Does the Miami Heat want Garret Siler?
After an impressive summer league showing in which many felt he outplayed teammate Dexter Pittman, Garret Siler thinks he has a chance to make the Miami Heat roster. Siler is receiving interest from Pat Riley for the team’s training camp in late September.
The 7’0″, 275-pound behemoth of a man made the most of his limited time on the summer league floor. In nine games with the Nets and Heat, Siler saw just 12.6 minutes of action per game. But he shot 17 for 22 (77%) from the field, averaging five points and three rebounds per contest. He also did a good job clogging the lane and staying alert defensively, compiling six total blocks, though he was foul prone.
Miami really wants me. Summer League went pretty good. With the time provided, I did my thing.
Siler is a 23-year-old from Winton Salem, North Carolina that registered for the 2009 NBA Draft but went undrafted. Back then, he was a relative unknown from Augusta State University, a Division II school. At the time, Siler was nothing more than a massive 303-pound body with limited athleticism and mobility.
He was eventually picked up by the Minnesota Timberwoves where he raised eyebrows during summer league play, averaging eight points and six rebounds in five contests. He went on to accept an invitation to join the Atlanta Hawks organization on a non-guaranteed contract, where he advanced through until training camp only to be the last player cut.
Siler went on to join the Utah Flash of the D-League. However, the Hawks and Heat both told him that he’d have a better shot at making the NBA if he played a full year in China. After only two games with the Flash, he accepted an offer in December to play overseas for the Shanghai Sharks of the Chinese Basketball Association, and new owner Yao Ming.
With five months of hard work under the tutelage of Yao, Siler improved his overall floor game, as well as his conditioning and maturity.
Yao Ming’s involvement has helped me with every aspect of my game, period. He’s been getting me in good shape and showing me some new moves.
After dropping more than 25 pounds and leading his Sharks team to the semi-finals, the NBA once again came calling. New Jersey initially offered him a summer league spot earlier this month. He played four games for the Nets’ summer league club, shooting a whopping 83% from the field. The Heat quickly took notice, and offered him the same. He shot a meager 75% from the field in four games for Miami’s summer league club.
Siler’s performance has been impressive. This time around, though, he’s hoping for at least a guaranteed minimum contract deal, rather than just an invitation to a team’s training camp.
The Hawks have already offered him the latter, and could be in the best position to offer him the former as well. Atlanta has just two centers under contract – Al Horford and Zaza Pachulia. Siler would likely be competing with incumbent backup centers Jason Collins and Randolph Morris for a third spot. Collins averaged just 4.8 minutes in 24 games this past season; Morris averaged just 4.4 minutes in 28 games.
The Heat, on the other hand, has a problem. The team is already carrying four centers on its roster. If Silver were to eventually make the big club, Miami would either need to carry five centers, which is unlikely, or it would need to waive a current roster player and pay out his contract nonetheless. Still, there is a long way to go until anything of the sort happens.