Heat sign Okaro White to second 10-day contract

 

Heat forward Okaro White was signed to a second 10-day contract on Friday. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

Heat forward Okaro White was signed to a second 10-day contract on Friday. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

CHICAGO – The Miami Heat have not lost a game since calling up Okaro White from Sioux Falls.

So signing the 6-foot-8 forward from Florida State to a second 10-day contract today was a no-brainer.

Okay, that’s not the only reason. White, who joined the team on a roster exception on Jan. 17, has become an integral part of the rotation, playing crucial fourth quarter minutes the last two games and scoring five points in the final minute, including the go-ahead three pointer, of Wednesday’s come-from-behind win at Brooklyn.

“He took the right approach,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “He didn’t let (the 10-day contract) cloud his mind, he didn’t make any excuses, he controlled what he can control and that was his play on the court. Whether he was going to get minutes or not he contributed.”

White, 24, is averaging 3.8 points and 3.0 rebounds in four games while playing 16 minutes per game. He is 5-of-10 from the floor, including 2-of-5 on three pointers. He played the entire fourth quarter against the Nets and finished with 10 points, seven rebounds and four blocks.

Players earn $32,000 for each 10-day contract.

“It feels great,” White said. “They have the faith in me and invested in me. It feels good to have a great organization invest in you. It feels good. I’m ready to get the next 10 days started.”

The Heat were granted a roster exception when it was determined Josh Richardson would miss an additional two weeks after suffering a sprained foot. Miami, though, will have a decision to make when Richardson is ready to return. Richardson, though, still is in a walking boot.

White, though, likley is not going anywhere. Miami loves his energy and will do all it can to make sure he does not get away, which means signing him for the remainder of the season when his second 10-day contract expires. If the Heat returned White to Sioux Falls he would be available for any team to sign.

That means creating a roster spot. The most likely candidate to be released is forward Derrick Williams, who has fallen out of the rotation. Williams, who signed a one year $4.6 million contract last summer, has played 48 seconds in the last five games.

White was asked if he is thinking beyond the next 10 days.

“I mean, yeah, it’s in the back of my head,” he said. “But I’ve got to take it one day at a time and one play at a time. So, you know, I try to not let the business side conflict with my business side.”

White averaged 18.4 points and 8.7 rebounds in 23 games for Sioux Falls this season.

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