Heat hopes LSU days will have an impact on two-way deal

The Heat completed its boot camp roster Tuesday night, signing former Missouri guard Drew Smith. He’s the 20th player under friction, the maximum allowed during bootcamp.

Smith, who was Missouri’s first senior SEC in 2020-21, played in three summer league games with the Heat in July and averaged 12.0 points, 3.0 steals, 1.7 rebounds and 1.7 assists while shooting 46.4 percent from the field.

He made 10 appearances (five starts) for the Miami G-League, Sioux Falls Skyforce, last season and averaged 8.0 points, 3.3 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.2 steals and 27.5 minutes.

Smith started all 25 games in which he appeared as Missouri’s lead in 2020-21, averaging 14.1 points, 3.9 assists, 3.5 rebounds, 2.04 steals, and 33.9 minutes shooting, 44.4 percent from the field, 39.8 percent from three-point range and 83 percent of the corrupt font.

He became the first player in school history to be named to the SEC All-Defensive Team after leading the Conference in thefts for the second consecutive season.

The Heat has 14 players signed on record contracts, two players on doubles deals (Darius Days and Marcus Garrett) and four more for training camp deals: Smith, center Orlando Robinson, goalkeeper Jamal Kane and goalkeeper Jamaree Bouyea. These four are likely to start the season with the Heat in South Dakota’s J-League.

The Heat will open its training camp next Tuesday in the Bahamas.

days report

The Heat used a two-way contract, and Caleb Martin also likely ripped off last summer.

Miami is hoping for similar success with Darius Days, the LSU rookie and former Tottenham Hotspur player in the summer league. Unlike Martin, Days comes to The Heat with no NBA experience.

And the days are much larger (6-7, 245) than Martin (6-5, 205).

But days have similar defensive prowess and three point shooting skills. He also has a lot of size and adds depth to the power forward, which is the biggest question mark on the list.

“It’s a good size [6-7] “Being a versatile defender,” said one East scout who spotted him at LSU and during the Tottenham Hotspur Summer League. “A strong player. He can defend multiple situations. He can guard triples [small forwards] and four [power forwards]but is best suited to guard four.

“He can pop with them in terms of size. He is physical and plays with energy. His three-point shot isn’t bad. He needs to develop offensively. He has a chance.”

We heard Spurs were surprised when Days signed a two-way deal with the Heat. San Antonio plans to bring him to camp and compete for a two-way contract

Another team (not Tottenham) offered Days a two-way deal, but Days loved the opportunity in Miami and was impressed by the fact that the Heat have a proven track record of developing young players.

Days, 6-7, have long arms and 7-1 wingspan. The Heat told him there are similarities in his game with PJ Tucker, who left for Philadelphia.

He’s shot 40.0 and 35 percent on three times over the past two years at LSU, making about thirty in each game.

His averages at LSU last season: 13.7 points, 7.8 rebounds, 0.9 assists, 1.3 turnovers, 1.5 steals and 0.3 blocks.

He hit 43.4 percent from the field, well below the shooting percentage in his first three seasons (48.5 but in just three games; 48.6 in 31; 51.9 in 28 games).

This decrease in the percentage of shooting was manifested in two and three shots.

The two-way contract allows him to appear in up to 50 out of 82 matches.

More scouting reactions

This scout, who has paid tribute to Pam Adebayo over the years, admitted that after watching a playoff round, “The thing that worries me is that Pam should be a more efficient scorer in the fives. His offensive advantage now is handling the ball and making play for five players.”

“But in order to push them ahead over other teams that some might think before them like Milwaukee and Boston, I think he has to be more efficient and productive when he scores five goals. He scores sometimes but not all the time. He doesn’t punish you aggressively enough. To justify ‘the fear of guarding him.

That scout said he would like to see Adebayo move forward along with the Five, but admitted Eric Spoelstra’s reluctance to play Adebayo alongside a top player who is not a ground-breaker.

That scout said of Victor Oladipo: “I expect he will be better this season. People have forgotten how good a defender he can be. He is still trying to find himself aggressive. He is an all-star player trying to get in rhythm.”

Crowds available

We heard that Jae Crowder would welcome back to the Heat, and ESPN’s Brian Windhurst – while not mentioning the Heat or any team – said the Suns “are in business negotiations right now. A lot of them are centered around Jae Crowder. Jae Crowder is a player in the market right now.”

The problem is crafting a deal, within the salary cap rules, that will satisfy both sides. It would be surprising if the Suns were willing to take the last four years and $75 million from Duncan Robinson’s deal for Crowder, who is worth $10.2 million in an expired contract. It would be surprising if the Heat were willing to offer a first-round pick in a deal for Crowder.

Dwayne Deadmon and Oladipo cannot be traded until January 15, and Oladipo can object to any deal this season. Among the other players on the Heat’s roster, no identical paycheck seems necessary to smooth a deal without being too creative, or involving a third team.

After the acquisition of Crowder, 32, he was a regular fixture on the Heat team that advanced to the 2020 NBA Finals. He averaged 9.4 points and 5.3 rebounds in 67 games (all starts) last season, scoring 39.9 percent from the field overall and 34.8 in triples.

This story was originally published September 20, 2022, 4:17 p.m.

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Barry Jackson has written for the Miami Herald since 1986 and has written a Florida Sports Buzz column since 2002.

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