He can stifle opponents in the backcourt or half court with his quick hands. On offense, he can blow by defenders with his speed and quickness. If his path to the basket gets blocked, he’s shown that he can easily dish it off to a big or throw it crosscourt to an open teammate. Dunking on people is also in his bag.
Miami Heat two-way guard Jamaree Bouyea showed off all of those types of plays in Summer League play this offseason by averaging 10.2 points, 4.8 rebounds, 7.0 assists and 1.4 steals per game.
Jamaree Bouyea was a FORCE at #NBA2KSummerLeague!! 😤 He was doing it all for the @MiamiHEAT averaging 12 PTS, 7.3 AST and 6.3 REB. Check out the @SFSkyforce star's highlights! pic.twitter.com/iPZL0Wgezu
— NBA G League (@nbagleague) July 23, 2023
Bouyea sat down with Heat Nation to discuss his Summer League performance, expectations for this coming season and much more.
On a pretty stacked Summer League squad with Nikola Jovic, Jaime Jaquez Jr., Jamal Cain and Orlando Robinson, Bouyea made his mark and drew lots of attention from Heat fans.
The University of San Francisco product is confident about being able to make an impact for the Heat in any way this coming regular season.
“I’m definitely confident in myself,” Bouyea told Heat Nation when asked about how confident he is that he can play a big role. “I believe that I can help the team win games, like I said, whether it’s on or off the court, just do what I can to support this team in winning games.”
Showing off improved skills in Summer League tends to mean that a player is ready to contribute for his team in the regular season. Despite having many moments of dominance in Summer League, Bouyea still has parts of his game where he’d like to improve ahead of his second training camp with the Heat.
“I think just the all-around game, whether it’s scoring, passing, making the right reads,” Bouyea said about areas of improvement. “Definitely gonna get stronger, get in the weight room, put some pounds on, but majority just playing the right way, just making sure that I’m playing hard at all times and taking advantage of all my opportunities.”
His teammates have also taken notice of his flashes of brilliance, with Robinson calling his growth “tremendous” and pointing out his improvement as a leader and playmaker.
“When he was in college, he was a scorer,” Robinson told Heat Nation. “Now he’s a facilitator. Now he’s getting 10 assists, leading Summer League in assists and everything. So his growth, being a point guard for real is just crazy ’cause now he’s seeing, getting people open, getting me open, finding me when I’m open in the right perfect timing, getting everybody organized. He’s really become a very vocal leader out there. And just credit to him and all the hard work he’s put in.”
The Heat obviously have a strong reputation for developing undrafted talent. Gabe Vincent and Max Strus are two prime examples, and both players got paid handsomely this offseason, with Vincent getting $33 million from the Los Angeles Lakers and Strus getting about $63 million from the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Bouyea is ready to be the next one in line, saying it feels great to be with an organization like the Heat. He’s a player that is “all about winning” and now more comfortable and relaxed heading into his second year in the league. He appears to be a perfect fit for the team.
“They’ve done so well with so many other players, and I’m just trying to make the next steps to be that next guy,” the 24-year-old said. “So I think, like I said, taking advantage of all my opportunities and listening to all the coaches and all the strength coaches and just trying to get my mind right for this upcoming season to be the best player I can be.”
The Heat’s roster could look a lot different between now and the start of training camp. Damian Lillard rumors continue to circulate, and the team was also recently linked to veteran guard Edmond Sumner. No matter who is on the roster, Bouyea is ready to compete and earn a role.
He made sure to point out that every single player in the Heat organization has to earn his spot. It doesn’t matter whether it’s during the offseason when teams are allowed to carry 21 players or the regular season when teams can have 15 players on standard deals plus three players on two-way contracts.
“With the Heat, you gotta work hard and earn your spot,” he said. “And every day’s a grind. … Being ready to go and giving my all every day and not letting myself take days off is something that’s very important when it comes to training camp and throughout any season as well.”
Although Bouyea played four regular season games for the Heat last season and spent plenty of time with the Sioux Falls Skyforce, their G League affiliate, he had to watch Miami from afar in the 2023 playoffs. That didn’t stop him from being able to enjoy the likes of Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo and Vincent put on shows.
Miami’s run to the 2023 NBA Finals was magical. After a very up-and-down regular season, the Heat took down the Milwaukee Bucks, New York Knicks and Boston Celtics before being bested by the Denver Nuggets.
Being part of a similar run this coming season is definitely something Bouyea very much wants to experience. Describing himself as smart, savvy, smooth and unselfish, the California native fits in just right with everything the Heat want in their players.
Despite dreaming of scoring on players like LeBron James and shutting down players like Stephen Curry, Bouyea says his biggest goal in the league is to win a championship.
“The main goal in the NBA is winning a championship, and so being a part of a team that has a chance to go to the championship and win is something that you can’t take for granted,” he said.
It’s clear Bouyea isn’t taking anything for granted heading into his second NBA season and will do anything it takes to help the Heat win a title. He will play whatever role gets assigned to him to the best of his ability. That role might not be defined right now, but keep a very close eye on him because he might just dunk on or shut down your favorite player this season.