Heat summer League preview: Expect to see plenty of Bam Adebayo

Miami Heat’s Bam Adebayo shoot as Philadelphia 76ers’ Ben Simmons watches during Game 1 of the first-round of the playoffs. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)

SACRAMENTO – The Heat did not add Bam Adebayo to their summer league roster to play sparingly. Adebayo will see regular minutes when the team kicks off two-weeks of summer league play Monday against Golden State at Golden 1 Center.

Heat summer league coach Eric Glass, the team’s video coordinator/player development coach, said it’s a front office decision but he expects Adebayo, Miami’s top pick (14th overall) in the 2017 draft, to play in the majority of the games. The Heat will play three games at the home of the Sacramento Kings before moving into the NBA Summer League, Friday through July 17 in Las Vegas.

“We want him to see him improve in every area,” said Glass, who added that Adebayo, and others, would play heavy minutes in some games and sit out others. The Heat have a 14-man roster.

[Miami Heat finalizes summer league roster; games start Monday in Sacramento]

“We want to see his leadership and how he’s affecting his other teammates, we want to see that grow. On the court you’ll see him handle, you’ll see him screening and rolling, you’ll see him in the post a little bit. Hopefully we’ll stretch him out to the three.”

Adebayo mentioned recently he’s hoping to expand his outside shooting. Last season Adebayo played in 19 games and averaged 6.9 points and 5.5 rebounds as a rookie. The majority of his baskets were dunks and at the rim. He attempted just seven 3-pointers, missing them all.

“The system will be free flowing so we’ll give him some options to space to the corner or he’ll be down on the box,” Glass said. “So, he’ll have some freedom to get around. We’ll get him in spots that we want him and places where he can be most effective. But we’re going to try to develop his all-around game.”

The roster includes two others who saw time with the Heat last season, forward Derrick Jones Jr., who was signed to a two-year contract Saturday, and point guard Derrick Walton Jr. Jones and Walton spent time with the Heat and with Sioux Falls, the organization’s developmental league team, last season as two-way players.

“We love Derrick,” Glass said about Jones. “He’s a typical Miami Heat guy. We are trying to develop (him), teach him how to be a pro, teach him how to work. From the day he came here, he’s been all in he’s been wide-eyed. We’re going to put him in positions to grow and be successful. You’ll see him on the wing, attacking. You’ll see him handling. You’ll see him with an improved 3-point jumper so hopefully he can see the ball go through the net.”

Glass was asked what the Heat want to see from Walton:

“Leadership at the point guard position and then his defense has really improved,” he said. “He’s really committed to that end. He’s become more competitive at that end. He’s a guy who can really shoot it from outside.”

The Heat’s roster is a mix of undrafted free agents from the 2018 class and others who have bounced around several professional leagues. The team was announced last week and they have been practicing since Friday. Glass said the level in which each player is able to make the transition depends on their background.

“Duncan Robinson is a guy, he’s shown a high IQ but I think playing for (John) Beilein at Michigan has helped him. He’s picking up things quicker than some of the other guys that might not be running as much NBA stuff.

“Heat terminology is going to be different. But we try to fast-track the guys. I would say the college guys are the ones who have the hardest transition because it’s a little bit more terminology than they were used to.”

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UPDATED: Miami Heat finalizes summer league roster; games start Monday in Sacramento

Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers fights off Bam Adebayo of the Miami Heat during last season’s playoffs. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)



MIAMI – With the 2018 draft completed, NBA teams are focusing on filling their summer league rosters.

The Miami Heat revealed their 14-man roster today for the Sacramento and Las Vegas summer leagues. The Heat begin play Monday in Sacramento and will play three games in four days. The team will hold three practices in Sacramento before the games begin. Miami then heads to the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas where its first game is scheduled for July 7. The team will play a tournament style schedule with the championship game July 17. Each team will play at least five games in Las Vegas.

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The Heat roster was completed with additions of center Landry Nnoko of Clemson who played in Grand Rapids last season, guard Rashad Vaughn of UNLV and guard Tai Webster of Nebraska who played in Germany last season. The roster includes the franchise’s No. 1 pick in the 2017-18 draft, Bam Adebayo along with Derrick Jones Jr. and Derrick Walton Jr., the Heat’s two two-way players last season.

