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Skyforce Player Spotlight: Derrick Walton Jr.

By Matt Dykstra | July 26, 2017

The Miami HEAT announced on Monday that the team has signed Derrick Walton Jr. to a two-way contract. This means that Walton Jr. will spend the majority of his time in Sioux Falls, though the HEAT will be able to call him up to their roster for a maximum of 45 days while the NBA G League season is in session. Days before or after the G League season begins and ends will not count toward the 45-day maximum Walton Jr. can spend in Miami.

So, who is this Skyforce guard of the future?

Those of you who watched March Madness last year probably already know, and those of you who are Big Ten fans definitely know. The 6-1, 190-pound guard served as a four-year starter at the University of Michigan, playing in 127 games (124 starts) and averaging career numbers of 11.6 points, 4.4 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 1.2 steals per game.

Walton Jr. had a break out senior season last year, averaging career-highs of 15.5 points, 5.0 assists and 4.7 rebounds per game while shooting 42.2 percent from long distance and 87.6 percent from the free throw line. On March 5, 2017 he tallied 18 points and 16 assists, which marked the highest assist total in Michigan Basketball history.

Walton Jr. went on to lead Michigan to a Big Ten Tournament Championship, averaging 20.5 points, 6.3 assists, and 4.8 rebounds in tournament play, and was named the Big Ten Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player for his performance.

He continued his high level of play throughout the NCAA Tournament, posting 26 points and 11 assists against the Oklahoma State Cowboys in a first round victory. After another Michigan win over the Louisville Cardinals, Walton Jr. posted 20 points and eight assists in a loss to the Oregon Ducks that ultimately brought his college career to an end.

After going undrafted in the 2017 NBA Draft, Walton Jr. appeared in four games (one start) with the Orlando Magic in the NBA Pro Summer League in Orlando, FL where he averaged 10.0 points, 3.5 assists and 2.5 rebounds while shooting 50.0 percent from three-point range in just 20.8 minutes per contest.