Lots of Skyforce Ties among Current NBA Players for Opening Night
Two-way contracts help give expanded opportunity for Sioux Falls Skyforce-affiliated players to latch onto NBA clubs. No less than fourteen men will begin the season claiming that heritage.
The Miami Heat have officially offered the maximum amount of two-way offers available to them meaning Derrick Walton, Jr and Matt Williams will mostly appear in a Skyforce uniform. Both players will have a maximum of 45 days with the Heat meaning both Walton and Williams will get a few morsels of NBA life.
Additionally Luis Montero who was a guard on last year’s Skyforce squad also has a two-way deal, but his new club is the Detroit Pistons. That means Grand Rapids will utilize Montero’s services for most of the year.
Beyond the two-way deals, that leaves eleven others who have once been in a Skyforce uniform who have earned their stripes. A majority of them have been with the Heat.
We learned last week that Rodney McGruder’s stress fracture in his leg will sideline him for a considerable time. Okaro White was also nursing a shoulder injury last week, but both will be in the Miami fold to begin the campaign.
The rest of the Heat regulars that have once been a part of the Skyforce annals such as Josh Richardson, Hassan Whiteside and Tyler Johnson seem to be sufficiently primed for the opener against Orlando. In the case of Whiteside and Johnson a former teammate of theirs will be on the opposite side for the opener as Khem Birch took the final roster spot for the Magic.
Those who have spent time on assignment with the Skyforce are also worth highlighting as Amir Johnson (76ers), Alexis Ajinca (Pelicans), Malik Beasley (Nuggets), Juancho Hernangomez (Nuggets), and Shabazz Napier (Portland) are looking to contribute to varying degrees. However, Napier has been suffering through a leg injury and will look to back up Damian Lillard in Rip City.
Plus in late-breaking news, DeAndre Liggins has found another landing spot. The Heat enlisted him at the end of training camp and was released on Saturday with likely intentions to send him to Sioux Falls. Instead the Milwaukee Bucks claimed the former Kentucky guard off waivers to add him to their squad. From Cleveland to Dallas, Houston, LA Clippers, Atlanta, Miami and now Milwaukee would probably make Liggins the most traveled player in the last six months.
Sioux Falls continues to show that it can be fertile ground to grow basketball dreams.