In his NBA Summer League start with the Miami Heat, A.J. Jaquez Jr. wowed everyone with two huge dunks

Just a few weeks after becoming a professional, Jaime Jaquez Jr. is already getting a lot of attention.

The Miami Heat’s No. 18 pick, a 22-year-old guard, made a statement on the first day of the NBA Summer League when he dunked on the Los Angeles Lakers during a California Classic game on Monday. The internet went crαzy over the move.

Jamaree Bouyea threw a fast-break pass to the former UCLA star, who took two steps into the paint, jumped over two players, and slammed the ball home. As the crowd at Sacramento’s Golden 1 Center cheered, Jaquez Jr. gave Chase Audige a high-five and chest-bumped Bouyea.

Later in the game, he had another great moment when he and Drew Peterson played catch down the court and Peterson threw the ball up for Jaquez Jr. to slam the ally-oop. The rest of his team loved it. Jaquez Jr. was the 2022-23 Pac-12 Player of the Year with the Bruins. He averaged 17.8 points and 8.2 rebounds per game, which was the most on the team.

Gabe Vincent and Max Strus, who left for the Lakers and Cleveland Cavaliers, respectively, in free agency, left gaps that Jaquez Jr. will have a chance to fill. Last month, Miami was the only No. 8 seed to ever make it to the NBA Finals. Jimmy Butler said that even though they lost to the Denver Nuggets, they would be back in the title.

On Wednesday, the Heat play the Sacramento Kings in another California Classic game. They will also play starting Saturday in the Summer League in Las Vegas.

Former Hoosier Thomas Bryant Agrees to Sign with Miami Heat

Thomas Bryant has signed a two-year, $5.4 million deal with the Miami Heat. This comes after he and Nikola Jokic won the NBA title with the Denver Nuggets in 2023. The Miami Heat also got to the NBA Finals in 2023. Bryant was picked 42nd overall by the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2017 NBA Draft. He then played for the Washington Wizards for four years, from 2018 to 22. During that time, he started in 108 regular season games for them.

The former Hoosier scored a career-high 13.2 points per game in the 2019-20 season and 14.3 points per game in the first 10 games of the 2020-21 NBA season before tearing his ACL and losing the rest of the season.

Bryant was moved to the Denver Nuggets in the middle of the 2022–23 NBA season, but he didn’t get much playing time as the team won its first NBA championship.

The Miami Heat turned down Omer Yurtseven’s qualifying offer, which means the 25-year-old big man is now a free agent in the NBA and is likely done in South Beach.

This, along with the fαct that fellow Hoosier Cody Zeller left Miami for the New Orleans Pelicans in free agency, should give Bryant more playing time as the backup center to Bam Adebayo in Miami.

The Miami Heat are also said to be the favorites to trade for Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard, which means Bryant will probably play a lot for one of the NBA’s best teams next season.

Bryant played for Tom Crean at Indiana for two years. During his freshman year, the Hoosiers won the Big Ten regular season title and he scored 11.9 points and 5.8 rebounds per game. He averaged 12.6 points and 6.6 rebounds per game as a junior. During his two years at Indiana, he was the starter in all 69 games.