The Miami Heat have yet to fill their 15th roster spot and it’s clear the franchise desperately need to add a big man to help propel them into a successful postseason run. While the pool of free agents available continues to dwindle, the Heat should take a strong look at Thon Maker.
Maker, who turned 24 in February, is a true 7-footer who first entered the NBA when the Milwaukee Bucks selected him as the No. 10 overall pick in the 2016 Draft. The Bucks traded Maker to the Detroit Piston during the 2018-2019 season where he averaged 4.9 points and 3.1 rebounds during 15 minutes of play per game.
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After Detroit chose not to extend his contract in November 2020, Maker was picked up by the Cleveland Cavaliers, who signed him to a non-guaranteed training camp deal.
Maker appeared in five games with the Cavaliers, where averaged 3.8 points with 56% shooting rating during just 9.5 minutes per game. Maker has been an unrestricted free agent since Cleveland waived him on January 13, and over the past few weeks, the Sudanese star has emerged has one of the most intriguing available players to sign for the numerous teams looking to add an extra big man before the playoffs.
While Maker’s stats are not super impressive, between his height, age, and 7-foot-3 wingspan, he could be a great option for the Heat.
It Benefits the Heat to Sign a New Player By Monday Night
There are only three requirements needed in order for the Heat to add another player: he either was waived by April 9, hasn’t played at all this season (like Dewayne Dedmon, who was signed to a veteran’s minimum contract), or signed a 10-day contract before the deadline.
It’s in the Heat’s best interest to sign a new player by April 19, as it’s the first day Miami “can sign a 15th player to a prorated veteran minimum contract and still avoid the luxury tax,” Miami Herald’s Anthony Chiang reported.
Aside from Maker, playoff-eligible players still available include the following:
Former Heat guard Dion Waiters, Austin Rivers, Michael Beasley, Cam Reynolds, Skal Labissiere, Kyle Korver, Allen Crabbe, Troy Daniels, Allonzo Trier, Brandon Knight, Courtney Lee, Wilson Chandler, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Quinn Cook, Isaiah Thomas, Gerald Green, Shabazz Napier, Emmanuel Mudiay, Jodie Meeks, Jamal Crawford, Glenn Robinson III, Marquese Chriss, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Justin Jackson, Joe Johnson, Courtney Lee, Patrick McCaw, Ian Mahinmi, Greg Monroe, Amir Johnson, Glenn Robinson III, JR Smith, Lance Stephenson, and Jeremy Lin.
With the newly acquired Victor Oladipo out indefinitely, and no new update on his recovery as of April 18, the likelihood that Miami fills their final open roster spot increases. As long as the new player is signed by May 16, he will be eligible able to play during the postseason.
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