The team will be coached  by Heat assistant Eric Glass.The roster is subject to change.


Bam Adebayo, 6-10, C, Kentucky/Heat: Adebayo showed plenty of promise his rookie year both offensively and defensively and the Heat just want him to get more experience after playing in 69 games, including 19 starts. He averaged 6.9 points and 5.5 rebounds while shooting 51.2 percent.

Dikembe Dixson, 6-7, F, University Illinois-Chicago: Dixson, an undrafted free agent, started all 72 games he played at UIC. He was the unanimous choice as the Horizon League Freshman of the Year in 2016. After suffering a torn ACL in UIC’s 10th game two years ago he led the team with 14.2 ppg last season.

Matt Farrell, 6-0, G, Notre Dame: An undrafted free agent, Farrell played four years at Notre Dame, increasing his scoring, rebounding and assists every year. He started every game his junior and season seasons and averaged 16.3 points and 5.3 assists last season.

Derrick Jones Jr., 6-7, G/F, UNLV/Heat: Jones has played 52 NBA games, 20 for the Heat (eight starts) last season and 32 for Phoenix (eight starts) in 2016-17. Last season, he averaged 3.1 points and 1.9 rebounds for Miami and played in 29 G League games with Sioux Falls and Northern Arizona, averaging 17.4 points and 7.4 rebounds.

Jarrod Jones, F, 6-9, Ball State/Turkey: Jones, 28, has spent the last six seasons playing professionally in Europe. He averaged 19.2 points and 10.1 rebounds in the top level Italian League two years ago and was in Turkey last season. He played at Ball State from 2008-12 and finished his career third on the school’s all-time rebound and blocks list.

Daryl Macon, 6-3, G, Arkansas: Macon, who was not drafted, played two seasons for the Razorbacks and was a first-team All-SEC selection by the media and second team by the coaches last season. He averaged 16.8 points and a team-high 3.9 assists as a senior. He played two years at Holmes Community College in Goodman, Miss.

Yante Maten, 6-8, F, Georgia: An undrafted free agent, Maten was the SEC Player of the Year last season after averaging 19.3 points and 8.6 rebounds and a finalist for the Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year. He played four seasons for the Bulldogs.

Landry Nnoko, 6-10, C, Clemson/Grand Rapids: Nnoko, 24, was the G League’s defensive player of the year while playing for Grand Rapids last season and averaged 14.8 points and 11.5 rebounds. He is from Cameroon and played professionally in Italy after going undrafted out of Clemson in 2016. Nnoko attended the Pistons training camp in 2017 before being cut and joining Grand Rapids.

Ike Nwamu, 6-5, G, UNLV/Sioux Falls: Nwamu, 25, has spent the last two seasons with the Heat’s developmental team. He averaged 9.1 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.0 assists in 2016-17 and 14.5 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.3 assists last season while leading the Skyforce with 47 games played.

Duncan Robinson, 6-8, G/F, Michigan: Robinson went undrafted after playing three seasons for the Wolverines. He made a team-high 38 threes last season – averaging 9.2 points while starting 19 games – and shot 41.9 percent on 3 pointers in his career. Robinson transferred to Michigan after leading Williams Ephs to the 2014 NCAA Division III championship game. He was the 2014 Division III Rookie of the Year.

Justin Tillman, 6-8, F, VCU: Tillman went undrafted after averaging 18.9 points and 9.9 rebounds while shooting .557 as a senior at VCU. He was named to All-Atlantic 10 first team and was an All-Defensive Team selection. He led the A-10 in rebounding. Tillman had an impressive Portsmouth Invitational, averaging 18.3 points and 13.0 rebounds.

Rashad Vaughn, 6-6, G, UNLV: Vaughn, 21, was the 17th overall pick by the Bucks in 2015 after one year at UNLV. He has played parts of three seasons in the NBA, including more than two years for the Bucks and a handful of games for the Magic and Nets. In 139 career games, including eight starts, he is averaging 3.0 points in 12.0 minutes. He was named the Mountain West Conference freshman of the year in his only season at UNLV, averaging 17.8 points.

Derrick Walton Jr., 6-1, G, Michigan/Heat: Walton spilt time last season between the Heat and the Skyforce. He played in 16 games for Miami, averaging 1.8 points in 9.2 minutes. He played 27 games for Sioux Falls averaging 16.1 points and 7.0 assists.

