Miami Heat waive former 1st-round pick ahead of adding developmental prospect

The Heat could sign a standout from their G League affiliate.
Miami Heat v Golden State Warriors
Miami Heat v Golden State Warriors / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages

The Miami Heat are expected to release guard RJ Hampton from his two-way contract, clearing the way to add another developmental prospect to the roster, according to Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald.

Hampton appeared in eight games and started two at point guard this season after earning one of Miami’s three two-way spots in October’s training camp. Hampton can still be added to the Heat’s G League affiliate if he clears waivers.

The Miami Heat opened up a two-way spot that can be used on a developmental prospect for the rest of the season.

Among the options to replace Hampton on a two-way contract is guard Alondes Williams, who has been putting up impressive numbers in the G League. 

Williams is averaging 22.5 points, 6 assists and 5.1 rebounds, while shooting 53.8% overall and 39.4% on 3s for the Sioux Falls Skyforce. 

As one of the top players in the G League this season, Williams was selected to the NBA G League Up Next Game, which will be held in Indianapolis (Sunday, February 18 at 1:30 p.m. ET at the Indiana Convention Center) during All-Star Weekend.

The move comes after Thursday’s trade deadline. There are several teams with open roster spots, and the Heat front office may have gotten a sense that a team was closing in on signing Williams from their G League affiliate. By promoting Williams to a two-way contract, the Heat can ensure that he can’t be signed by another team.

If the Heat don’t use the vacated spot on Williams, other options could include James Bouknight (11th overall pick in the 2021 draft recently waived by Charlotte) and, from the Skyforce, forward Justin Champagnie and point guard Jamaree Bouyea.

The Heat also have an open standard roster spot that they can fill using their $5 million taxpayer mid-level exception or veteran minimum salary. They are expected to scan the buyout market over the coming days. We outlined some buyout options on Thursday afternoon here.