McGruder Inks Contract with Miami Heat


MIAMI, Fla. – Former Kansas State player Rodney McGruder has signed a free-agent contract with the Miami HEAT, the organization officially announced on Thursday afternoon. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

McGruder will become the second Wildcat to play for the HEAT, joining Michael Beasley (2008-10), who was second overall pick by the organization at the 2008 NBA Draft.

McGruder, who is currently playing for the HEAT’s Summer League team, has played parts of the last two seasons with the HEAT’s D-League affiliate, the Sioux Falls (S.D.) Skyforce. Appearing in 48 games with 44 starts, he helped the Skyforce set a new D-League record for most wins in a single season (40) in 2015-16 en route to capturing their first NBA D-League Championship in April. He averaged 15.8 points on 51.3 percent shooting (290-of-565), including 38.4 percent (93-of-242) from 3-point range, with 5.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.4 steals in 37.5 minutes per game.

McGruder led the Skyforce in points (758), field goals made (290), 3-point field goals made (93) and plus-minus (+367) and finished second in steals (66) and third in rebounds (255). In addition, he scored in double figures 40 times, including 14 20-point games and two 30-point games. In guiding the team to the D-League title, he averaged 22.7 points on 50.9 percent shooting, including 37.3 percent from 3-point range, with 5.9 rebounds in 42.3 minutes per game in the playoffs.

McGruder plays his final game in the Orlando Summer League at 9 a.m. CT on Friday (July 8) when the 3-1 HEAT plays the 3-1 Oklahoma City Thunder. He led the team in both points (14) and rebounds (8) in the 71-58 loss to the Detroit Pistons on Thursday afternoon (July 7). He is expected to play for the HEAT in the Samsung NBA Summer League from Las Vegas, which begins Friday and runs until Monday, July 18. ESPN and NBATV will broadcast all 67 games.

An honorable mention AP All-American as a senior, McGruder led K-State to its first conference title in 36 years in 2013, leading the Wildcats in eight categories, including scoring (15.6 ppg.), double-digit scoring games (29), 20-point games (11), rebounding (5.4 rpg.), starts (35) and minutes (33.5). He is one of only two Wildcats (along with two-time All-American Bob Boozer) to rank in the Top 10 in both career scoring (1,576, seventh) and rebounding (654, seventh). He is part of the winningest senior class in school history (101), while he is one of just four Wildcats to appear in four consecutive NCAA Tournaments (Steve Henson, Jordan Henriquez and Martavious Irving).

In between professional opportunities in Hungary and the D-League, McGruder has had training camp tryouts with the Oklahoma City Thunder and Boston Celtics. He also has had summer league auditions with the Orlando Magic, Charlotte Bobcats and Golden State Warriors.

McGruder joins Beasley (Houston Rockets) as former Wildcats currently playing in the NBA.