Tai Webster, 6-2, G, Germany/Nebraska: Webster, 23, is a New Zealand native who played four years at Nebraska where he averaged 17.0 points as a senior before going undrafted in 2017. He played last season for Frankfurt in the German league and played professionally in Australia and New Zealand before going to Nebraska. Webster played for the Warriors summer league team a year ago.

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Las Vegas summer league announces schedule, with Heat playing opener on July 7

Miami Heat’s Matt Williams, left, and Bam Adebayo, right, battle for the ball with Dallas Mavericks’ Brandon Ashley during the first half of an NBA summer league basketball game, Tuesday, July 11, 2017, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

MIAMI — The 2017-18 season just came to a close, but the start of summer-league basketball is just weeks away.

The Las Vegas summer league begins July 6 and will continue through July 17, and the full schedule was released Tuesday. All 30 NBA teams will play in it for the first time, with games taking place at the Thomas & Mack Center and Cox Pavilion on UNLV’s campus. Continue reading “Las Vegas summer league announces schedule, with Heat playing opener on July 7”

Eric Glass continues rise as Miami Heat’s summer-league coach

Eric Glass (Courtesy of Miami Heat)

MIAMI — Eric Glass’ ascension on the Heat bench will continue this summer.

The Heat confirmed that Glass will lead the organization’s summer-league teams in Sacramento and Las Vegas this year. The 34-year-old Glass follows in the footsteps of Heat assistant coaches Chris Quinn, Juwan Howard and Dan Craig as head of the team’s summer program — Quinn coached the Heat’s summer-league team last year, Howard led the summer program in 2016 and Craig coached the summer rosters from 2013 through 2015. Continue reading “Eric Glass continues rise as Miami Heat’s summer-league coach”

Greek Freak 3.0: Kostas Antetokounmpo catching up to brother Giannis

Kostas Antetokounmpo participates in drills during the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago last week. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

The most famous name at the NBA combine in Chicago last week was Antetokounmpo.

Kostas Antetokounmpo, 20, is the younger brother of Bucks’ All-Star Giannis Antetokounmpo, knows as The Greek Freak. He is a 6-foot-10 big man who sat out his first year in college as a partial qualifier and played in 29 games last season for the University of Dayton, averaging 5.2 points and 2.9 rebounds in just 15.1 minutes per game.

Antetokounmpo is projected as either a late second-round pick or to go undrafted, a player the Heat could look to sign for their summer league team. The Heat will participate in the summer leagues in Sacramento and Las Vegas starting July 1.

Antetokounmpo has not hired an agent so he could return to school or try to get his start in the G League.

But he would be a project, at best.

“I’ve been getting some positive and negative feedback,” Antetokounmpo said from the combine. “I feel like I’m able to still compete with some of the kids here because of my athleticism. But I see that my body is not there yet as my brother’s was at my age. So, I got to work on my body.”

Antetokounmpo weighed in at 195 pounds (he is 6-9 without shoes), the lightest at the combine among those 6-7 or taller. He has a wingspan of 7-2.25, which was 13th among the 69 players at the combine.

Kostas is hoping to become the third Antetokounmpo brother to make it to the NBA. Aside from the 6-11 Giannis, a two-time All-Star who averaged 26.9 points and 10.0 rebounds last season; 6-7 Thanasis played two games for the Knicks in 2015-16. Thanasis, 25, is playing in Greece.

Giannis, 23, was the 15th overall pick in the 2013 draft.

Giannis accompanied Kostas to the combine. He told ESPN he is working out with Kostas in Phoenix.

“He’s just got to work hard every day,” Giannis said. “When I was his age, I paid attention to detail. You can never be satisfied. You always have chapters in your life. This is a big chapter in his life.

“Kostas can be really good. He’s got to work on a lot of things. He’s got to work on his game. He can get a lot better. But with the right fit, the right team, he can do great things in the NBA.”

Kostas compares his game to that of Clint Capela, the Rockets’ 6-10 athletic center, because of “my shot blocking ability, my length and the way I run the floor.

“I feel like I can play multiple positions. I can play the three, four or five,” Kostas said.

Antetokounmpo had a rough one season at Dayton. He started just six games before his playing time dwindled despite the team finishing 14-17. He was one of the Flyers better defensive players.

