Just five regular Miami Heat players were available for last night’s game at the Houston Rockets. Of the newcomers signed to 10-day contracts who played, Kyle Guy was the best of the bunch. (Mario Chalmers didn’t play.) Guy promptly hit three 3-pointers after checking into the game in the first quarter.
Who's that new Guy? His name is Kyle. pic.twitter.com/QfFD0r6URk— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) January 1, 2022
It wasn’t just the 3-point shooting, though. Guy drove into the lane and found Omer Yurtseven for easy baskets. He drove into the lane and scored in traffic. He played about as well as anyone could’ve reasonably expected.
Guy’s strong debut with the Heat led some to wonder — is there a chance the University of Virginia alum sticks with Miami?
First of all, it’s important to clarify the Heat’s roster situation. While Miami has only 14 players signed to regular contracts, the Heat could still convert Caleb Martin’s contract into a standard one. Although the NBA recently allowed players on two-way contracts to appear in more than 50 games during the regular season, they still cannot appear in playoff games. (In March of 2021, the NBA allowed two-way players to play in the playoffs, so we may see this change again in 2022.)
As I’ve mentioned before, Martin has emerged as a key contributor for the Heat. Miami will want him for the playoffs.
If Martin takes the 15th spot, then Guy can take Martin’s old two-way roster spot. Having Duncan Robinson, Max Strus and Guy all on the roster as 3-point specialists would be a luxury. And allowing Guy to spend the rest of the season with the Heat will surely develop his game. With Tyler Herro eligible for a contract extension this off-season — and Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, Kyle Lowry and Robinson all making big money, as well — finding another diamond in the rough for a minimum contract is invaluable.
Guy’s biggest competition to make the roster could be another player on a 10-day contract, Haywood Highsmith. Highsmith played as a power forward and center last night and knocked down all three of his 3-pointers. With injuries to Adebayo, Dewayne Dedmon and Markieff Morris (and Udonis Haslem and P.J. Tucker in health-and-safety protocols), the Heat may want to have Highsmith to provide depth in the front-court.