There are few times during the course of the calendar when a G League affiliate becomes an NBA priority. The Miami Heat are in the midst of such a moment.
Having sorted out their own regular-season roster in the immediate wake of last Wednesday night’s preseason finale, the Heat since have gotten the house in order for the Sioux Falls Skyforce.
The latest moves had the Heat adding 2021 camp prospect DJ Stewart and international-experience guard Jon Elmore, turning around and waiving the two, and then moving their G League rights to the Skyforce.
Unchanged through the process is the composition of the roster the Heat will carry into Wednesday night’s 2022-23 season-opener against the Chicago Bulls at FTX Arena.
Under standard contract for the Heat are Bam Adebayo, Jimmy Butler, Dewayne Dedmon, Udonis Haslem, Tyler Herro, Haywood Highsmith, Kyle Lowry, Nikola Jovic, Caleb Martin, Victor Oladipo, Max Strus, Duncan Robinson, Gabe Vincent and Omer Yurtseven. Under two-way contract (eligible for up to 50 regular-season appearances) are Jamal Cain and Dru Smith.
As for the Skyforce, who are coached by former Heat forward Kasib Powell, it will be another round of roster churn, with veteran point guards Brandon Knight and Mario Chalmers not in the mix after time last season in Sioux Falls.
Also not back from the Skyforce’s season-ending roster are Javonte Smart (New Orleans Pelicans’ G League team), Micah Potter (Utah Jazz), Trey Mourning (New Zealand), Martin Krampelj (Poland) and Mike Smith (Poland).
In addition, while the Skyforce in the offseason traded for the rights to former NBA players Jared Harper and Cheik Diallo, both have elected to play overseas, Harper in Spain, Diallo in Japan.
All players on the Skyforce roster are free to be signed by any NBA team, with the exception of Cain and Smith, whose rights are held by the Heat regardless if they play in the G League.
The Skyforce roster is set up at the moment to include:
Jamaree Bouyea: The undrafted guard out of the University of San Francisco appeared in four of the Heat’s five exhibitions, averaging 8.5 points on .609 shooting from the field, 5 of 10 on 3-pointers. He will receive a $50,000 Exhibit 10 bonus if he spends at least 60 days in the G League.
Jamal Cain: On a two-way contract, and therefore limited to a maximum of 50 games with the Heat, Cain is eligible to spend the remainder of his time with the Skyforce, all while receiving his full $509,000 two-way contract NBA salary (half of the NBA minimum for a standard contract).
Jon Elmore: Undrafted out of Marshall in 2019, after three times being selected first-team All- Conference USA, the 6-foot-3 guard has spent the past three seasons playing in Italy, Greece, Hungary and Lithuania.
Marcus Garrett: Although the plan is for defensive-minded guard to remain in South Florida to rehab his wrist fracture in the wake of losing his two-way contract, Garrett will be a Heat affiliate player with the Skyforce, eligible to be shifted to Sioux Falls once healthy.
Chandler Hutchinson: The 6-6 wing, who has 103 games of NBA experience with the Chicago Bulls, Washington Wizards and Phoenix Suns, appeared in 20 games last season with the Skyforce, averaging 11.4 points and seven rebounds.
Mychal Mulder: This will be the third season with the Skyforce for the 28-year-old 3-point specialist. He will receive a $50,000 Exhibit 10 bonus if he spends at least 60 days in the G League.
Orlando Robinson: The undrafted center out of Fresno State appeared in four of the Heat’s five exhibitions, his below-the-rim game not immediately translating to the NBA. He will receive a $50,000 Exhibit 10 bonus if he spends at least 60 days in the G League.
Dru Smith: On a two-way contract, and therefore limited to a maximum of 50 games with the Heat, Smith is eligible to spend the remainder of his time with the Skyforce, all while receiving his full $509,000 two-way contract NBA salary (half of the NBA minimum for a standard contract). The Heat’s backcourt glut potentially could have him in Sioux Falls as much as in South Florida.
DJ Stewart: Undrafted out of Mississippi State in 2021, Stewart was with the Heat in summer league and training camp in 2021, later spending 22 games with the Skyforce, averaging 19.7 points and 5.5 rebounds. There also was a brief two-way contract last season with the San Antonio Spurs. He joins the Skyforce after being cut by the Dallas Mavericks. He will receive a $50,000 Exhibit 10 bonus if he spends at least 60 days in the G League.