“I felt like it was going to be a learning year,” Antetokounmpo said. “I wasn’t expecting that. But it is what it is. I got better anyways. It helped me with my patience.”

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Miami Heat’s summer-league plans will change, as Magic decide to end Orlando league

Miami Heat’s Justise Winslow (20) moves the ball against the Los Angeles Clippers during the first half of an NBA summer league basketball game, Wednesday, July 8, 2015, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

MIAMI — The Heat’s summer plans will change next year.

After participating in summer leagues in both Orlando and Las Vegas in recent years, the itinerary is about to look different for Miami. The Orlando Sentinel reported Saturday that the Magic will not hold their annual summer league in Orlando next year and will participate instead in the NBA-run summer league in Las Vegas. Continue reading “Miami Heat’s summer-league plans will change, as Magic decide to end Orlando league”

Heat rookie Derrick Walton Jr. impressing coaches, teammates with two-way contract

Derrick Walton Jr. #10 of the Michigan Wolverines handles the ball against the Oregon Ducks during the 2017 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament Midwest Regional at Sprint Center on March 23, 2017 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

BOCA RATON — With the ability to use two-way contracts to alternate players between the NBA and the G-League, the Miami Heat used their first such contract on Michigan’s Derrick Walton Jr.

The Heat’s recent history of using the former D-League to their advantage, Walton said, was why he signed with the organization this summer.

“It was (100 percent a selling point),” Walton said Friday. “Coming from the program I came from in college at Michigan where we were all about development and in my four years, I just wanted to get better every day … it was pretty much a no-brainer for me.”

As part of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement put into place on July 1,  teams can use up to two two-way contracts where players can spend up to 45 days at the NBA level and the rest of the time in the G-League. Any player on a two-way contract is unable to be claimed by another organization.

Miami, which has seen Hassan Whiteside grow into an All-NBA center and Tyler Johnson become a reliable bench option at point guard after their play with the Sioux Falls Skyforce, struck Walton as the perfect opportunity not only to improve his game, but to learn what he should expect in South Dakota.

“I asked them (how their experience was), but I also know mine will be a little different,” Walton said. “Overall, just going in with the same mindset that I want to play as well as I can every time.”

The only player in Michigan history to score at least 1,000 points, grab 500 rebounds, and record 400 assists, Walton spent this year’s Summer League with the Orlando Magic after going undrafted. In July, Walton signed with the Heat, becoming their first two-way player in franchise history.

“The guys welcomed me ever since I got here,” Walton said. “I competed really hard and I’m just really looking forward to following the process … and start to learn the professional game.”

Though Walton is likely to spend most of his time in Sioux Falls this season, head coach Erik Spoelstra believes the 6-foot-1 guard will get chances to contribute at the NBA level.

“Derrick is fast-tracking,” Spoelstra said. “This is a lot for him. We like his promise and what he can bring. He’s going to be just fine with a little bit more time, but that position — walking into this training camp where all the other guards are familiar — he has some catching up to do.”

Walton added, “I think it’s a great situation for me personally being a guy that wants to be really good at this game. Being able to piggyback (off) guys like (Goran Dragic) and Tyler and being able to go and play my game down in Sioux Falls.”


Jake Elman can be followed on Twitter at @JakeElman

Heat first-round pick Bam Adebayo dominates with 29 points, 11 rebounds and a Eurostep vs. Pacers

ORLANDO — Summer league games give teams a chance to experiment. A chance to give players opportunities that won’t be there once the regular season begins.

Just look at Heat first-round pick Bam Adebayo. The 19-year-old is attempting 15 shots per contest over Miami’s first three summer league games, which is double the 7.5 shots he averaged in his only season at Kentucky.

“As part of summer league, he’s obviously one of the feature guys,” Heat assistant and head summer league coach Chris Quinn said of Adebayo. “His shooting, you can see it, it’s not broken. It’s something maybe he hasn’t been asked to do in the past. But we’re giving him the freedom to get the ball down low, to make plays for us. At the end of the day, we want him rebounding, we want him defending. Those will be the things we focus on the most.” Continue reading “Heat first-round pick Bam Adebayo dominates with 29 points, 11 rebounds and a Eurostep vs. Pacers”