Heat waives Marcus Garrett, expected to use open two-way contract spot to sign Kyle Guy

·5 min read
Jeff Chiu/AP

It appears that Kyle Guy will stick with the Miami Heat.

Guy’s second 10-day contract with the team as a COVID-19 replacement is set to expire on Wednesday, but the Heat plans to keep the 24-year-old guard around by signing him to a two-way contract as soon as Monday ahead of its game against the Toronto Raptors at FTX Arena.

Because both of the Heat’s two-way contract spots were already filled, it waived two-way contract rookie guard Marcus Garrett on Sunday to make room for Guy.

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“This organization believes in the underdog and I’ve had to reprove myself at every level,” Guy said Tuesday days before learning the Heat would offer him a two-way contract. “High school I was a nobody until my senior year. ... Got drafted, didn’t sniff the league the first year. Played in the G League. Then I played in 30 [NBA] games last year, played solid.

“I think Coach Spo respects my game. He’s everything I expected and more. He’s a fantastic coach. I love playing for him, even if it’s a small stint…. I believe I deserve this and feel I can play at this level.”

Garrett, 23, will undergo season-ending surgery to fix the instability in his right wrist and will remain around the Heat for rehabilitation.

Garrett, who has dealt with right wrist tendinitis for most of the season, signed with the Heat in September after going undrafted and impressing as a member of its summer league team. Known for his elite defensive upside, he totaled 13 points on 5-of-21 (23.8 percent) shooting from the field and 1-of-4 (25 percent) shooting on threes, 23 rebounds, seven assists, five steals and three blocks in 12 games with the Heat this season.

With the Heat’s G League affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce, Garrett averaged 12.8 points, 8.3 rebounds, 5.1 assists, 2.1 steals and 0.6 blocks in eight games.

But Garrett’s departure makes room for Guy, who joins wing Caleb Martin as the Heat’s two two-way contract players.

Guy initially signed with the Heat on a 10-day contract on Dec. 30 as a COVID-19 replacement and impressed immediately. He matched his NBA career-high with 17 points in his first game with the Heat in a Dec. 31 win over the Houston Rockets.

Guy then signed another 10-day deal as a COVID-19 replacement with the Heat on Jan. 10 and is now on track to sign a two-way contract with the team on Monday. He has averaged 8.2 points on 18-of-35 (51.4 percent) shooting from the field and 9-of-20 (45 percent) shooting from three-point range, 1.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists in six games with the Heat since joining the team in late December.

“He’s very skilled, he’s fearless and he’s making the most of his opportunities,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said recently of Guy. “That’s the only thing you can control. He’s not worrying about all the things that are out there or what can happen. Even in Phoenix when we didn’t necessarily know that we were going to sign him to a second 10-day, but he approaches every day with a positive attitude and a work-like approach that just fits our culture and everybody else in the locker room. In practice sessions, he has been very good and that just leaves an impression.”

Like Martin, Guy brings NBA experience to Miami’s two-way contract slots.

Guy, who was selected in the second round of the 2019 NBA Draft out of Virginia, had appeared in 34 NBA games during his career before signing with the Heat. He averaged 2.8 points while shooting 28.3 percent on threes, 1.1 rebounds and one assist in 31 games with the Sacramento Kings last season.

In the G League this season, Guy averaged 20 points while shooting 45.1 percent from the field and 36.3 percent on 8.5 three-point attempts per game, 7.2 rebounds and four assists in 12 games with the Cleveland Charge.

“He has been an impactful player everywhere he has gone,” Heat forward Duncan Robinson said recently of Guy. “So much of it is just about the right opportunity and right timing. Something that I’ve quickly realized with him is he’s checking his boxes. He’s doing whatever he needs to do, he’s taking care of his side of the deal. A lot of times, you just need things outside of your control to break your way. I’m hoping that that’s finally happening. That this is a place he can stick around because he certainly deserves it.”

Two-way contracts do not count toward the salary cap or luxury tax. Once Guy signs his new deal, he’ll be eligible to play in every remaining regular-season game for the Heat after the NBA recently eliminated the 50-game limit for two-way contract players, but those on two-way deals are currently not eligible for the playoffs.

All two-way contracts become guaranteed for the rest of the season on Thursday.

The expectation is that Martin’s two-way contract will be converted to a standard deal later this season that makes him eligible for the playoffs, and that will create another open two-way spot on the Heat’s roster. But that will happen down the road when such a move does not take Miami into luxury tax territory.

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