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Grizzlies poach Briante Weber, who is still in Heat's plans (Updated)

The Miami Heat was trying to keep Briante Weber a secret, but there are few of those in the NBA, and now there's a chance they'll lose Weber for good.

The Heat identified Weber, a quick defensive-minded point guard, as an attractive prospect after Weber went undrafted in June due to ACL reconstruction recovery. Miami signed Weber in training camp, waived him and sent him down to its D-League affiliate in Sioux Falls. That, however, didn't protect Weber from NBA poachers, and Wednesday, Yahoo! first reported that the shorthanded Memphis Grizzlies were signing Weber to a 10-day contract.

According to two league sources, the Heat still has interest in bringing Weber back and elevating him to the "big" club, and will likely do so if Memphis doesn't ultimately sign Weber for the rest of the season. The Heat has two open roster spots, but was waiting to officially add a player until the second week of April, when it won't push the payroll back over the luxury tax threshold. Miami also had interest in veteran shooter Marcus Thornton, but Thornton chose not to wait for the Heat, and is signing with the Wizards. 

If the Heat loses Weber, it would be an interesting twist, considering what happened in November of 2014. The Heat, like the rest of the league, had passed on Whiteside multiple times. But after Memphis waived him for the second time in a month, Miami jumped in. The Heat then assigned him to Sioux Falls, and locked him shortly after, before another team could take the talented center away. 

The Heat, and especially coach Erik Spoelstra, has been outspoken in calling for the NBA to change the D-League system, and allow each NBA franchise to control a couple of players, beyond the 15 signed to the active NBA roster. The D-League is not like baseball's minor leagues, in which players are under the big club's control, but, rather, more like the NFL's practice squad, where teams frequently those players they are developing to other teams who are in position to elevate those players. 

 

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