The time clock is ticking when it comes to Kyle Guy‘s time with the Miami Heat. The 24-year-old guard was signed to a 10-day contract under the hardship provision on December 30, which means his final game with Miami will be tonight.
During his four-game stint with the Heat, Guy has scored a total of 47 points while shooting 54.8% from the field and 50% on threes, along with rebounds, 10 assists, and just four turnovers in 88 minutes of play.
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Before Saturday night’s matchup against the Phoenix Suns on January 8, the former second-round pick from the 2019 NBA Draft spoke about his experience with the Heat.
“It has been great,” Guy told Miami Herald reporter Anthony Chiang. “They got a nice culture here and they do things the right way. We’ve only had a practice and a half during my 10 days, but I love what they’re about. Quick and to the point, coaches are great and the players are even better.”
Guy, who’s best known for leading the Virginia Cavaliers to a national championship in 2019, and was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player, is putting up drastically different from when he was playing with the Sacramento Kings last season, where he averaged 2.8 points while shooting 28.3% from beyond the arc.
After spending training camp with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Guy sign with their G League affiliate, the Canton Charge in October, where he once again thrived. With the Charge, Guy averaged 21.8 points and 7.8 rebounds per game.
Guy Says There’s a Mutual Love Between Him and the Heat
Despite a rocky first few years in the NBA, the 6-foot-1, 167-pound guard’s confidence has not wavered, and based on Guy’s comments, it sounds like he would love to stick with Heat if the opportunity presented itself.
“I think they’ve obviously watched film and know what I do,” said Guy. “I shoot the ball, I can be aggressive, get in the paint and make the right plays, facilitate, scrappy on defense. So they just play to my strengths.”
Guy also credited the Heat’s famous developmental program for his ability to seamlessly ease into the lineup.
“That’s how they’ve developed a lot of their guys to be like that,” Guy continued. “I already had some of the traits coming in, so I think it was just an easy transition. The feeling is mutual, they like me and I love it here.”
Heat’s head coach Erik Spoelstra only had complimentary things to say about Guy’s work ethic and versatility on the court.
“Kyle Guy is a gamer, so he figures out different ways to impact and help you by making winning plays,” Spoelstra said. “I think if you just observe his career, he has found different ways to make an impact and he’s far more than just a shooter.”
Guy, however, is not getting too far ahead of himself. “Obviously, I have my big picture. But I’m just day by day while I’m here. I’m grateful for the opportunity and for making the most of it. So they’ll tell me when they think they need to tell me. Whether that’s at the end of the 10-day or today or tomorrow, I don’t know. So we’ll see. But I have no idea.”
Once Guy’s Contract Ends, He Can Be Snatched Up By Any Team
Since joining the Heat, Guy’s averaged 19.1 points and 4.1 assists per 36 minutes — stats that will catch him attention from numerous franchises across the league looking to find replacements for injured players or have depleted rosters due to COVID-19.
Once Guy’s contract expires after Saturday night’s game, he’ll be free to sign with any team that makes him an offer. While the Heat have an open roster spot, signing one player, even to a veteran’s minimum, would put the team over the ominous luxury tax.
However, it’s highly likely that no All-Star becomes available, which means the Heat will likely look within to restructure for the second half of the season.
If the Heat trade KZ Okpala, which has seemed inevitable since the 2021 NBA season started, and Caleb Martin is elevated to the regular roster, Guy could be signed to the two-way contract left open by Martin.
While it may seem like the Heat are taking a huge chance waiting to see what happens before signing Guy, it’s important to remember what the Heat’s roster looks like when their regular starters are cleared to return.
Choosing to go over the luxury tax, which is a bigger fine than what Guy’s contract would be, becomes less appealing when you know that Jimmy Butler, Dewayne Dedmon, Gabe Vincent, Udonis Haslem, Bam Adebayo, Victor Oladipo, and Markieff Morris — will soon be back in the lineup.