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Jamal Cain is making a case for himself

He’s played more than Darius Days, who has a two-way contract.

Miami Heat v Brooklyn Nets Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images

The Miami Heat came into training camp already with two players signed to two-way contracts — Marcus Garrett and Darius Days. But another player, Jamal Cain, has made a strong case that he should be the one with one of those contracts.

In the past two preseason games — Thursday night at the Brooklyn Nets and last night at the Memphis Grizzlies — Cain has impressed. He defended Kevin Durant. He’s roamed around the rim for easy baskets. He’s knocked down 3-pointers. He’s made hustle plays. Bam Adebayo likes what he sees.

And he’s played more than Days, who compared himself to P.J. Tucker over the summer. Days has the two-way contract, but he only played six minutes last night and four minutes in Brooklyn. Cain, by contrast, played 37 minutes in Memphis and 27 in Brooklyn.

In the past, the Heat have waived players who were signed to two-way contracts to make room for another player. Gabe Vincent did it in the middle of the 2019-20 season after Miami dropped Daryl Macon. Even last year, Miami waived Marcus Garrett after he suffered a season-ending injury to sign Kyle Guy to a two-way contract.

Could we soon see the Heat drop Days and sign Cain to a two-way contract? Would Miami waive Garrett, as their roster has a logjam in the backcourt? Or perhaps Cain will go back to the Sioux Falls Skyforce and won’t don a Heat uniform again.

Last summer, some thought Micah Potter would get a two-way contract with Miami. He had good moments in the preseason. But the Heat waived him just before the regular season, and he signed with the Detroit Pistons in December 2021.

Now, the Pistons waived Potter last month. He isn’t someone who made it to training camp with Miami, got cut and then found a career in the NBA — like Patrick Beverley or Garrett Temple. And besides, the Heat had Tucker and Markieff Morris going into last season. They didn’t have a need at the power forward position.

But this year, the Heat have Caleb Martin, Haywood Highsmith and Nikola Jovic at the four. Martin is the only one who’s proven himself as a rotation NBA player. If Cain is the Heat’s next find, they can’t afford to let him go.