Yante Maten

Heat Notes: Herro, Paul, Robinson, Maten

Tyler Herro has been making a strong impression in Summer League, enough that Miami was reluctant to include him in trade talks for Russell Westbrook, writes Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. Herro, who signed his rookie contract earlier this week, was the 13th player taken in the draft. Known mostly as a scorer at Kentucky, Herro has displayed the potential to become a multi-dimensional talent.

A league source tells Jackson that Herro’s Summer League performance has surpassed the expectations of Heat officials, especially in 3-point shooting, passing and ball-handling. He posted a 19.5/4.3/3.8 line during the team’s stay in Las Vegas and shows signs of becoming a rotation player as a rookie.

“If we need a guy that can handle, get us into offense, if we need him to be pick-and-roll, if we need him to come off catch-and-shoots, he’s shown he can do it all, and we feel comfortable in any of those spots,” said Eric Glass, who coaches the Heat’s Summer League squad.

There’s more from Miami:

  • The Thunder’s offers in a potential Chris Paul trade haven’t been “enticing enough” to spark the Heat’s interest, Jackson tweets. Miami has been mentioned as the possible next destination for Paul, who is headed to Oklahoma City in a deal with Houston. Heat officials will continue to listen if the offers improve, Jackson adds, but they’re not actively pursuing the 34-year-old point guard.
  • Even though Miami’s Summer League season ended today with an overtime playoff loss, Duncan Robinson helped his quest to stay on the roster with a 26-point performance, Jackson notes in a separate story. The guarantee on Robinson’s salary for the upcoming season will jump from $250K to $1MM if he remains on the roster through Monday. Jackson states that it seems likely Robinson will be kept, but he hasn’t received any assurances. His full $1,416,852 salary won’t become guaranteed until the league-wide guarantee date of January 10.
  • Yante Maten and Kendrick Nunn also have non-guaranteed deals, and the Heat’s hard-capped status may work against them, Jackson adds. Miami is less than $1MM below its $138.9MM cap and can’t add any players, such as veteran free agent Udonis Haslem, without waiving someone first. Maten has a $100K guarantee that will rise to $150K if he is kept through August 1, then another $150K if he makes the opening-night roster. Nunn will also receive a $150K guarantee on August 1, rising to $450K if he’s still around for the first game.

Heat Notes: Hard-Cap Crunch, Dragic, Nunn

The Heat may have a logjam for their final roster spots in 2019/20, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald writes. Given that the team is hard-capped due to the Jimmy Butler sign-and-trade, Miami’s best bet of avoiding the $138.9MM hard cap may well be to avoid adding a 15th player.

Removing that 15th slot makes Pat Riley‘s task of rounding out a roster all that much more difficult. According to Jackson, all of Yante Maten, Duncan Robinson, Kendrick Nunn and even Udonis Haslem could be competing for Heats’ 13th and 14th roster spots.

Riley’s no stranger to making difficult decisions but with Butler on board and a higher ceiling now within reach, the Heat may still be inclined to add external support, too. Jackson presents DeMarcus Cousins as a possibility.

Jackson notes that the Heat are still exploring trade options and it’s understandable why. Simply consolidating talent could solve both the team’s problems, freeing up a roster slot while potentially adding an impact rotation player.

There’s more from Miami today:

  • Among the consolation prizes for the Lakers if they do end up missing out on Kawhi Leonard could be Heat veteran Goran Dragic. Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel speculates that the 33-year-old could be a good, short-term fit for the squad as it builds out its roster.
  • There’s a chance that Pat Riley may have drafted differently had he known that Jimmy Butler would be on his roster by the end of the summer, but Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel reminds readers that lottery pick Tyler Herro will still have plenty of value as a shooter.
  • If the Heat want to convert Kendrick Nunn‘s standard contract into a two-way deal, they’ll need to do so before August 1, Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel reports. On that day, an additional $150,000 of his contract becomes guaranteed. The collective bargaining agreement forbids teams from converting players with more than $50,000 protection over to two-way deals. Waiving Nunn would expose him to waivers and he may get claimed.

Southeast Notes: Wizards, Hayes, Heat, Draft

The Wizards will work out six prospects on Wednesday, according to the team’s website. Bryce Brown (Auburn), Harry Froling (Marquette 2018), Jessie Govan (Georgetown), Frank Howard (Syracuse), Anthony Lee (Kutztown), and Myles Stephens (Princeton) will all participate in drills for Washington.

