Heat to sign Derrick Jones Jr. to two-way contract, release Matt Williams Jr.

Derrick Jones Jr. handles the ball while playing for the Suns last season. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The Miami Heat are making two moves that will have more of an impact on the Sioux Falls Skyforce.

The Heat will sign forward Derrick Jones Jr. to a two-way-contract, which was first reported by Yahoo Sports. Jones will join the Heat in Miami this week before heading to Sioux Falls, Miami’s G League affiliate.

To make room for Jones, Miami will waive former UCF star Matt Williams Jr. according to source.

The 6-foot-7 Jones spent last season and six games this season in the Suns organization. He scored nine points this season on 2-of-4 shooting before being waived Dec. 7. Jones averaged 5.3 points and 2.5 rebounds in 32 games last season, including eight starts.

Jones, signed by the Suns in 2016 after going undrafted out of UNLV, also spent time last season with the Northern Arizona Suns or the G League. Players on two-way contracts are allowed to spend up to 45 days with their NBA teams during the season with the rest of the time with that team’s developmental affiliate. Jones’ NBA time will be prorated.

After going undrafted in June, Williams was signed by the Heat this summer before inking a two-way contract in October. The 6-foot-5 guard has played in three games with the Heat, scoring five points on 2-of-6 shooting, including one 3-pointer.

Williams is averaging 9.6 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.3 assists while shooting 33.8 percent from the field and 33.9 percent on 3-pointers in 16 games (all starts) with the Skyforce this season.

Derrick Walton Jr., also on a two-way contract, remains with the Heat. He has 15 days of his 45 remaining before the Heat are forced to make a decision.

The Heat are off until they host the Pistons on Wednesday.

[As Erik Spoelstra stepped back, Heat players aired it out at halftime in Orlando]

[As we ring in 2018, five things to like and dislike about the 2017 portion of the Miami Heat season]

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Injury-depleted Heat call on two-way contract player Matt Williams Jr. to help add depth

Miami’s Matt Williams talks with Bam Adebayo during the second half of a preseason game against Washington. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

BOSTON — Life as a professional basketball player has required Matt Williams Jr. to make a few adjustments.

The on-court adjustments were expected. But it’s the off-court adjustments that sent the Florida native shopping for winter gear.

“Sioux Falls is different, especially being from Florida,” Williams said. “It’s cold weather, not as much to do, just focus on basketball. So it’s been OK. … It’s not the first time I’ve seen snow. This is my first time actually living in it, on a day-to-day basis. I’ve got some snow boots and everything.” Continue reading “Injury-depleted Heat call on two-way contract player Matt Williams Jr. to help add depth”

Miami Heat’s G League team, Sioux Falls, opens season tonight

The Miami Heat’s developmental league team, the Sioux Falls Skyforce, opens the season tonight in Southaven, Miss., against the Memphis Hustle.

Sioux Falls will play 50 games in the renamed G League. Its home opener is Monday against the Lakeland Magic.

The Skyforce will have five players on the team from the Heat’s training camp roster; guards Matt Williams Jr., Derrick Walton Jr and Larry Drew II, forward Erik McCree and center AJ Hammons.

Williams and Walton are on two-way contract, which means they are Heat property, do not count towards the Heat’s 15-man roster and are allowed to spend a maximum 45 days in the NBA. Hammons is on a standard NBA contract so he counts as part of the Heat’s 15-man roster.

“We like the group that we have,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “I think it mirrors a lot of the qualities we have with (the Heat) group, a lot of toughness, a lot of defensive minded guys. Everybody’s just excited to get this season started.”

Before leaving for Sioux Falls, Walton was asked what the Heat coaching staff wants him to work on while in the G League.

“Pretty much just do what I do,” he said. “Run the team, make shots, and mostly on my side of things just being a lot more effective on defense. Picking up on schemes and what not. Pretty much just play ball and be the best I can be.”

The Skyforce is coming off a 29-21 season in Nevada Smith’s first season as head coach. They had the most wins for a non-playoff team.

“It was a tough year from the playoffs standpoint,” Smith told the team’s website. “The record looked okay at the end of the year, having the most wins for a non-playoff team in league history. …

“You know, it’s a development league. It’s about getting those guys better and getting them to the next step in their careers, and that’s more important than wins and losses.”

Sioux Falls won the league title in 2015-16 under the direction of current heat assistant Dan Craig, setting the league record for the most wins, going 40-10.

[Mailbag: Should Heat continue to count on Dion Waiters in clutch situations?]

[Heat coach Erik Spoelstra on James Johnson: ‘We’ll ride with him’]

 

 

Miami Heat send two-way guard Matt Williams Jr. to G League affiliate in Sioux Falls

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. Continue reading “Miami Heat send two-way guard Matt Williams Jr. to G League affiliate in Sioux Falls”

Tonight’s matchup: Miami Heat face early-season test vs. San Antonio Spurs without Hassan Whiteside

Miami Heat’s Hassan Whiteside (21) dunks over San Antonio Spurs’ Pau Gasol (16) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016, in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

SAN ANTONIO SPURS VS. MIAMI HEAT

When: Wednesday, 8 p.m.

