D-League small forward Kasib Powell
has been signed by the Miami Heat, making him third player called up to the Heat in two days. To make room for the veteran forward, they released small forward Bobby Jones
. Powell will receive an immediate chance to prove himself at the NBA level with the Heat, on a roster plagued with injuries and full of former D-League players. He was ranked number one on our list of call-up candidates.
A veteran of the minor leagues, Powell ranked third among active players in the D-League in scoring at 22.3 points per game. He also gained notoriety for his role as a top lock-down defender, and also averaged 5.8 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game while shooting just under 50% from the field. At the age of 27, he has experience playing in the CBA and USBL in addition to the D-League.
Powell was always criticized in the past for his lack of three point shooting, but the forward worked himself into a groove from long range and has shot 42% from long range on the season. He has the strength and lateral quickness to become an excellent defender in the NBA. Offensively, he has a solid mid-range game, but may struggle to finish against the more athletic big men in the NBA.
The Heat now have eight players on their roster with previous D-League experience. Joel Anthony
and Daequan Cook
recently returned from a stint with the Iowa Energy. Shot-blocking power forward Stephane Lasme
and sharp-shooter Blake Ahearn
were added by Miami yesterday.
With the end of both the NBA season and the D-League season fast approaching, we have be able to observe a shift in the type of players called up to NBA teams. Early in the year, many veteran players were called up from the D-League by NBA teams looking to win now. With the playoff picture becoming clearer by the day, some NBA teams can now afford to give younger players with upside a look to see if they are worth a contract for next season. Bobby Jones
failed to stick with his fourth NBA team this season, and will likely return to the Sioux Falls Skyforce. Considering his ability on the defensive end, it wouldnt be surprising to see the second year small forward with a fifth NBA team this season.