Expect Numerous Changes As Skyforce Season Nears Midpoint
Deadlines arrive in professional basketball and rosters up and down the chain will undergo multiple machinations over the next 60 days. Expect the Sioux Falls Skyforce to roll with the modifications.
The process repeats itself every basketball season. Teams that adapt the fastest will be at the highest advantage. Tuesday January 6 became the day that players can be signed to NBA10-day contracts. This tool allows teams to audition players in the short term. If a player’s talent matches an organizational need then the two entities come to an agreement for the rest of the season. Otherwise the player returns to the NBA Development League or another team can capture that player for a time. The maximum number of 10 day contracts a team can offer to one player is two before a permanent solution is required.
Any player on the current Sioux Falls Skyforce roster can be eligible for a 10-day deal except players on assignment from the Miami Heat. As of Wednesday afternoon January 7, Shabazz Napier was struck from that list, as reports from South Florida have Napier being recalled for the Heat’s game in Portland on Thursday.
Another component of the roster carousel is the guaranteed contract deadline which is Saturday January 10. Teams are required to release players 48 hours before that deadline if their early season contract is not guaranteed for the season. Think of it as a 90 probation period for a normal job. For example, Andre Dawkins who spent time with the Skyforce on assignment from the Heat had all through training camp and the first two and a half months of the regular season to prove his skills. Miami cut Dawkins loose on Tuesday.
Different rules apply at this point of the season because players like Khem Birch, Tyler Johnson and Shawn Jones who are released from the team before the season can go to Sioux Falls as an allocation player. If Dawkins joins the NBADL player pool he could be picked by any team that wants to have him. The Heat could opt to go the 10-day route with Dawkins for the short term, which they have done in the past with Josh Harrellson in 2013. However there is no express route to Sioux Falls for Dawkins at this time. Considering that Dawkins looked pretty good in a Skyforce jersey, there will be another team in the NBA or otherwise that will consider the former Duke sharpshooter.