The Miami Heat signed forward Emanuel Terry to a 10-day contract, the team announced on Wednesday.
The Heat needed to sign a player to get back to the NBA minimum roster number after the two-for-one trade on Feb. 6 that sent guards Tyler Johnson and Wayne Ellington to the Phoenix Suns for forward Ryan Anderson.
Terry has appeared in nine games, eight of them starts, with the Sioux Falls Skyforce, the Heat’s G League affiliate. He is averaging 16.4 points, 9.2 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 1.3 steals, 1.1 blocks in 30.7 minutes per game while shooting 58.4 percent from the field.
Terry was thrilled to receive the news.
“I couldn’t stop smiling, really for at least 10 minutes, and then I kind of told everyone,” he said after participating in his first practice with the Heat on Wednesday.
Terry, who was originally acquired by Sioux Falls in a trade with the Canton Charge on January 5 in exchange for guard Malik Newman, has also spent time in the NBA this season, playing two games in late January with the Suns while on a 10-day contract there.
“I definitely feel like I’m a great teammate,” said Terry, a 6-foot-9, 220-pound forward who played collegiately at Division-II Lincoln Memorial University in Tennessee. “I listen. I bring energy to the floor when it’s needed. I rebound very well, above-the-rim athlete, just hustle, very vocal on defense. I set great screens. I try my best to impact on both sides of the ball as much as I can.”
Another option to fill the roster spot for the Heat would’ve been to convert one of their two-way contract players, Duncan Robinson and Yante Maten, to an NBA deal, but that would’ve made an offseason qualifying offer to keep one of them more onerous.
Anderson, since joining the Heat in the trade for Johnson and Ellington, has only appeared in one game – at the end of a blowout loss to the Denver Nuggets.
Ellington was waived by the Suns the day following the trade and picked up by the Detroit Pistons, who are competing with the Heat for the Eastern Conference’s No. 8 playoff seed, on Feb. 9. He has played in two games with Detroit before the All-Star break. Johnson has played in three games, starting two, for the Suns.
Wade shifting gears
Heat star guard Dwyane Wade got to enjoy last weekend’s All-Star festivities in Charlotte, his 13th and final appearance of his 16-year NBA career, but now he’s back in work mode for the final 26 games of the regular, looking to extend his “One Last Dance” longer than that.
“I really enjoyed myself over the break, ate a lot, drank a lot, body fat went up a little bit so I got a little work to do,” Wade said. “We’re in this playoff push right now. We have our work cut out for us looking at this schedule. We’re going to have to win some games. I’m locked in from a leadership standpoint.”
Forward Udonis Haslem, his teammate for 14 and a half of those seasons, said, in texting with Wade on Tuesday, that the last thing he sent him was “that he’s about to lock in for the last half of the season.”
Wade prefers the challenging schedule the Heat have ahead.
“It’s a little slight fear in there, anxiety and all these things when you’re playing teams like that,” he said. “I think if we’re going to make it in the playoffs, we’re going to make it because we deserve to be in there and not because we had a soft schedule after the All-Star break and we was able to limp here.”
Said Heat coach Erik Spoelstra: “We’ve covered all the points of emphasis. It’s go time. I can say all the clichés and everything. This is the time of the year everybody loves. This is the time to produce. We know what we’re playing for. It will be an exhilarating, competitive 50 days, 26 games crammed in those. But we’re right in the thick of it.
“There’s an opportunity ahead of us. We can win our way in or not. We have as much of an opportunity as anybody in this little circle of teams.”