Yesterday afternoon, it was reported by the Sun-Sentinel's Ira Winderman that the Miami Heat were interested in bringing in 6'6" swingman DeAndre Liggins.
Sources tell Sun Sentinel that Heat strongly considering signing DeAndre Liggins, who has been playing for team's Sioux Falls affiliate.— Ira Winderman (@IraHeatBeat) February 23, 2014
Liggins is currently a member of the Heat D-League affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce. Liggins' rights, however, are not owned by the Heat, meaning any team is free to sign him should they want to.
Liggins was drafted 53rd overall by the Orlando Magic in the 2011 draft, and spent one year with the team, appearing in just 17 games. He spent the 2012-13 season with the Thunder, playing in 39 games.
In 35 games with the Skyforce this season, Liggins has averaged 14.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game in 40 minutes a night.
I can't quite get a good read on Liggins, as his stat lines are all over the place. As a junior at the University of Kentucky, he shot 39% from deep in nearly 32 minutes a night ... But this year in the D-League, that percentage is just 33.
Coming out of college, DraftExpress had this to say about Liggins' defensive ability:
Utilizing his length and instincts on the defensive end to create some turnovers, Liggins is not the most disciplined or fundamentally sound defensive player. Often getting turned around as the ball moves around the floor, Liggins makes an effort to keep his man out of the lane, but his defense off the ball leaves a lot to be desired. Lacking great lateral quickness and having some issues getting through screens, Liggins has little trouble using his big wingspan to contest shots, but will need to make some major improvements to have a bigger impact on the defensive.
It appears, however, that Liggins has committed himself to the defensive side of the ball, telling SBNation's D-League blog "Ridiculous Upside":
Liggins asserted that he models his overall approach to the game after Memphis Grizzlies guard Tony Allen. "My overall goal by going to the D-League is to play good defense, be unselfish, be a good kid and work hard," and "When asked what he'd be able to bring to a potential NBA team, Liggins mentioned his ability to be a lockdown defender, while also bringing about his skills as an overall offensive distributor."
Liggins certainly has the body to play on the wing in the NBA - ESPN lists him at 6'6", 210 - and would give the Heat some added depth on the wing. While Liggins has lacked consistency in his jump shot, he has a history of being a good playmaker, something the Heat really need to go with their second unit. If Liggins has truly committed himself to being a defensive stopper, this could be a good fit.
According to a source, DeAndre Liggins is "all but gone" to Miami.— D-League Digest (@DleagueDigest) February 24, 2014
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