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Miami Heat: Las Vegas Summer League Recap

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The Miami Heat are one of few teams that participate on both the Orlando and Las Vegas Summer Leagues for the NBA. While losing LeBron James right before the Vegas league started, it became a much more important evaluation of talent for the team.

Shabazz Napier shoots during the 2014 Las Vegas Summer League
Shabazz Napier shoots during the 2014 Las Vegas Summer League

The Miami Heat took many of the same players from their Orlando Summer League team to Las Vegas with them to participate in the final Summer League for the NBA. And after losing LeBron James between the two tournaments, the Heat are probably more interested in the evaluation of the talent on their roster and others moving forward.

As we talk about these players, it's important to remember, that most of these players are not on any NBA roster, and can be signed by any NBA team at any time. Of the Heat's roster, only Shabazz Napier and James Ennis have guaranteed contracts from the Heat. Justin Hamilton has a team option coming up soon to determine whether the Heat would like to continue to guarantee his contract or not.

And Justin Hamilton was the leading scorer for Miami in the Vegas League, averaging 18.0 PPG and 7.0 RPG in over 28 MPG in the 3 games that he appeared in. It's clear that his NBA experience, and his determination to get better have been the driving forces in his performance. Hamilton has looked good among those he has played against.

The Heat played in 6 games in the Vegas League, going 2-4. They went 1-2 in exhibition play, then they beat the Clippers in the first game of tournament play before losing to the Wizards, and finally losing to the Cavaliers in a consolation game.

More Summer League: Miami Heat: Orlando SL Recap

Besides Hamilton, the Heat were also lead by 13.2 PPG from James Nunnally who played in 5 games, and started 4 of them. Nunnally is a 6'7 forward who shot 56% from the field. Napier averaged 10.3 PPG but also averaged 3.5 TPG in the 4 games he played in. That is down from his 4.8 TPG he averaged in Orlando. James Ennis only played in 2 games, but he also averaged double figures with 12.5 PPG.

Making Training Camp?
Two standouts for the Heat in both leagues has been Tyler Johnson and Tyler Honeycutt.  Johnson averaged 12.3 PPG and Honeycutt was at 11.8 PPG. Both players have unique skill sets that could very well find themselves in the Miami Heat training camp in late September. Johnson is a small shooting guard, but is a player that loves attack, and create offense. He can take his man off the dribble and is extremely athletic. Honeycutt is a 6'8 small forward who can really shoot the ball. He struggled a little bit in Vegas, but was really good in Orlando. Both guys played in all 6 games.

That's it from the Miami Heat Summer League. We are now going to really hit the offseason, as you won't hear much out of Heat camp unless there is a signing or addition. One thing is certain for the Heat, they will take the maximum 20 players to their training camp as they always do.

They have 12 players under contract, and unless they sign 3 more guys to guaranteed contracts, expect some of these Summer League players to be fighting for a non-guaranteed contract from the Heat in order to participate in their training camp, and hopeful of being on the roster for opening night.