MIAMI — Matt Williams Jr.’s time in the NBA has come to an end … for now.
The Heat announced Saturday afternoon that Williams has joined the organization’s G League developmental affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce. Williams is one of the Heat’s two two-way contract players, which allows him to spend a maximum of 45 days in the NBA without counting toward the team’s 15-man roster.
Williams was with the Heat for their first four games of the season, but he did not play. The experience was invaluable, though.
“I think all the level of detail that he saw in the pro game… all the things that go into the preparation, and then having somebody like Wayne Ellington as a role model, to be able to see his routine every since day, which really is a remarkable routine, I think that was invaluable for him,” coach Erik Spoelstra said. “And so now he gets to be able to take that back to Sioux Falls, finish up training camp with them, but then get some minutes and time.”
Williams’ 45-day clock in the NBA only began Monday when the Skyforce opened training camp. Only three days of his 45-day limit have been used since the undrafted guard out of Central Florida flew to Sioux Falls on Friday after Thursday’s off day for the Heat.
Williams, a 24-year-old Orlando native known for his shooting ability, finished his college career as UCF’s all-time leader in 3-point field goals made (274), and also set the single-season school and conference records for 3-point field goals made (126). He made 39 percent of his 3-point shots in eight games as a member of the Heat’s summer league team, and impressed by making 3-of-6 shots from long range in a preseason win over the Wizards on Oct. 11.
The Heat’s other two-way player, Derrick Walton Jr., was sent to Sioux Falls for the start of training camp so his 45-day clock has not begun yet.
Heat center AJ Hammons also is with the Skyforce. But he is on a standard NBA contract, so he still counts as part of Miami’s 15-man roster.
With Williams, Walton and Hammons in Sioux Falls, and Hassan Whiteside and Rodney McGruder out due to injury, the Heat will be able to dress just 12 players Saturday against the Celtics. NBA teams are allowed to have up to 13 active players for games.