Here’s more from around the Southeast Division:

  • The Heat have invited Jaxson Hayes for a workout, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. However, the big man has no plans to visit Miami, as he’s expected to be selected before the Heat pick at No. 13.
  • Charles Cooke has worked out for the Heat, Jackson writes in the same piece. Cooke, who went undrafted out of Dayton in 2017, is in play for the team’s summer league team.
  • The Heat gave Duncan Robinson a $250K guarantee and Yante Maten a $100K guarantee in their respective contracts with the team, Jackson relays (same piece). Both players have trigger dates down the line that would bring additional guaranteed salary.
  • The Magic have worked out Cameron Johnson (UNC) and Kris Clyburn (UNLV), according to Josh Robbins of The Athletic (Twitter link). Orlando has the Nos. 16 and 46 overall picks in the draft.

Pat Riley Speaks On State Of Heat

James Johnson and Dion Waiters would be entering free agency if things had gone differently for the Heat in the summer of 2017, writes Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald.

At a press conference today, team president Pat Riley said he would have signed both players for two seasons instead of four if Miami had been able to land free agent targets Kevin Durant or Gordon Hayward. Once Durant picked the Warriors and Hayward signed with the Celtics, Riley agreed to longer contracts with both Johnson and Waiters.

“On July 1, I didn’t want to be left with nobody,” he said. “After five days of Gordon having to make a decision, I didn’t want to lose some players we had. I do know James had a deal [elsewhere if Miami didn’t sign him]. It was my decision. I didn’t want to lose all three of them.”

That decision left the Heat with two more expensive contracts that could help push the team $35MM above the cap next season, assuming Hassan Whiteside and Goran Dragic both opt in.

“We weren’t thinking of room after we lost Kevin Durant and Hayward,” Riley said. “We were thinking we had that 30-11 team come back [Miami’s record in the second half of the 2016/17 season]. We thought the contracts we gave were long-term contracts. That’s on me. You can put that all on me. We didn’t land Hayward and I didn’t want [to lose] the other two guys.”

Riley covered a wealth of topics during today’s session with the media. Here are a few, courtesy of Jackson and Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald:

  • Even if the Lakers were to make an offer, Riley won’t consider going to L.A. to take over for Magic Johnson. “There’s no doubt that I have a history with that team,” he said. “I have a lot of friends inside the organization. … But I’m not going to be a part of that.”
  • Riley wants coach Erik Spoelstra to find ways to get Whiteside and Bam Adebayo on the court at the same time. Despite being Miami’s highest-paid player, Whiteside averaged just 17 minutes per night over the final 19 games.
  • Riley said Waiters was slowed all season after ankle surgery and was “playing this year on 1 1/2 ankles.” He added that conditioning will be vital for Waiters next season. “I talked to him yesterday,” Riley said. “He knows. He has five months. If he gets his conditioning to world class condition, he can get back [to where he was for 25 excellent games two years ago]. I’m confident he will do it. His career is on the line.”
  • No matter what happens, tanking won’t be part of the Heat’s plans, Riley insists, noting how hard it is to fall into the bottom five in the league.
  • Riley encourages Udonis Haslem to take some time to decide whether he wants to return next season. Haslem has barely played over the past three years, but the Heat are willing to give him a roster spot for the veteran leadership he provides.
  • Duncan Robinson and Yante Maten, who were both signed through 2020/21 in the closing days of the season, may have a future with the team. “I give Duncan and Yante As,” Riley said. “They dominated the [G-League] the way you want them to dominate. That was the best team in the league for a while. We think both of them can develop and you don’t know how far they can go.”
  • Unless they get lucky in the lottery, the Heat will have the 13th pick in the draft, but Riley is optimistic they can find a contributor there. “I am not going to name names, but I’ve seen 30 players that are very good players,” he said. “At 13, I do think we would get something equivalent to who we have on our team right now, Bam, Justise [Winslow], Josh [Richardson] and Derrick Jones Jr.
  • Riley called Dwyane Wade‘s final season “pure love” as the Heat said goodbye to their all-time leading scorer.

Heat Notes: Maten, Robinson, Haslem, Waiters

The Heat‘s confidence in Yante Maten‘s offensive game led the team to sign him a new contract this morning, writes Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. Playing all season on a two-way deal, the undrafted rookie forward out of Georgia was signed for the three games of this season, along with a partial guarantee over the next two years. His salary for 2020/21 becomes fully guaranteed if he makes the opening night roster this fall.

Maten had a productive season in the G League, averaging 23.5 points, 9.6 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.1 blocks per game despite missing time in January and February with an ankle injury. Heat coach Erik Spoelstra believes Maten would have been in the running for MVP honors if he hadn’t gotten hurt.

“He’s got a great offensive skill set,” Spoelstra said. “You can’t teach that kind of touch for somebody of his size. He’s a gym rat, very coachable. We’re looking forward to growing with him. He’s a good kid.”

