Matt Williams Jr. was signed by the Miami Heat probably just to compete in training camp. And he did, and has impressed all of us with his shooting as well.
Now, a day after the Heat waived three players: DeAndre Liggins, Erik McCree, and Tony Mitchell, leaving the Heat roster at 17 players. One of this is Derrick Walton who is signed currently to a two-way contract, allowing him to be the 16th player for 45 days from the start of the season and be able to play for the SKyforce.
The Heat have no more games remaining in the preseason and begin their regular season on Wednesday.
Does Matt Williams make this roster? Would the Heat choose him over someone like Okaro White or A.J. Hammons?
Williams was most impressive with his three-point shooting and could become a lethal weapon for the Heat. The issue becomes whether or not the Heat value him over the other two and whether they want to make the salary sacrifice to do so.
For instance, it seems pretty clear the Heat don’t have a need or desire to really hang on to A.J. Hammons. He was acquired from Dallas in order to dump Josh McRoberts salary and allow Miami to re-sign key players this summer.
But Hammons has a guaranteed minimum contract for this season and next. He could be waived, but the Heat would still have to pay him and have his salary count against the cap. The Heat could value Williams more, but not be willing to pay the cost to keep him over Hammons.
On the other hand, Okaro White’s contract is not fully guaranteed. But the Heat do like him quite a bit. I think it’s a tough one to call. I have been wrong in the past thinking the Heat value the money and logistics of a move like this, when they don’t. They kept McGruder over Beno Udrih = right choice. They kept rookies Terrel Harris and Mickell Gladness over Eddie House in 2011.
It’s going to be interesting to see what the Heat do with Williams. He is a good young player. Would they rather see him with the team than the Skyforce?
What do you think the Heat will do with this final roster cut?