Justin Powell to join Miami Heat for Summer League

Another Coug makes the pros



WSU guard Justin Powell shoots the ball during an NCAA men’s basketball game against Utah, Dec. 4.

HAYDEN STINCHFIELD, Evergreen sports co-editor

After going undrafted, Justin Powell has signed with the Miami Heat to play in the NBA Summer League, according to his agent George Lanbgerg.

He joins a long history of undrafted free agent signings by the Heat, who have become famous for making late picks and UDFAs into serious players. Duncan Robinson is an obvious comparison, with his shooting earning him a spot with the Heat for the 2018 Summer League.

Robinson managed to turn that chance into a five-year, $90 million contract and he did it by hitting a ridiculous percentage of his 3-point shots. If there is one thing Powell can do, it is hit threes. While making the NBA is no guarantee with a Summer League deal, he has a very real chance at being on the Heat’s roster if he does well in Summer League action.

His 6-foot-6 height is above-average for a guard which helps him compete with wings on offense and his defense improved quite a bit during the Cougs end-of-season win streak. While the NBA certainly will view him as shooting guard, Powell played point guard for the Cougs and managed a 3-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio. He is a willing and talented passer.

Those kinds of peripheral skills combined with his elite shooting make him a valuable undrafted player. The Heat are not afraid to give players like Powell a chance, all he has to do is show out and take it.