricted free agent, free to sign with any team, if and when he clears waivers. Once he’s officially cut, Miami will have two open spots on its 18-man roster — one standard and one two-way.

NBA Announces Player Pool For 2024 Rising Stars Event

The NBA has officially revealed the 11 rookies, 10 sophomores, and seven G League players who will take part in the Rising Stars event at All-Star weekend in Indianapolis next month.

The following players, as voted on by NBA coaching staffs, made the cut:

Rookies

Sophomores

G League Players

As was the case last season, the Rising Stars event will consist of four teams and three games. The seven G League players will comprise one team, coached by former NBA forward Detlef Schrempf. The other 21 players will be drafted to three squads coached by former NBA and WNBA stars Pau Gasol, Jalen Rose, and Tamika Catchings.

The four teams will be split into two first-round matchups and the winners of those two games will face one another for the Rising Stars championship. The two semifinals will be played to a target score of 40 points, while the final will be played to a target score of 25 points.

All three contests will take place on Friday, February 16 as part of All-Star weekend’s opening night.

NBA G League Announces Up Next Participants

A pool of 28 players has been selected for the NBA G League’s Up Next Game at All-Star Weekend in Indianapolis, the NBAGL announced in a press release.

According to the release, the event features “four teams of seven players competing in two semifinal games. The winner of each semifinal will face off in a Championship game.

“The teams will be made up of 28 NBA G League players, including 10 selected by a fan vote. The remaining 18 players will be selected by the NBA G League and will include eight members of NBA G League Ignite and at least one member of the Indiana Mad Ants, the G League affiliate of the All-Star hosting Indiana Pacers. Each team will be coached by a head coach from the NBA G League.”

Players marked with an asterisk (*) are on two-way contracts.

Fan vote:

Former Kentucky guard Hagans received the most votes.

NBAGL selections:

G League Ignite:

They aren’t currently on NBA teams, but it’s worth noting that Labissiere and Bazley are ineligible for two-way deals because they each hold four years of NBA experience. Weatherspoon (three years), Hagans (one) and Williams (one) also hold at least some NBA experience.

Heat Notes: Herro, Butler, Jaquez, Jovic, Champagnie

Tyler Herro is still in Miami after a long summer of trade rumors and he’s determined to show the Heat that he was worth keeping, writes Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. Herro appeared on the way out when Damian Lillard asked the Trail Blazers for a trade in early July and listed Miami as his only preference. But Herro’s role with the Heat is secure now and he’s ready to make an impact, as he showed with a 30-point performance on Sunday night.

“I’m always ambitious,” he said. “Motivation kind of drives me and it’s who I am. But that’s who I am, so that’s me every day. Just being myself. This year is obviously, I wouldn’t even call it revenge or a bounce back. It’s just a year to be myself and just have fun and enjoying what I love to do, which is play basketball. Tonight was a little bit of it.”

Herro was a productive scorer from everywhere on the court on Sunday, Chiang adds, finishing 11-of-19 from the field, 4-of-7 from three-point range, and 4-of-5 on free throws. He displayed an effective floater near the basket as nine of his shots came from inside the lane.

“Man, he’s just so efficient now,” Bam Adebayo said. “His movements, less dribbles, not trying to do much. He gets straight to his points, gets straight to his shots.”

There’s more from Miami:

  • Jimmy Butler was held out of Sunday’s game after undergoing two separate dental surgeries this week, but he’s expected to return before the end of the preseason, Chiang adds.
  • Coach Eric Spoelstra cited progress by Drew Peterson and Alondes Williams, who were both waived over the weekend, Chiang states in another Miami Herald story. Both players were part of Miami’s Summer League team, and Spoelstra hopes they will continue to develop with the organization’s G League affiliate. “We’re encouraged by both of them,” he said. “This was part of the agreement to transition them and get guys on to Sioux Falls. It happens in stages. These can be great opportunities still. We want to invest in them for the entire season. That’s ideally the plan. They got a lot better these last eight weeks and we’re looking forward to this next step in Sioux Falls.”
  • Nagging injuries have virtually eliminated any chance that Jaime Jaquez or Nikola Jovic will be in the rotation when the regular season begins, according to Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel. Jaquez has been limited by a groin strain in the preseason, while Jovic is dealing with a bruised knee.
  • Justin Champagnie may be the favorite to fill the open roster spot if the Heat don’t try to sign someone else, Winderman speculates in a separate piece. He expects Cole Swider to be converted to a two-way contract, with current two-way player Dru Smith possibly the odd man out.

