With 14 players officially signed to the Miami Heat roster for the 2011-12 season, the team may save the final spot on the roster for a training camp invite. The Heat signed Cameron Jones, Mickell Gladness, Jeremy Wise, Derrick Byars and Terrel Harris to contracts today. Keep in mind that Pat Riley found Udonis Haslem and Joel Anthony off of the scrapheap of undrafted players and developed them into NBA rotation-quality players, so perhaps one of those guys will contribute down the road.
Riley may have lingering interest for Gladness, the 6-foot-11 center of Alabama A&M and the NBA D-League. Gladness participated in the Heat’s 2010 summer league and training camp last October. The NBA did not hold a summer league this year due to the lockout.
As for the other players, Jones is a 6-foot-4 shooting guard from Northern Arizona University who went undrafted last June. He may find himself on the roster only because the Heat have little depth in the backcourt after loading up on small forwards, signing Shane Battier and James Jones in addition to keeping Mike Miller.
Wise is also a guard, and averaged 15 points per game on 49 percent shooting from the field in the D-League last year. Harris played for Oklahoma State and has since moved on to the D-League and averaged 17 points, six rebounds and five assists during the 2011-12 NBDL season. The 6-foot-5 guard also has shot the 3 at a 37 percent clip for his D-League career.
Byars is a 6-foot-7 swingman who was drafted in the second round of the 2007 NBA Draft. He has since played in Germany, France, Greece and the D-League.
My guess as to who gets the final roster spot? Despite Miami’s familiarity with Gladness, the Heat don’t need another project at center. Byars will probably have to continue bouncing around from pro league to pro league since Miami has little use for swingmen. It’ll come down to Jones, Wise and Harris, and they need to play well in camp and in the two preseason games. I’ll predict Harris gets the spot; he has good size for a two-guard and played well in the D-League.