There’s more out of Miami:

  • With an available roster spot remaining, the Heat are considering a standard contract for their other two-way player, Duncan Robinson, Jackson reports in the same story. Robinson played 13 games for Miami this season and must be given a standard deal to become eligible for the playoffs.
  • Udonis Haslem has barely played over the past three seasons, but Spoelstra will lobby him to return for another year, Jackson adds. The team believes Haslem’s leadership is worth investing a roster spot, even though he has appeared in just eight games this season. “I’m going to try to convince him to keep on going,” Spoelstra said. “He has the right to take his time, and that’s what he’s going to do. But at least we got him to that point, where it’s not an automatic package deal with Dwyane [Wade]. That would be fitting, but I would like to see him continue. We need it and what he brings to the table is what so many organizations are missing — that leadership, knowledge, somebody that really understands your culture. I will respect whatever decision he makes, but I am going to recruit him hard this summer.”
  • Dion Waiters‘ late-season performance may have dissuaded the Heat from trying to trade him this summer, writes Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel. However, he adds that conditioning will be important and Waiters will need to meet his weight requirement for training camp to prove his commitment to management. He still has two years and $24.75MM left on his contract.

Heat Sign Yante Maten To Multi-Year Deal

9:27am: The deal is official, the Heat confirmed on Twitter.

9:04am: Yante Maten, who has been a two-way player with the Heat all season, has agreed to a multi-year contract with the team, tweets Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel. Miami used part of its mid-level exception for the signing (Twitter link).

The deal is partially guaranteed and Maten will have a chance to earn $3.1MM over the next two seasons, according to Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald (Twitter link). He will be eligible for the playoffs is Miami can qualify.

Maten signed a two-way deal in July after going undrafted out of Georgia. The 22-year-old forward spent the entire season in the G League, averaging 23.5 points and 9.6 rebounds in 30 games.

Today marked the deadline for the Heat to add a player to reach the 14-man roster minimum. They still have one opening they can fill by Wednesday.

Southeast Notes: Green, Wade, Young, Heat

Jeff Green has played for six teams since the 2014/15 season and he’d like to stay put for a change. The veteran forward said he “would love to come back” to the Wizards, Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington tweets. Green is averaging 12.3 PPG, 4.0 RPG and 1.8 APG for Washington. Green, 32, signed a one-year, minimum-salary contract with the Wizards last summer and will be an unrestricted free agent once again.

We have more from around the Southeast Division:

  • Heat guard Dwyane Wade said he’ll probably need a therapist after he retires at the end of the season, as he told Rachel Nichols of ESPN“It is going to be a big change. This is what I know, like, my life has been this,” he said. “I told my wife I need to do therapy and we need to do a little bit. I was always against someone that don’t know me telling me how to live my life or giving me instructions. But I need someone to talk to about it. Because it is a big change.”
  • Hawks point guard Trae Young hopes that voters look at the body of work when deciding the Rookie of the Year award, Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today reports. Luka Doncic looked like the runaway victor but Young’s strong second half has made it a much closer race. “This is a season-long award,” Young said. “Early on, everybody was saying (Doncic) was Rookie of the Year and deservedly so. He was playing really well, and I wasn’t playing the best. I was still playing well. In the second half, it’s flipped. … If you do a full-season look, it’s definitely closer than some people think.”
  • The Heat need to add another player to the roster by Sunday to get back to 14 on the 15-player roster, Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel points out. They might even add two players and could convert the two-way contracts of Duncan Robinson and Yante Maten to standard contracts to make them playoff eligible. However, that would also boost their qualifying offers from $50K to $1.4MM apiece, Winderman notes.

NBA G League Announces 2018/19 All-NBAGL Teams

After being named the G League’s Most Valuable Player and the Defensive Player of the Year for the 2018/19 season on Monday, Raptors 905 big man Chris Boucher – now a member of the Toronto Raptors – headlines the All-NBA G League first team, as the league announced today in a press release.

Boucher was joined on the All-NBAGL first team by teammate Jordan Loyd, as well as Capital City Go-Go guard Jordan McRae, Long Island Nets big man Alan Williams, and Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario center Angel Delgado. All four players are currently on two-way contracts with NBA teams.

That’s a common theme for this year’s All-NBAGL teams, as most of the 15 players named to the three squads aren’t currently NBA free agents, having signed two-way or NBA contracts.

The complete list of the 2018/19 All-NBA G League teams, along with the All-Rookie and All-Defensive squads, is below. Players currently on a 15-man NBA roster are marked with an asterisk (*), while players on two-way contracts are noted with a caret (^).

