Yante Maten to play with Miami Heat Summer League

ATHENS, GA - FEBRUARY 17: Yante Maten
ATHENS, GA - FEBRUARY 17: Yante Maten /

Former UGA Basketball player Yante Maten will have his shot at the NBA with the Miami Heat after he signed an undrafted free agent contract with the team.

Former UGA basketball standout Yante Maten went undrafted last night in the NBA draft. Maten was the SEC player of the year in 2017, joining Dominique Wilkins and Kentavious Caldwell Pope as the only Georgia players to win the award. He was a star last season but questions obviously arose if he was NBA ready. He will have his chance to prove that he is indeed ready as the Miami Heat has given him a chance to showcase his skills in the NBA Summer League, according to reports from ESPN.

Maten was the victim of coming out in a fairly deep draft. It also didn’t help him that the Dawgs weren’t in the NCAA tournament the past 2 seasons which would have been a great place to display his talent nationally.

He impressed at the Draft combine, by leading all prospects with 18 reps of 185 on the bench press and had the 2nd best time among big men in the 3/4 sprint. He finished in the top 3 in 2 other drills.  His 8% body fat caught some eyes as well. It wasn’t enough to convince a team to draft him though. Many focused on him not being an elite ball handler. Many pro scouts seem to also question if he’s a top-tier athlete.

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So now Maten begins the next part of his new career in the NBA Summer league.  If he can earn an NBA roster spot,  he would be an excellent 7th or 8th option off of the bench for a Miami team who has good players like Goran Dragic and Dwayne Wade at the guard positions but isn’t exactly stacked at Maten’s forward position. This is a great opportunity for him and I fully expect him to make the most of it. We will absolutely hear more out of Maten on the professional level.