"Undrafted Heat Players Lead the Franchise to a 50-Win Season and a No. 1 Seed"
The Miami Heat have perfected the art of winning with undrafted players, having become only the fourth team in NBA history to use at least five such players in at least 65 games this season – they were the only one to have a winning record. So why have they found success this way? Well according to Udonis Haslem, a 19-year veteran with the team, “We’re gonna give you the same opportunity we’re gonna give the No. 1 draft pick. You gotta work hard. But we give everybody that confidence.” The Heat reward hard work, giving players the opportunity to play and the confidence they need to succeed.
Case in point: Duncan Robinson, who went undrafted in 2018 but earned a two-way contract with the team and, eventually, a five year, $90 million dollar contract. The final proof of Robinson’s success is Miami’s 53-win season and a No. 1 seed, with four of the team’s top five players in games played being undrafted. Said Haslem: “We don’t have the luxury of making the mistakes that the draftees got. We don’t have the luxury of being lazy like the draftees got. We don’t have the luxury of not knowing the plays like the draftees got. We don’t have the luxury of not playing hard like the draftees got.” With hard work, the right commitment and a little luck, Miami’s undrafted players have led them to the top of the standings.