The Miami Heat thrives on finding hidden gems across all positions in hopes of turning them into solid contributors to a championship roster. Unfortunately, one hopeful gem, Marcus Garrett, will not finish his pre-season campaign due to a right wrist fracture he suffered against the Houston Rockets Monday night.

The second-year man had the opportunity to fill in a roster spot last season, but he suffered a similar injury to the one he’s dealing with now. Although Garrett’s chances of filling the Heat roster spot have slimmed, Coach Erik Spoelstra offered an optimistic outlook to Garrett for when his time will come.

“This is the journey for young players sometimes,” said Spoelstra. “Sometimes you just can’t predict it. Sometimes it doesn’t go how you want it to. But he has that perseverance and grit to get healthy and get back at it.”

As demoralizing as the injury is, Spoelstra doesn’t rule out the possibility of Garrett making the roster. He, and small forward Jamal Cain, have put in extensive hours during practice and proved their worth on the court, making effort plays.

Recent Undrafted players for the Heat, like Duncan Robinson, Max Strus, and Gabe Vincent, had made their impact offensively when the team needed it most. In Garrett’s case, his defensive tenacity during the Summer League put Miami’s front office on notice, leading to his second two-way deal with the South Beach franchise.

“We’re all here getting at it every day,” says Jimmy Butler on the significance of pre-season games. “Whenever you get in the game, I think that’s the easy part. You just need to maintain your conditioning and then make sure you’re in a rhythm.”

Garrett may not be involved in the rotation or even be on the roster to start the season, but his determination has earned the locker room’s respect, and he now presents himself as a ‘Next Man Up’ target.

The Heat opens its 2022-2023 season at FTX Arena against their Eastern Conference rivals, the Chicago Bulls.

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