Versatility and effort appear to have been two points of emphasis when the Miami HEAT were looking for a new pair of two-way players this offseason. If nothing else, both Duncan Robinson and newly-signed forward Yante Maten fit that mold perfectly.
“What we have here are two players with extensive college experience who have developed at big time programs in major conferences,” said Miami HEAT VP of Player Personnel Adam Simon, who doubles as General Manager of Basketball Operations for the Sioux Falls Skyforce. “Both Duncan and Yante have shown to be players of high character with tremendous work ethic and we hope to be able to develop their skills in order for them to become NBA rotation players.”
Robinson and Maten have both shown flashes of what they’re capable of, each serving as a key contributor on this year’s rendition of the Miami HEAT summer league squad. Standing at 6-8, Robinson’s length and elite shooting ability immediately caught the eyes of the entire league.
— NBA G League (@nbagleague) July 23, 2018
“Robinson already possesses an elite NBA skill as a shooter, and as he showed in summer league, he’s looking to be able to contribute in other ways,” said Simon. “Maten has also shown the ability to shoot the ball as well as score around the lane.”
Maten, a rookie out of Georgia, is fresh off of winning SEC Player of the Year in a conference featuring the likes of Kentucky’s Kevin Knox, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Alabama’s Collin Sexton. Despite his pedigree, Maten caught the eye of Miami’s player personnel by excelling at a lot of the little things. His 10.7 points and 5.6 rebounds in just 17.6 minutes per NBA summer league game were efficient, but the work he put in on both ends of the court was what made him stand out the most.
“What we like is that [Maten] is active on both ends and he’s a relentless worker,” said Simon. “In time he’s going to be able to expand all areas of his offensive arsenal and become a sound, versatile defender with his agility. We look forward to working with them in both Miami and Sioux Falls this year.”
— NBA G League (@nbagleague) July 30, 2018
The ultimate goal is for both prospects to develop into influential players for the HEAT down in South Beach, but until then, they look to be solid building blocks for a Sioux Falls Skyforce team that’s hoping to climb back into the playoffs for the first time since winning the NBA G League title in 2016.