Former Kansas guard Marcus Garrett inks free agent deal with the Miami Heat

Kansas guard Marcus Garrett (0) and Kansas head coach Bill Self react after being called for a foul during the second half on Thursday, March 4, 2021 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Marcus Garrett (0) and Kansas head coach Bill Self react after being called for a foul during the second half on Thursday, March 4, 2021 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Friday, July 30, 2021

According to a Friday morning Instagram post from Young Money APAA Sports, the agency that represents him, former Kansas guard Marcus Garrett has signed a free agent deal with the Miami Heat. draft expert Jonathan Givony also tweeted that Garrett will sign an Exhibit 10 contract with the Heat, which allows him to attend Miami’s training camp with the franchise controlling his G League rights.

The contract is a one-year, non-guaranteed minimum-dollar deal, and hte purpose of the Exhibit 10 path is to entice prospects to stay in the G League rather than heading overseas.

If Garrett performs well enough in the next couple of weeks, and the Heat like what they see, that contract could be converted into a full-fledged two-way contract, which would make him a part of Miami’s G League roster (Sioux Falls Skyforce in Sioux Falls, S.D.) with the option for the Heat to call him up to the NBA bench at any time.

If he signs with Sioux Falls after the Summer League, Garrett would be eligible to receive a bonus of up to $50,000. However, he also could be waived at any point during camp at no cost to the organization.

“I talked with Marcus after the draft and he was not disappointed that he didn’t get selected,” KU head coach Bill Self said in a statement Friday. “He seems to have a good feel for the business. He realizes that sometimes not being picked is better than being picked late because now he gets to choose where he wants to go. His agent told me the Heat were very interested in him. I’m excited for Marcus to be at a place where he is wanted and he will have the opportunity to earn his way onto the squad.”

Garrett watched Thursday’s NBA draft at his home in Dallas with his mother and a small group of family and friends. After going unselected, Garrett landed with a team that had no picks in the 2021 draft but was looking to add to its backcourt.

According to a story from the Miami Herald, the Heat considered trading and/or buying their way into the second round to make a selection in Thursday’s draft, but opted not to because of their recent history of success with undrafted free agents.

According to the story, the list of undrafted players Miami has signed in recent years includes Duncan Robinson, Kendrick Nunn, Gabe Vincent and Chris Silva. The Heat also had past success with undrafted prospects Rodney McGruder, Tyler Johnson and Udonis Haslem.

Vincent and Nunn were on the Heat’s 2020-21 roster and they were joined by guards Tyler Herro, Goran Dragic, Victor Oladipo and veteran Andre Iguodala.

Garrett, who signed with rapper Lil Wayne’s Young Money agency back in May, will now look to join that list with a franchise that is just one season removed from playing in the NBA Finals.

Things figure to move fast for Garrett from here. According to the Herald, the Heat’s summer league squad is expected to begin practicing in Sacramento in the next few days. After that, they’ll play two games in the California Classic next Tuesday and Wednesday before heading to Las Vegas for the rest of the NBA’s Summer League action Aug. 8-17.

As for the rest of the NBA club’s roster, the Herald’s story indicates that Miami has 12 players from its final 2020-21 roster that could become free agents this summer.

If all goes well for Garrett at camp, he likely will be joined in Vegas by a handful of other former Jayhawks who are still looking to catch on or for a fresh start in the NBA.

The 6-foot-5 combo guard who was a three-year starter for Bill Self at Kansas had hoped to sneak into the back end of the second round on Thursday night. But all 60 picks came and went without Garrett hearing his name called.

Earlier this month, Garrett, who is known for his elite defensive ability, said getting drafted into the NBA had been a dream of his since he was little. But in an interview session following a workout with the Golden State Warriors, he acknowledged that even if he didn't get picked it was not “the end of the world.”

One person who will not be betting against Garrett making an NBA roster in some capacity is Self.

In a promotional video about Garrett put out by KU on draft night, the KU coach once again emphasized how much he enjoyed coaching Garrett, as much for his personality and toughness as anything he did on the stat sheet.

Not only was Garrett the first person in his family to graduate from college, but he also used basketball as an escape from poverty and a rough environment when he was growing up.

“Coaches shouldn’t play favorites,” began Self. “And I tried not to. But he’ll always be one of my favorites because I’m always drawn to the guys that it was harder for them to do what they did just because of circumstances that they had no control over.”

“The odds may have been against Marcus," Self added. "But he proved everybody wrong.”

Now he gets to see if he can do it again.