The 2019 NBA offseason will forever be remembered for its wealth of player movement, much of which involved basketball's marquee names.
The lasting legacy of the Miami Heat's summer will be no different. Landing four-time All-Star Jimmy Butler—with zero cap space discernible to anyone other than expert number-cruncher Andy Elisburg—could be a fortune-changer for the franchise, especially if he can lure a second star (cough, Bradley Beal, cough) to South Beach before Father Time forces him out of his prime.
So, naturally, the first focus of our preseason player profiles starts not with the headliners, but rather the asterisks, or the six players holding Exhibit 10 deals they hope will become one of the two two-way pacts Miami can ink.
The Heat's regular-season roster is presumably set. Twelve players hold fully guaranteed contracts: Butler, Goran Dragic, James Johnson, Justise Winslow, Kelly Olynyk, Dion Waiters, Meyers Leonard, Tyler Herro, Bam Adebayo, Derrick Jones Jr., Udonis Haslem and KZ Okpala. Duncan Robinson ($1 million) and Kendrick Nunn ($150,000) have substantial enough partial guarantees to view them as something similar to locks.
With Miami already coming precariously close to the hard cap, it's hard to conceive of a scenario where it adds a 15th player to the list, barring a trade.
In other words, the following six players probably aren't names you need to know for the long haul. But since they'll be around for at least part of training camp, they deserve a pinch of spotlight, right?
The most recognizable name to Miami fans probably isn't one of the imports from its summer league roster, but rather Davon Reed, the 6'5" guard who spent his college career with the Hurricanes. There, he was a 14.9-points-per-game scorer as a senior and a 39.5-percent three-point shooter over his four seasons.
NBA teams took notice of those numbers, and the Phoenix Suns snagged him with the 32nd pick in 2017. But he only made 21 appearances for the Suns in his rookie year and was waived before the next. The Indiana Pacers inked him to a two-way pact last October, but he only saw 47 minutes across 10 games of big-league action.
He's not a particularly advanced shot-creator, but he's a dangerous shooter with his feet set. His 7'0" wingspan also hints to multipositional versatility on the defensive end, and his intangibles project jack-of-most-trades potential.
Chris Silva opened more than a few eyes during his run with the Heat summer-leaguers, as the 6'9" big man shot a blistering 56.5 percent from the field. A three-year starter and four-year player at South Carolina, his senior averages of 15.2 points, 7.6 rebounds and 1.9 blocks netted him an All-SEC first-team spot and SEC All-Defensive selection.
He earns high marks for his motor and activity, and he has the athleticism to play above the rim. He's a little undersized for an interior role, so he could help himself by fine-tuning his face-up game and giving his jumper more range. While he only made 28 threes in 134 college games, his career 72.9 free-throw percentage indicates solid mechanics.
Jeremiah Martin shined bright enough on the summer squad to score one of the first Exhibit 10 agreements—along with Silva—from the Heat. He was active on defense (nine steals in seven games), accurate on offense (46.3 percent shooting) and a potent scorer when given the opportunity (16 points per game when he played 22-plus minutes).
The 6'3" guard is a natural bucket-getter. He averaged 19.3 points over his final two seasons with the Memphis Tigers, and he left as the school's 10th-highest scorer in program history (1,625 points). His lack of size works against him, though, especially since he isn't a natural playmaker (3.5 assists against 2.0 turnovers in college).
The final Heat summer leaguer on the squad, Kyle Alexander, stands 6'11" and put his size to good use in Las Vegas and Sacramento. He averaged 6.3 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in only 15.9 minutes, and he totaled 21 boards and five rejections during the two games in which he logged at least 20 minutes.
Tennessee fans remember his rim protection fondly, as his 185 blocks were second-most in Volunteers' history. His game could use more polish, but his willingness to work endeared him to Miami's decision-makers.
"The Heat culture is a work ethic culture," Alexander told Mike Wilson of the Knoxville News Sentinel. "They really grind over there. That is what I did at Tennessee. It is built into me. I think they are excited about that."
Guard Mychal Mulder followed a winding road to Miami. He split his college career between Vincennes University and the University of Kentucky. Undrafted in 2017, he spent the past two seasons with the G League's Windy City Bulls, where he averaged 11.5 points and 1.7 assists in 31.9 minutes and shot an impressive 37.8 percent from range (41.3 percent in 2019-19).
He's an impressive athlete (44-inch max vertical), which isn't something you hear about most shooting specialists. But it might take more than a trusty three-ball to help him make his long-awaited NBA leap.
Daryl Macon was the final player inked from this sextet, although that designation hardly speaks to his pedigree. A Heat summer-leaguer in 2018, he landed a two-way deal with the Dallas Mavericks after that run and played eight games for the varsity squad last season. He bided most of his time with the G League's Texas Legends, where his 19.0 points per game ranked first and his 5.9 assists ranked second among players with double-digit appearances.
He counts athleticism and shot-making among his strengths, a blend that yielded 16.8 points on 44.7 percent shooting (41.2 from three) during his senior season at Arkansas. Improving his decision-making and defense should be the next steps of his development.
Now, is it necessary to know these six names? Probably not. Will any ever become household names? Almost certainly no. But could the next Tyler Johnson, Rodney McGruder, Willie Reed, Okaro White or Briante Weber be among them? Without a doubt.
If you need a reason beyond Butler's assimilation to keep tabs on training camp, these six players fighting for their professional lives is quietly among the most compelling.