Heat Notes: Cain, Smith, Butler, Injuries, Peterson, Williams

Jamal Cain is making a strong bid to have his two-way contract with the Heat converted into a standard deal, according to Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel. Cain had 24 points and 10 rebounds in 27 minutes against San Antonio on Friday.

Miami currently has 13 players on standard deals and needs to add at least one more by the season opener.

“He really competed and played hard,” coach Erik Spoelstra said, as relayed by the Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson. “It’s satisfying to see. He’s put in so much time in the last year. His effort and attention to details defensively have gotten a lot better.”

We have more on the Heat:

  • Dru Smith is participating in his third straight training camp with Miami and also hopes to earn a spot on the 15-man roster, according to The Miami Herald’s Anthony Chiang. “I’m just really grateful and really appreciative of the opportunities that I’ve been able to have, the chances that I have in front of me right now,” Smith said. “After that, it’s in my hands but also it’s out of my hands. Whatever they decide to do, that’s what they decide to do. So I just have to go out there and try to play the best basketball that I can and let the rest fall where it may.” Smith currently holds a two-way contract.
  • Jimmy Butler is recovering from dental surgery, Winderman tweets. He remains on track to play in the team’s season opener on Oct. 25.
  • Caleb Martin (knee), Jaime Jaquez Jr. (groin), Nikola Jovic (hip), R.J. Hampton (hip), Smith (hamstring) and Josh Richardson (foot) also sat out the Heat’s preseason game against the Grizzlies on Sunday, Winderman tweets.
  • Spoelstra is hopeful Drew Peterson and Alondes Williams will join the Heat’s NBA G League team, Sioux Falls Skyforce, after they clear waivers, Winderman relays in another tweet. The duo was cut loose on Saturday.

Heat Cut Drew Peterson, Alondes Williams

The Heat have waived forward Drew Peterson and guard Alondes Williams, the team announced today in a press release. The cuts reduce Miami’s roster count from 21 players to 19.

Peterson, who went undrafted earlier this year out of USC, was a two-time All-Pac-12 honoree while with the Trojans. Across 33 games in 2022/23, the 6’8″ super-senior averaged 13.9 PPG with a shooting line of .442/.358/.752. He also contributed 6.2 RPG, 4.3 APG, 1.1 SPG and 0.8 BPG.

Williams went undrafted in 2022 out of Wake Forest and spent most of the season with the Long Island Nets in the G League. He appeared in 24 games at that level, including 12 starts, and averaged 13.5 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.2 steals in 27.6 minutes per game. He also played one game for the Brooklyn Nets in December.

Peterson and Williams, who each appeared in one preseason game with the Heat, had been on Exhibit 10 contracts. Although they won’t make Miami’s regular season roster, the plan is still for them to join the Sioux Falls Skyforce, the Heat’s NBAGL affiliate, tweets Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. Assuming Peterson and Williams spend at least 60 days with the Skyforce, they’ll receive Exhibit 10  bonuses worth $75K.

The Heat are still carrying three players on Exhibit 10 contracts: Cole Swider, Justin Champagnie, and Cheick Diallo. Since Miami only has 13 players on standard deals, one of those camp invitees seems likely to either earn a spot on the 15-man roster or get a two-way contract (if the Heat convert a two-way player to a standard deal). Of the three, Swider has generated the most buzz so far this fall.

Heat Sign Alondes Williams To Camp Contract

2:51pm: The signing is official, the team tweets.


1:51pm: The Heat have agreed to an Exhibit 10 deal with guard Alondes Williams, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Williams went undrafted last year and spent most of the season with the NBA G League Long Island Nets. He appeared in 24 games at that level, including 12 starts, and averaged 13.5 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.2 steals in 27.6 minutes per game. He also played one game for the Brooklyn Nets in December.

In late July, the Long Island Nets dealt the returning player rights for Williams to the Heat’s NBA G League affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce, in exchange for the returning player rights of shooting guard D.J. Stewart.

The Heat have agreed to Exhibit 10 deals with a handful of players this summer, but have yet to begin finalizing those contracts.

Williams could earn a bonus worth up to $75K if he’s waived and then spends at least 60 days with the Skyforce. He could also be a candidate for a two-way contract, as the Heat have an open slot.