All-NBAGL First Team:

  • Chris Boucher (Raptors 905) *
  • Angel Delgado (Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario) ^
  • Jordan Loyd (Raptors 905) ^
  • Jordan McRae (Capital City Go-Go) ^
  • Alan Williams (Long Island Nets) ^

All-NBAGL Second Team:

All-NBAGL Third Team:

NBAGL All-Rookie Team:

  • Chris Chiozza (Capital City Go-Go) *
    • Note: Chiozza wasn’t on an NBA contract for most of the season, but was recently called up by the Rockets.
  • Angel Delgado (Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario) ^
  • Yante Maten (Sioux Falls Skyforce) ^
  • Theo Pinson (Long Islands Nets) ^
  • Duncan Robinson (Sioux Falls Skyforce) ^

NBAGL All-Defensive Team:

The All-Defensive team is the only squad that features players who are currently NBA free agents — Brimah and Pelle haven’t been on an NBA roster this season, while Payton only briefly spent time with an NBA team, signing a 10-day contract with the Wizards in January.

Heat Notes: Whiteside, Ellington, Butler, Maten

Heat center Hassan Whiteside had a good stretch of games this past week, recording double-doubles in each of his three contests and nearly recording a triple-double in Wednesday’s win over the Spurs.

The Heat benefit most when Whiteside is fully engaged, and after last season’s back-and-forth debacle with coach Erik Spoelstra, many were quick to write the 29-year-old off before the 2018/19 season even began.

“I’m very confident, man,” Whiteside said after Wednesday’s win, according to Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press. “My body feels great. I think a lot of people had written me off. That’s fine. I don’t need anybody’s justification. But I feel like if I do those things for myself, it’ll put me in the conversation of being an All-Star, being defensive player of the year.”

Whiteside worked tirelessly to improve his body and conditioning last summer, and it’s paid off through 12 games. Entering Monday’s contest against Joel Embiid and the 76ers, he’s holding per-game averages of 14 points, 15.5 rebounds and 3.5 blocks.

“It’s kind of like he’s changing his mindset to be great,” teammate Bam Adebayo said.

Should Whiteside continue to play solid basketball on both ends, he could be in consideration for his first ever All-Star appearance with the Heat.

There’s more out of Miami today:

Southeast Notes: Ross, Hawks, Wolf, Maten

Magic guard Terrence Ross is about to enter the final season of a three-year, $31.5MM rookie contract extension that he signed in November, 2015. And according to Dan Savage of OrlandoMagic.com, Ross, 27, is intent on improving upon an injury-riddled 2017/18 season that limited him to 24 games.

“It’s always a big year any time your contract is coming to an end,” Ross explained. “You just want to go out there know that you’re 100 percent and play as well as you can, play with confidence and more importantly, help the (Magic) win.”

Regardless of his motivation, both Magic High Performance Director David Tenney and new head coach Steve Clifford appear to be satisfied with what they’re seeing out of Ross so far this offseason.

“He’s done a consistent amount of work this entire offseason, not just with (the Magic), but with his personal trainers as well,” said Tenney. “The consistency of doing stuff multiple times per week, coming here at night and doing stuff on his own, the consistent workload from the beginning of June until now, is really starting to pay off and you can see that he’s really looked a lot sharper.”

According to Savage, Ross’ conditioning and strength-training efforts are paying off on the court. In a recent pick-up game with Magic teammates and other NBA players, Ross knocked down six consecutive shots from various parts of the floor.

“Every day – he’s (even) come in on a couple of Saturdays,” Clifford said. “He’s really committed himself. I think his conditioning level is good, but his game is getting into rhythm, you can see it when he works out and you can see it when they (he and his Magic teammates) play.”

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • Heat power forward Yante Maten is excited to show people what he can do after signing a two-way contract with Miami this summer, reports Ira Winderman of the Sun-Sentinel. The 2018 SEC Player of the Year believes his ability to stretch the floor and play hard on both sides of the court will help find him success in the NBA.
  • The Hornets plan to name Joe Wolf as the new head coach of their G League affiliate, the Greensboro Swarm, per a report from Adam Johnson of 2 Ways & 10 Days. A University of North Carolina alum, Wolf spent last season serving as an assistant coach for UNC Wilmington after spending multiple years as a coach in the G League beforehand.
  • The Hawks have announced a 20-year collaboration with State Farm that includes naming rights for the Hawks’ newly-renovated arena. Per principal owner Tony Ressler, Our ownership group considers the Atlanta Hawks Basketball Club a community asset, and we are excited to have found a partner that shares our vision and has committed to working with us to expand on the community engagement and philanthropic initiatives we do that benefit the many communities that make up this great metropolitan area.”