LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh might not be on the floor for the Miami Heat this summer, but the organization has still been grinding away in Orlando and now Las Vegas at the NBA Summer League.
While the room for young talent on Miami’s regular-season roster is minimal, the Heat’s summer league lineup is filled with young and intriguing prospects.
From the organization’s last-minute draft night move, to potential draft day sleepers, the storylines and points of interest are still plenty in Miami’s camp.
Here are a few names that have stood out among the rest.
Ian Clark, G
Ian Clark is an undrafted guard out of Belmont University whose specialty lies beyond the arc.
He never shot less than 40 percent from three throughout his college career and finished the 2012-13 campaign hitting an eye-popping 46 percent of his attempts from downtown.
Through four games in Orlando, Clark averaged 16 points, while shooting 49 percent from the floor. He was also good for 2.3 rebounds, one assist and 1.3 steals per contest.
Clark’s biggest moment came in Miami’s final game of the Orlando session when he put up 18 points, seven assists and six steals in the Heat’s 90-85 win over Detroit.
The former Belmont star is now with Golden State for the Las Vegas league, as he had committed to playing with the Warriors in Vegas several weeks back.
However, though it may be slim, there is still a chance Clark could find a place on the Heat’s roster this year, especially with the news of Miami deciding to waive swingman and three-point specialist Mike Miller.
In order for things to fall into place for Clark in South Beach, he’d have to beat out the likes of second-round draft pick James Ennis and undrafted point guard Myck Kabongo.
Myck Kabongo, PG
Heralded by many as a potential sleeper after going undrafted, point guard Myck Kabongo was given a chance to compete for a roster spot with Miami this summer.
However, Kabongo, who was rated as a five-star prospect across the board coming out of high school, failed to live up to expectations with the Heat in Orlando. In the limited minutes he did see throughout Miami’s four games, the former Texas point guard struggled to leave a lasting impression.
Kabongo shot just 1-of-5 from the field during his time in Orlando, while accounting for three rebounds, four assists and four steals.
Las Vegas hasn’t been much better for Kabongo.
In Miami’s opener, he accounted for two points, two rebounds and two assists. He did not play the following game, and in the Heat’s third game, he put up one point and one rebound in less than seven minutes of playing time.
At this point, it would seem as though a roster spot in Miami isn’t likely for Kabongo. However, his pedigree does warrant attention, and it'd be shocking if he didn't earn at least a shot with another club come training camp.
James Ennis, F
James Ennis was the product of a last-minute draft night move by Miami, as the Heat decided to trade into the draft and acquire Ennis from the Atlanta Hawks late in the second round.
A California native, Ennis attended Long Beach State for college. As a senior last year, he averaged 16.5 points, 6.7 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.3 blocks and 1.8 steals per game.
Ennis also has the ability to hit from deep, sinking 36 percent of his three-point attempts during his senior campaign.
And although his athleticism, size and stat sheet are all impressive, Ennis isn’t guaranteed a spot on Miami’s final roster by any means.
Throughout the seven games this summer, Ennis is averaging 12.3 points on 54 percent shooting and 4.3 rebounds per game. He’s also totaled six assists, eight steals and three blocked shots.
With those numbers, Ennis has undoubtedly been one of the Heat’s top performers to date, and he will, at the very least, force Miami to make a tough decision when the time comes to finalize its roster.
Jarvis Varnado, PF
Jarvis Varnado was a rookie with the Heat organization last year and had the opportunity to take home a ring during his first year in the league. However, he’s been under Miami’s microscope just like every other prospect this summer.
Varnado’s contract with the Heat isn’t guaranteed for the 2013-14 season, and with Miami seriously in need of a reliable presence down low, there has surely been quite a bit of pressure placed on the forward to perform this July.
And Varnado has done just that, giving Miami impressive performances from the start of league play in Orlando.
Varnado put 12 blocked shots down in the books. Then through three games in Las Vegas, he’s already added an additional 12 blocks to his summer league resume.
Clearly, Varnado’s specialties lie on the defensive side of the ball, particularly in the area of imposing his will with blocked shots. As a matter of fact, as a former Mississippi State Bulldog, Varnado holds the Southeastern Conference’s record for most blocked shots in a season with 170.
Shaquille O’Neal previously held the conference’s record with 157 blocks.
Varnado, who many compare to Joel Anthony in terms of his work ethic and build, has also averaged 5.4 rebounds per game this summer.
With his strong play over the past few weeks, it would seem as though the forward has a strong shot to again make Miami’s roster this season, especially with the Heat’s need for defense down low and help on the boards.
However, the fact remains there are just three spots left on Miami’s roster and nothing is guaranteed to anyone who isn't currently under contract. The Heat are also still actively pursuing center Greg Oden, which could very well have an impact on Varnado’s roster push.
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