Welcome back to our player review series. Amid us deep-diving into the draft and everything regarding the future of the organization, we’re discussing the seasons for Miami Heat players that played in the 2021-22 NBA season who finished on the active roster — regardless of their impending status entering 2022-23.
This will be our sixth thus far — we’ve reviewed Bam Adebayo, Jimmy Butler, Dewayne Dedmon, Udonis Haslem and Tyler Herro. Today, we will be reviewing Haywood Highsmith, a 25-year-old wing Miami plucked from the Philadelphia 76ers organization.
Let’s jump into it!
Brief overview (19 games):
- 8.6 MPG
- 0.7 PPG
- 34.8 field goal percentage
- 32.1 3-point percentage
- 44.6 true-shooting percentage
In his first season with the Heat, Highsmith totaled 43 points, 26 rebounds, six rebounds, two steals and three blocks in 19 games on subpar efficiency. Though he featured two-way upside with an abbreviated role throughout the season.
Before joining Miami, Highsmith was apart of the Delaware Blue Coats, the G-League affiliate of the Sixers, where he’s spent the most of his four-year professional career. He signed with Miami originally via the hardship exception in late Dec., when COVID-19 issues plus injuries plagued the organization. He then signed a pair of standard 10-days in Feb. before inking a multi-year extension in March.
April 10 vs. Orlando Magic
In Miami’s final game of the regular season, Highsmith shined in 40 minutes of action. He tallied 16 points, five rebounds, two assists and one block, shooting 7-of-17 from the floor with a pair of three pointers.
Numbers to note:
58.7 - Among the shots Highsmith took, 58.7 percent of them were catch-and-shoot looks. He netted such attempts at a 40.7 percent clip — including 37.5 percent from 3-point range — good enough for a 57.4 effective field goal percentage. He didn’t possess much of a role offensively, but was a good spot-up threat from deep.
163 - While it might not seem like a lot, Highsmith’s 163 minutes quadruples his previous career minute total of 40. He played in just five NBA games with the Philadelphia 76ers prior to this season in 2018-19.
When his second standard (third total) 10-day contract expired in March, Miami signed Highsmith to a three-year deal as the latest project to enter Miami’s developmental system. Though each of the next two seasons are non-guaranteed; if guaranteed, Highsmith will be making the minimum ($1.8M), so the difference it makes in the cap is all but negligible. I expect Miami to guarantee Highsmith’s contract because I don’t think they would sign a two-way wing to a three-year deal without a plan, but if they find someone else they like either in free agency, a trade or via the upcoming undrafted pool, then they might choose otherwise.