Vashil Fernandez

NBA D-League Affiliate Players For 2016/17

Throughout the offseason, and in the weeks leading up to the start of the regular season, NBA teams are permitted to carry 20 players, but that total must be cut down to 15 in advance of opening night. However, up to four players waived by teams before the season can be designated as affiliate players and assigned to their D-League squads.

The players have some say in the decision — if they’d prefer to sign with a team overseas, or if they get an opportunity with another NBA club, they’re free to turn down their team’s request to have them play in the D-League. Most NBA and international teams have fairly set rosters by late October though, so having the opportunity to continue playing in the same system is appealing to many of those preseason cuts. Especially since they’ll maintain NBA free agency while they play in the D-League.

There are a few other rules related to D-League affiliate players. A player whose returning rights are held by a D-League team can’t be an affiliate player for another club, which is why undrafted free agents from the current year are commonly signed and assigned. Additionally, an affiliate player must have signed with his team during the current league year, which explains why we often see players signed and quickly waived in the days leading up to the regular season. And, of course, not every NBA team has a D-League affiliate, so clubs like the Hawks, Nuggets, or Clippers have no place to send affiliate players.

With all that in mind, here are the NBA D-League affiliate players to start the 2016/17 season:

Austin Spurs (San Antonio Spurs)

Canton Charge (Cleveland Cavaliers)

Delaware 87ers (Philadelphia 76ers)

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Heat Part Ways With Five Players

3:06pm: The Heat have announced via press release that the moves are official.

1:40pm: The Heat intend to part ways with Briante Weber, Beno Udrih, Okaro White, Luis Montero and Vashil Fernandez, Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel relays (All Twitter links). The team will be on the hook for $100K for White, $327,989 for Weber and $980,431 for Udrih, unless those players are claimed off waivers by another team.

Udrih played 36 games with Miami last season before agreeing to a buyout in February to help the team avoid the luxury tax, which certainly gained him some fans within the organization. In those 36 games for the Heat last season, Udrih averaged 4.4 points, 1.8 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 16.3 minutes per outing. He shot .434/.333/.882 from the field.

Weber, 23, appeared in a combined seven games with Miami and Memphis in 2015/16. He averaged 4.4 points, 3.6 rebounds and 3.0 assists in 24.1 minutes per outing while shooting .359/.000/.750.

White went undrafted out of Florida State in 2014 and then headed overseas, spending the 2014/15 campaign with the Italian club Granarolo Bologna, where he averaged 12.2 points and 6.9 rebounds on the season. White then headed to Greece, spending this past season with Aris BC, notching averages of 13.9 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 26.8 minutes per outing. He shot .465/.337/.791 from the field on the year.

A 6’7″ swingman from the Dominican Republic, Montero signed with the Heat after being waived by the Blazers earlier this month. He appeared in 12 games as a rookie last season for Portland, averaging 1.2 points and 0.3 rebounds per night in limited playing time. Montero played just one game this preseason for Portland before he was cut, scoring three points against Utah on October 3rd.

Fernandez went undrafted this June after spending his four-year college career at Valparaiso. The 6’10” big man averaged just 5.6 PPG during his senior season, but also chipped in 7.3 RPG and 3.3 BPG over the course of 36 games.

Heat Sign Vashil Fernandez, Cut Stefan Jankovic

The Heat have tweaked the back of their roster slightly, announcing today in a press release that they’ve cut Stefan Jankovic and replaced him with newly-signed center Vashil Fernandez. Jankovic will become a free agent if and when he clears waivers, and will likely end up with Miami’s D-League affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce.

Fernandez, meanwhile, went undrafted this June after spending his four-year college career at Valparaiso. The 6’10” big man averaged just 5.6 PPG during his senior season, but also chipped in 7.3 RPG and 3.3 BPG over the course of 36 games.

Jankovic had a $100K guarantee on his deal with Miami, so the Heat have a vested interest in continuing to develop him in the D-League. Another NBA team could claim him off waivers or sign him as a free agent, but they’d have to keep him on their 15-man roster to start the season in order to get his D-League rights.

While details of Fernandez’s deal aren’t yet known, a modest guarantee – if that – on a minimum-salary contract is a safe bet. Like Jankovic, Fernandez likely won’t make Miami’s regular-season roster. In fact, the two players could end up being teammates in Sioux Falls at some point this season.