It’s unfortunate we have a lot of bigs on our roster. ... Mika’s been great in all our practices. He’s really good when he plays — he’s very physical, great down low, draws fouls and gets rebounds. —Miami Heat summer league coach Chris Quinn, on Eric Mika
Former BYU center Eric Mika entered the 2017 NBA draft, forgoing his final two seasons of college eligibility even though he wasn’t expected to get picked. Mika auditioned for several teams, went undrafted and is now playing — well, kind of — for the Miami Heat's summer league team.
Mika has played a total of just seven minutes for the Heat in Las Vegas.
On Wednesday, after halftime during Miami’s game against Washington, Mika didn’t participate in shootaround, but instead rebounded for his teammates. Mika did not appear in the game against the Wizards. Still, Miami coach Chris Quinn remains high on Mika.
“It’s unfortunate we have a lot of bigs on our roster,” Quinn said. “Sometimes it’s not as much about them but more about trying to give everyone an opportunity. Other bigs haven’t played for three or four games in a row, so we’re just trying to give them a chance. But Mika’s been great in all our practices. He’s really good when he plays — he’s very physical, great down low, draws fouls and gets rebounds.”
OUT BUT ENGAGED: Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell didn’t play against the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday, but was still animated on the bench — doing his best coach impression. He was instructing teammates on the court during timeouts and talking to the referees. That’s something Utah’s coaching staff, including assistant Zach Guthrie, encourages.
“You have to stay engaged in the game,” Guthrie said. “He stayed with it the whole time. No one told him to do that, but he just does it on his own. He cares, he’s passionate and he has a high care factor. He’s a kid with a lot of fiber. And I think that will take him places.”