The Miami Heat, like many other teams across the league, has signed numerous players to 10-day contracts under the hardship provision in order to continue competing in the NBA with the required eight players available.
While Heat fans were thrilled to see the prodigal return of two-time NBA champion Mario Chalmers, a less popular name become an overnight star following his impressive debut with Miami, shooting guard Kyle Guy.
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Guy, who’s best known for leading the Virginia Cavaliers to a national championship in 2019, and was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player, signed with the Heat on December 28, as first reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, after numerous players were ruled out due to COVID-19.
In the 6-foot-1 guard’s first game in a Heat jersey, while playing against the Houston Rockets, he tallied 15 points, four rebounds, three steals, and four assists in the first half alone.
The 24-year-old’s performance took a dip in his second game with the Heat, scoring seven points, four assists, and one block during the team’s 115-113 loss to the Sacramento Kings on January 2, but the hype did not die down.
The excitement that came with Guy’s arrival has numerous fans wondering if the Heat will make a move to keep him around. While the Heat have an open roster spot, signing one player, even to a veteran’s minimum, would put the team over the ominous luxury tax.
While it’s highly unlikely the Heat offer Guy a contract any time soon, there is a path in which Miami could secure his talent for the rest of the season.
Before we get too far ahead of ourselves, however, there’s also the fact that when the Heat’s regular rotation of players are cleared to return, such as Max Strus, Gabe Vincent, P.J. Tucker, Udonis Haslem, Bam Adebayo, and Markieff Morris — Guy may quickly become yesterday’s news.
If the Heat Trade KZ Okpala & Elevate Caleb Martin, They Could Sign Guy to a 2-Way Contract
If Miami is going to go over the salary cap, they will likely wait to see if a major player suddenly becomes available before the trade deadline.
However, there’s a good chance that no All-Star becomes available. And if the Heat decide to trade KZ Okpala, a move which Bleacher Report‘s Dan Favale urged the team to do on January 3, a space for Guy could certainly open up.
Even though the Heat forked over three second-round picks to nab Okpala, “It’d be nice to move him while creating an extra roster spot,” Favale stated. “They have one open but could use another in advance of the buyout market—particularly if they convert Caleb Martin’s two-way contract to a regular NBA deal.”
Indeed. If the Heat trade Okpala, which has seemed inevitable since the 2021 NBA season started, and Martin is elevated to the regular roster, Guy could be signed to the two-way contract left open by Martin.
Fans & Analysts are Curious to See What Guy Can Do If He Stays in Miami
While two games aren’t enough to force head coach Erik Spoelstra to immediately elevate Martin to the regular roster and sign Guy to a two-way contract, fans and analysts are hyped to see what the young guard can do if he stayed in Miami, a franchise that has arguably the best developmental program in the NBA.
After a prestigious collegiate career, where Guys was named a two-time Third-Team All-American shooting guard, he was drafted in the second round of the 2019 NBA Draft by the New York Knicks before being traded to the Kings.
Guy made 34 appearances as a member of the Kings over the past two seasons but spent this past summer with the Golden State Warriors. After spending training camp with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Guy sign with their G League affiliate, the Canton Charge in October.
During his sting with the Charge, Guy averaged 21.8 points and 7.8 rebounds per game. If Guy can continue to perform well during his opportunity with the Heat, if Miami doesn’t snatch him, perhaps, he’ll receive offers from other teams who already have the cap space.
Could the Heat Keep Breakout Guard Kyle Guy? Absolutely