Miami Heat Sign All-SEC ‘Do Whatever’ Minutes Eater

D.J. Stewart

Getty Former Mississippi State guard D.J. Stewart has earned an invite to Miami Heat training camp.

The Miami Heat signed rookie free agent D.J. Stewart on Tuesday, according to a press release from the team. The former Mississippi State starter will join on an Exhibit 10 contract (per Miami Herald’s Anthony Chiang), which usually means an automatic invite to training camp.

Stewart, a 6-foot-6 shooting guard, appeared in six summer-league games for the Heat, including a impressive showing in the California Classic where he averaged seven points, five rebounds, two steals per game. He shot 42.9% from the field and totaled a plus-14 rating. Prior to that, the Mississippi native was a key contributor for the Bulldogs where he helped guide them to the NIT Finals in 2021. And hit the game-winning triple to punch their Final Four ticket.

Stewart played in 64 career college games (50 starts) and earned All-SEC second-team honors last season. He played 1,155 total minutes – ranked No. 2 in the SEC – and finished 10th in scoring in the conference at 15.8 points per game. He left school after two years with 792 career points, the 11th-most by a Mississippi State player during their freshman and sophomore seasons.

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Quick Scouting Report, Shooting Prowess

Stewart was originally projected to go around pick No. 45 in the NBA draft but a poor showing at the 2021 G-League Elite Camp sunk his stock. He ended up going undrafted before inking a free-agent deal with the Miami Heat on July 30. Alan Lu of NBA Scouting Live classified Stewart as an “athletic, skilled swingman” who could project into a 3-and-D player in the NBA.

The Clarion Ledger shared the following stats about Stewart’s shooting prowess:

Across his two seasons, Stewart shot 42.5% from the floor, 33.9% from 3-point distance and 77.2% from the free-throw line. He was the SEC’s 10th-leading scorer by points per game in 2020-21 and made the second most field goals in the league while still ranking No. 11 in the conference in field goal percentage.

“It’s just me willing to do whatever the team needs,” Stewart said after knocking off Richmond in the NIT quarterfinals. “That was on the offensive end tonight, and I was able to perform for my teammates.”

Four Players Sit Out Summer League Finale

The Heat decided to sit four players out for their summer-league finale: Gabe Vincent, Ӧmer Yurtseven, Max Strus, Marcus Garrett. Coach Malik Allen trotted out a starting five of DeJon Jarreau, Tyson Carter, KZ Okpala, Justin Smith, Micah Porter in their game against the Dallas Mavericks.

Jarreau is a name to watch as he has been pushing hard for a two-way contract with his stellar play this summer. The 6-foot-5 point guard is averaging 11.5 points, 6.7 assists, 5.7 rebounds in 25.9 minutes per game. The former Houston Cougars star is shooting 37.5% from three-point range and 48.5% from the field.

In addition to Jarreau, Garrett has been equally impressive in the summer league. He has scored in double-figures in four out of five games and has 14 steals. Yurtseven has been a revelation in his own right while Strus and Vincent should be key bench players for Miami this season.0

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