With the news that Miami Heat Summer League standout DeJon Jarreau signed with the Indiana Pacers on a two-way deal, there is a significant void left on Miami’s roster. Many believe that Marcus Garrett will get one of the team’s vacant two-way spots, and there is definitely interest by the front office to do just that. But one player that has gone largely unnoticed for the second is forward Micah Potter, a 23-year-old forward out of Wisconsin.
Potter was one of the first players to sign with the Heat’s Summer League roster, doing so on draft night. In his final season at Wisconsin, Potter averaged 12.5 points and 5.9 rebounds per game while shooting 50.4 percent from the floor, 38.6 percent from deep and 84 percent from the charity stripe. In a class with plenty of fantastic shooters that went undrafted, Potter got lost in the shuffle of prototype stretch fours, with more dynamic names like Matthew Hurt among those undrafted.
However, Potter showed that he’s much more than your standard stretch four both at the collegiate level and with Miami’s summer squad. Potter has flashed a pretty terrific inside game that would allow him to get some early spot minutes in the middle if someone like Dewayne Dedmon was unavailable. Though this average was inflated by the final summer game in which Potter picked up five blocks, he still averaged 1.9 stocks, a figure that combines steals and blocks to measure defensive efficiency, per game in just 13.97 minutes per game in Summer League.
While his 7.3 points and 3.5 rebounds per game look modest on paper, it is important to note that this production came in limited time. If you expand Potter’s numbers to per-36 minutes, these numbers explode to 18.8 points, nine rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.8 steals and 3.1 blocks per game. Per 36, his points ranked third on the team, his rebounds tied for third, his assists tied for sixth, his steals fifth and his blocks ranked first.
His 4.9 stocks per 36 minutes ranked second on the team, next to Garrett’s ridiculous 5.7 per 36, and ahead of Omer Yurtseven’s 4.1. The only other player to average more than two stocks per 36 minutes was Dru Smith.
While on the subject of Garrett, he averaged 4.7 steals per 36 minutes. That’s unheard of. He also only averaged 2.7 fouls per 36 minutes. Ridiculous. So the fact that Potter comes anywhere close to that is extremely impressive, even if his numbers are much more speculatory since he did just play in under 14 minutes compared to Garrett’s 21.4.
Regardless, the Heat seems to really like Potter. He reportedly agreed to an Exhibit-10 deal, and Five Reason Sports’ Greg Sylvander noted that he thinks Potter is a dark-horse candidate for one of Miami’s two two-way spots, and that was before Jarreau signed elsewhere.
If Miami does go through with Potter, he gives the Heat an extra dimension they won’t get from any other player on their summer roster, and one that not many on the main roster have: a stretch big. If you want to speculate, the Heat wouldn’t have let Jarreau slip through the cracks intentionally if they thought he had a real chance to win a two-way spot. While Jarreau does a lot of good things, and he has a high chance to be an effective rotational player, the Heat probably saw some overlap in skill sets between Garrett and Jarreau, and Garrett ultimately does everything but playmaking better than Jarreau.
The rest of the Heat’s summer roster is a bit unproven. D.J. Stewart Jr. was officially signed to a two-way deal but didn’t show the scoring chops he showed in college. His per 36 numbers were the least on the team. Javonte Smart puts up a lot of shots and had the best collegiate season of anyone else on the roster, but he shot just 23.1 percent on 52 shots. RJ Nembhard scored 18 in one of the Heat’s summer games, but didn’t do much else to stand out.
All of these players are going to be given an equal opportunity to compete for one of the two-way spots in training camp but Micah Potter likely is, and definitely should be, the leader in the clubhouse for the second spot, assuming they offer Garrett the other.