Skyforce Get Busy on Draft Day as Preseason Looms
Capping a very active twenty four hours, the Sioux Falls Skyforce prepared for the season that is soon to start while also looking toward the future.
On Friday, the Skyforce touted a list of prospects who spent time with Miami during the preseason. Two of them have considerable time spent in Sioux Falls in past season such as guards DeAndre Liggins and Briante Weber who were both part of the 2016 title team.
Another subset involves those who were involved in trades with guard Rodney Purvis and center Raphiael Putney who were both in the G League last year. The final three prospects came directly to Miami and will join the team as affiliate players.
Charles Cooke is a guard who played college ball at Dayton plus two years at James Madison. As a 2-way player with New Orleans who does not yet have a G League affiliate, Cooke was a flexible assignment player to both the Greensboro Swarm and the Salt Lake City Stars.
It will be a while for Marcus Lee before he graces the court. He had a promising beginning with Miami but suffered a knee injury during a preseason game and will be working his way back to health with the Skyforce. This is Lee’s rookie campaign after three years at Kentucky and a senior season as the starting center at California.
Malik Newman is a rookie guard out of Kansas. His accomplishments include the Big 12 Championship Most Outstanding Player award and Newcomer of the Year after transferring to the Jayhawks for his sophomore season foregoing his final two years of eligibility to turn pro. His first college experience came at Mississippi State.
Two more players were added Saturday during the NBA G League draft. The Skyforce had two selections in the second round and used them to pick a pair of forwards.
With the 40th choice Sioux Falls took Jalen Hayes a rookie out of Oakland University who scored over 1,800 points for the Golden Grizzlies and was two-time first team choice in the Horizon League. Three picks later (#43) Sioux Falls picked up Juwan Howard, Jr. a forward who is four years removed from his college days at Detroit Mercy.
Howard, Jr. has been part of three different Summer League seasons, two times with Miami and once with the New York Knicks. Howard, Jr. is the son of former Michigan Fab Fiver and current Heat assistant coach Juwan Howard.
In the futures file, keep abreast of these maneuvers that involve considerations to come. The returning rights for Kadeem Jack who played with Sioux Falls last season were sent to the South Bay Lakers in exchange for a first round selection in 2019. A second such transaction sends returning rights for Greg Whittington who spent parts of two seasons in Sioux Falls including the 2016 title run to the Wisconsin Herd for their 2019 first round choice. The Skyforce acquired returning rights for forward Xavier Gibson and a 2019 third round selection from the Lakeland Magic. In exchange, Lakeland gets the first round pick that Sioux Falls held.