Where: AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami

TV/Radio: Fox Sports Sun, ESPN/WAXY 790AM, WAQI 710AM (Spanish)

Records: San Antonio 3-0, Miami 2-1

STARTING LINEUPS

Spurs

F: Kyle Anderson

F: LaMarcus Aldridge

C: Pau Gasol

G: Danny Green

G: Dejounte Murray

Heat

F: Josh Richardson

F: James Johnson

C: Bam Adebayo

G: Dion Waiters

G: Goran Dragic

Scouting report: Heat center Hassan Whiteside will miss his third consecutive game with a bone bruise in his left knee, and wing Rodney McGruder is out indefinitely after left tibia surgery. Point guard Goran Dragic will play despite a right thigh bruise, and shooting guard Dion Waiters will play despite lingering left ankle soreness. … The Spurs will also be shorthanded, as All-Star forward Kawhi Leonard (right quadriceps tendinopathy), point guard Tony Parker (left quadriceps tendon surgery) and forward Joffrey Lauvergne (sprained right ankle) will miss the contest. … The Spurs have won seven consecutive regular-season matchups with the Heat, a streak that began in the 2013-14 season. … Seven Heat players are averaging double-digit points this season, led by Whiteside (26.0 ppg). Dragic is second with 19.7 points per game … Kelly Olynyk leads the Heat with four charges taken this season, which is three more than any other player on the roster … The Heat’s paint defense has been subpar to start the year, as they entered Tuesday’s slate of games allowing the third-most paint points in the NBA at 52.0 per game. Meanwhile, San Antonio is attempting the second-most shots from within the restricted area this season at 35.7 per game. … San Antonio is 12-1 when Aldridge records 25+ points and 10+ rebounds in a game. Aldridge is averaging 24.3 points and 9.3 rebounds this season.

[Heat 3-point specialist Wayne Ellington has a shadow, and it’s rookie Matt Williams Jr.]

[Finally healthy, Josh Richardson says: ‘I want to dunk on everybody now’]

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Heat 3-point specialist Wayne Ellington has a shadow, and it’s rookie Matt Williams Jr.

MIAMI — Wayne Ellington has a shadow. It’s Matt Williams Jr.

Williams, an undrafted guard out of Central Florida, knows his shooting is the skill that will earn him a consistent role in the NBA. That’s why he’s kept a close eye on Ellington.

“I watch his every move,” Williams said Monday of Ellington. “He probably doesn’t know it. But every move he makes, I watch it. Whether he’s on the bench, whether he’s in the game, the way he goes in and gets work done on his body. Because me and him are similar players, so I’m just trying to learn as much as I can from him.” Continue reading “Heat 3-point specialist Wayne Ellington has a shadow, and it’s rookie Matt Williams Jr.”

Heat’s two-way contract players to spend Saturday at AmericanAirlines Arena before leaving for Sioux Falls on Sunday

Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra talks with guard Derrick Walton Jr. (14) during the second half of an NBA preseason basketball game against the Charlotte Hornets, Monday, Oct. 9, 2017, in Miami. The Heat defeated the Hornets 109-106. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

MIAMI — Derrick Walton Jr. and Matt Williams Jr. will spend their last night in Miami at AmericanAirlines Arena.

Walton and Williams are the Heat’s two two-way contract players who are set to spend most of the season with the organization’s developmental affiliate in the G League, the Sioux Falls Skyforce. They will travel to Sioux Falls on Sunday with the start of Skyforce training camp scheduled for Monday. Continue reading “Heat’s two-way contract players to spend Saturday at AmericanAirlines Arena before leaving for Sioux Falls on Sunday”

Roster moves: Miami Heat cut Liggins, McCree, Mitchell; keep Walton, Williams, Hammons

Miami Heat’s Matt Williams, left, talks with Bam Adebayo (13) during the second half of a preseason NBA basketball game against the Washington Wizards, Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017, in Miami. The Heat won 117-115. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

MIAMI – A no-cut Heat training camp. That’s how Erik Spoelstra looked at it.

“That’s what I like about this training camp,” Spoelstra said in September. “This is the first time that no one will officially get cut. These guys are all part of our system and we wanted to develop them.”

The Heat began Saturday with the NBA preseason-maximum of 20 players on their roster. The deadline for NBA rosters to be cut down to the regular-season limit of 15 is Monday at 5 p.m, with most of the moves having to be made by Saturday because of the league’s 48-hour waiver period. Continue reading “Roster moves: Miami Heat cut Liggins, McCree, Mitchell; keep Walton, Williams, Hammons”

5 burning, really hot questions facing the Miami Heat entering training camp

MIAMI — It’s been a little more than five months since the Heat found out on the final day of the regular season that a 30-11 record to close out their schedule would not be good enough to make the playoffs.

Tears and disappointment filled the Heat locker room after they learned their year would end on the final day of the regular season. But with 11 players returning from that roster, that experience is still very vivid in their minds. Continue reading “5 burning, really hot questions facing the Miami Heat entering training camp”

How much better will Heat be this season? Offshore sports book puts projected win total at 43 1/2

MIAMI — The Heat are expected to be better this season. But how much better?

With 11 players returning from last season’s 41-41 team, the Bovada.lv offshore sports book has the over-under betting line for the Heat’s win total for the 2017-18 regular season at 43 1/2 games. Miami has finished with fewer than 43 wins in two of the past three seasons and missed the playoffs both times. Continue reading “How much better will Heat be this season? Offshore sports book puts projected win total at 43 1/2”