Briante Weber found a variety of ways to have the ball in his hands Tuesday afternoon at the 2016 NBA Summer League in Orlando.
Brought in to Miami to serve as a defensive stopper just four days before the 2015-16 regular season concluded, Weber is using his time at the NBA Summer League to prove he can contribute on both ends of the floor.
The 6-foot-2 guard kept the Heat’s record in the tournament undefeated with an 84-68 victory over the Magic Blue team with one of the most well rounded performances of the summer.
Weber totaled nine points, 10 rebounds, six assists, six steals in just over 29 minutes of play and his coach took notice.
“It doesn’t surprise me when I look at the box score and I see our second smallest guy led us with 10 rebounds. That’s big,” Miami Summer League coach Juwan Howard said. “The fact that one of my smallest guy is rebounding more than my bigs says a lot. He’s tough as nails.”
Opportunities to contribute have been rare for the 23-year-old over the past two years.
Weber’s senior season at VCU ended on January 31, 2015 with a simple jump stop. The movement resulted in a torn MCL, ACL and meniscus in his right knee, an injury, leaving him just 12 steals shy of the all-time college basketball steals record.
Miami extended an invitation to the team’s training camp last October, but waived him six days after agreeing to a deal.
The alternate path took Weber to the Sioux Falls Skyforce of the NBA Developmental League, then a 10-day contract with Memphis before ultimately catching on with the Heat at the end of the regular season.
“I’m not here on a big time contact, I’m here to show that I am capable of playing in this league and that I can play for a long time,” Weber said. “To showcase my talent to other teams, just in case Miami doesn’t.”
In three starts, Weber has showcased his innate ability to steal the ball, leading all tournament participants in steals with 13.
During a fast break against the Orlando Blue team, Weber even displayed his athleticism, slamming home the ball off a pass from Justise Winslow.
— NBA TV (@NBATV) July 5, 2016
Weber is using his time as a chance to prove to the Heat he belongs on the team next season, as the contract he signed with the team in April only comes with a partial guarantee.
Miami only placed Weber on the floor three times for a total of nine minutes after calling him up from Sioux Falls, so impressing this summer is a must.
Tuesday, his mission was to track down every loose ball.
“I take pride in having the ball in my hands, anyway I can get my hands on it, that’s what I’m going to do,” Weber said. “For me to get a running start from the top of the key to the rim, I’m pretty sure I can jump with anybody.”
The coaching staff has taken notice.
“He made great decisions with the basketball. Our quarterback has to make smart reads, has to get us into our sets and make sure we are all organized,” Howard said. “I think today he was phenomenal.”