Is ‘elite shooter’ Duncan Robinson a candidate for Heat two-way contract?

Miami Heat forward Duncan Robinson drives against Los Angeles Lakers guard Jeffrey Carroll during a  summer league game in Sacramento last week. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

LAS VEGAS – The Miami Heat should make a decision on at least one of their two-way contracts soon after summer league ends.

“I think we’re probably leaning to maybe get a two-way done sometime after summer league and then we might keep one open just because we like the flexibility,” said Chet Kammerer, the organization’s vice president of player personnel.

“But we’ll have to wait and see how it goes. That’s some of our thinking now. We might hold one. Because it worked. As it turned out it proved pretty valuable.”

Last year the Heat signed Derrick Walton Jr. to a two-way contract and then Matt Williams. Williams was then released to make room for Derrick Jones Jr., who was signed to a standard contract a little more than a week ago. Jones has been a star for the Heat this summer before spraining his right ankle in Sunday’s loss to the Hornets.

The two-way contract, which under the current rules meant a player could not spend more than 45 days in the NBA while playing the rest of the season in the G League, does not have to come from the team’s summer league roster. Any player not under a standard contract playing in the summer league can be signed by any team.

The Heat, though, may have one player in mind and could move quick to sign him to a two-day.

Duncan Robinson, an undrafted rookie out of Michigan, has shown why he finished his career with the fourth-most 3-pointers in Wolverines history. Robinson, who has started all five Heat games, is averaging 12.4 points on 57.8 percent shooting (22 of 38), including 62.9 percent (17 of 27) on threes.

Coach Eric Glass said Robinson, a 6-foot-8 small forward, was high on Kammerer’s list when the draft ended and that Kammerer “doesn’t miss on too many guys.” Kammerer added Miami had several players it liked that it did not get, but were happy to receive a commitment from Robinson.

“He was high on our list,” Kammerer said. “We liked him a lot. His ability to shoot. We talked to (Erik) Spoelstra. He talked about the one quality he likes the most or wants the most is shooters. To me he’s an elite shooter and he’s proven that so far here.”

Kammerer has been impressed with more than just Robinson’s shot. Robinson has said he felt like he “was labeled” at Michigan and is hoping to show he is more than a jump shooter.

“I think he’s done a little bit more than we anticipated,” Kammerer said. “He’s had two dunks now off the dribble in the half court, which were kind of unexpected. And (Saturday) he had six rebounds in 20 minutes. Those are big factors.

“You look for other things. The more diverse his game is, is helpful for him. Still the key is for him to make shots. That’s why he is valued as a player is his ability to stroke the ball and the fact that he’s not 6-3. You like guys who are a little longer.”

The Heat are 2-3 in summer league (2-1 in Sacramento and 0-2 in Las Vegas). They are off today and resume at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday against Utah at the Thomas & Mack Center on the UNLV campus.

The organization is not just evaluating the 14 players on its roster. Miami has divided the scouting duties between Kammerer, assistant general manager Adam Simon and Keith Askins, the director of college and pro scouting. By the end of the week the three will have seen all 30 teams at least once.

“I think at this point we’re looking at the rosters of other teams. Derrick Walton didn’t play for us (last summer) he played for another team,” Kammerer said. “We’re here evaluating other players we think could be a good fit for us. … We’ll definitely have a good feel for everybody by the end of the week.”

[Without LeBron in East, Josh Richardson believes Heat can go much further in playoffs]

[Mailbag: Why is it taking so long for the Heat to re-sign Wayne Ellington?]

[As the offseason continues, we update where Heat stand in free agency and the trade market]

[No one will ever see John Crotty’s debut as the Heat TV analyst]

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NBA draft 2017: A look at who mock drafts have Heat selecting with ‘purgatory’ pick

Wake Forest’s John Collins gestures to the crowd during the final seconds of a win over Louisville in March. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

Heat president Pat Riley calls it “purgatory,” picking 14th, or in the middle of the first round. But that doesn’t mean Miami is not looking for a heavenly player.

“We’re in purgatory,” Riley said. “What I mean by that, either win a championship, you make the playoffs or you get the first pick in the draft. Everybody else is in purgatory. And that’s where we are right now. It’s sort of between heaven and hell. That’s where we are. But we like 12 through 20.”

Riley said Vice President of player personnel Chet Kammerer and his staff scouting staff of Adam Simon, Eric Amsler, Keith Askins and Bob McAdoo already have scheduled workouts with draft eligible players. The Heat have the worst odds among the lottery teams, 1.8 percent, of moving in into the top three, that includes 0.5 percent chance at the top overall pick, 0.6 percent at No. 2 and 0.7 percent at No. 3.

“I do believe that between 12 and 20, or 20 and 12, these players can flip-flop, that there will be a very good player in the draft,” Riley said. “We’ll probably take the best player, depending on free agency and who’s going to stay and not going to stay.”

“And possibly some of these guys from 12 to 20 could be better than the guys from seven to 12.”

Here is a list of the players some of the mock drafts have the Heat selecting. Most vary, but one showed up on two mocks, one with ties to South Florida and Palm Beach County.

NBADaft.net and DraftExpress: Sophomore John Collins, 6-8, PF, Wake Forest.

