The Miami Heat add a versatile forward who can shoot 3-pointers and block shots, but where does he factor into the team’s depth chart?
The Miami Heat will sign Jordan Mickey to a minimum contract, according to The Vertical’s Shams Charania, which puts the roster at 17 players, and could round out Miami’s 15-man regular season team.
NBA teams are allowed to carry up to 20 players prior to the regular season, when the roster limit is trimmed to 15. Miami has 17 players, including point guard Derrick Walton Jr. on a two-way contract and 3-point specialist Matt Williams signing a small deal that could be converted into a two-way contract down the road.
Mickey’s contract is for the veteran minimum–so the Heat can exceed the cap to sign him–and will be guaranteed.
Seemingly, he will have a position on the regular-season roster.
Who is Mickey?
Drafted 33rd overall in 2015 by the Boston Celtics, Mickey hasn’t received much playing time in his first two seasons. He’s played less than 200 minutes in his career.
He has long had the physical skills, but needed some grooming. He has spent most of his career with Boston’s D-League (now the G-League) affiliate the Maine Red Claws, where he’s developed into a better shooter and defender, according to the 2ways10days.com, which covers the developmental league in depth.
Under [former Red Claws head coach Scott] Morrison, Maine played a Houston Rockets style of play with layups or 3-pointers being the main focus of their offense. Morrison spoke about Mickey’s overall improvement as well saying, “The two biggest things he was able to improve were his outside shot and his defense. He was always a capable shooter, but his work turned him into a consistent shooter. We do a lot of switching in Maine so his lateral quickness improved tremendously as well.”
At 6-foot-8, 235 pounds, Mickey presents a rare combination of size and perimeter skills. He shot 43.8 percent on 2.7 3-pointers per game, making 58 during the season, while also blocking 2.8 shots per game. 2ways10days calls this a “3-and-B” player–an archetype embodied by the likes of Draymond Green and Karl-Anthony Towns.
He still needs to improve as a passer and limit his turnovers, while continuing to develop his jump shot at the NBA level, against NBA defenders.
How does Mickey help the Heat?
Where Mickey factors into the depth chart could be interested. He has traditional power forward size, but could play small-ball center in today’s NBA, too. Miami focused on building up its frontcourt this summer by re-signing James Johnson and adding Kelly Olynyk, Bam Adebayo and A.J. Hammons. Hassan Whiteside, Okaro White and Udonis Haslem return as well.
Depending on how the Heat deploy Olynyk, there could be minutes available at backup power forward where Mickey and White could find an opportunity. Neither of them are likely major rotation players, but could be useful in certain situations.
The Heat are using their available roster spots on players who can develop. Mickey, White, Adebayo and even Hammons have non-traditional games for bigmen that could translate to today’s game.
Knowing that the Heat are limited in terms of draft picks and cap space, Riley and general manager Andy Elisburg are seemingly loading up on potential, hoping to again hit big like they did with Whiteside and Tyler Johnson.
Mickey has the tools, and he’ll have the coaching. The potential for another developmental league find is there.