Collins, who is from West Palm Beach and starred at Cardinal Newman High School, averaged 19.2 points and 9.8 rebounds. He led the ACC with a 62.3 field goal percentage, 63.9 in ACC games. And although most believe Collins was the best player in the league, he was runner-up to North Carolina’s Justin Jackson in the Player of the Year voting. He voted to the All-ACC first team and was the league’s Most Improved Player.

CBSSports.com: Sophomore OG Anunoby, 6-8, SF, Indiana.

Like Collins, one of a handful of non-freshman projected to go in the first round, Anunoby missed the final 15 games of the season because of a knee injury; undergoing surgery on Jan. 31. He averaged 11.1 points and 5.4 rebounds while shooting 54.9 percent.

MyNBADraft.com: Freshman T.J. Leaf, 6-10, PF, UCLA

Leaf has the versatility the Heat like with an ability to play inside or out and he is not a liability on defense. He averaged 16.3 points, 8.2 rebounds and 2.4 assists.

HoopsHype: Freshman, Harry Giles, 6-10, PF, Duke.

We know Heat like Duke players and Giles could be there in the middle of the first round, but with a risk. He has torn both ACL’s and has had three knee surgeries since 2013 and never was at full strength last season. He averaged 4.3 points and 4.0 rebounds.

Bleacher Report: Freshman Justin Patton, 7-0, C, Creighton.

Even with Hassan Whiteside expected to hold down the position for several years, the Heat could find it difficult to pass on a player with this much upside. Patton averaged 12.9 points and 6.1 rebounds and would benefit from a year in the D-League.

SB Nation: Freshman Jarrett Allen, 7-0, Fr., C, Texas.

Another freshman big man with plenty of potential. Allen and his 7-5.5 wingspan, averaged 13.4 points and 8.4 rebounds.

[No ceiling? Pat Riley, Erik Spoelstra believe there’s still plenty of room for Hassan Whiteside to grow]

[Heat fans send loud and clear message: No Melo]

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Shane Battier attends first Heat practice in new front office role

 

 

Shane Battier returns to Miami as the director of basketball development and analytics. (Allen Eyestone/The Palm Beach Post)
Shane Battier returns to the Miami Heat as the director of basketball development and analytics. (Allen Eyestone/The Palm Beach Post)

MIAMI – The table where the Miami Heat’s management team sits to watch practice was overflowing today, the first gathering since returning from the All-Star break.

The usual suspects, President Pat Riley, GM Andy Elisburg and VP Alonzo Mourning were present, along with other executives. And even owner Micky Arison, who checks in whenever possible, was stopped by.

But a new face emerged, at least new to the front office.

Shane Battier attended his first practice as the Heat’s director of basketball development and analytics. Battier, 38, has been at plenty of Erik Spoelstra’s practices as player during his three seasons (2011-2014) but this was his first since being hired Thursday.

“I think it’s great and I think it fits really the history of this franchise since Micky and Pat took over,” Spoelstra said as he team prepared for Friday’s game in Atlanta, which will start a playoff push. Miami (25-32) is two games out of the No. 8 seed.

“There is a lot of diversity on this staff. But what’s really important as you develop a culture is that you have a living, breathing living culture of guys who have been through it. Guys that believe in it. Guys have that proved it.”

Spoelstra cited the Heat’s history of bringing back players in various roles off the court, including Mourning, Tim Hardaway, who spent time as a Heat ambassador; current assistants Juwan Howard and Chris Quinn; and Keith Askins, the director of college and pro scouting and assistant GM for the D-League Sioux Falls Skyforce.

And now, Battier.

“With Shane it took us forever to acquire him as a player,” Spoelstra said. “We always wanted him as a player because we thought he was absolutely a Miami Heat, DNA-type, fabric player.  … He can appreciate the way this team plays and how they compete.

“When we’re able to add somebody of Shane’s championship experience, that’s been through this culture it’s very important for teams. We had him three brief years, but incredible success. … And now we get to get to continue it.”

[Mailbag: With trade deadline looming will the Miami Heat be buyers or sellers?]

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Top 5 undrafted free agents in Miami Heat history

Udonis Haslem #40 of the Miami Heat reacts after a basket in the third quarter against the Indiana Pacers during Game Five of the Eastern Conference Finals at AmericanAirlines Arena on May 30, 2013 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Udonis Haslem #40 of the Miami Heat reacts after a basket in the third quarter against the Indiana Pacers during Game Five of the Eastern Conference Finals at AmericanAirlines Arena on May 30, 2013 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

The Heat enter Thursday’s NBA Draft with no picks.

But after the draft, expect Miami to be very active in search of promising undrafted players. The Heat have had some luck in the past with undrafted free agents. Continue reading “Top 5 undrafted free agents in Miami Heat history”

2016 NBA Draft: How the Miami Heat prepare with no picks

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How exactly does an NBA organization prepare for the draft when it doesn’t have any picks? They pretend.

Ben Simmons is expected to be the No. 1 pick by Philadelphia. (Getty Images)
Ben Simmons is expected to be the No. 1 pick by Philadelphia. (Getty Images)

Calling it pretending is in exaggeration, but the Heat have been operating as though they have picks even though they don’t. Miami is one of five teams that goes into Thursday’s draft without any selections.

Continue reading “2016 NBA Draft: How the Miami Heat prepare with no picks”