Former Kentucky Wildcat DeAndre Liggins has signed on with the Miami Heat to a 10-day contract. Liggins was drafted 53rd overall by the Orlando Magic in the 2011 NBA Draft. During his rookie season, he only appeared in 17 games, averaging 1.9 points, 0.9 rebounds, 0.4 steals and 0.3 assists in 6.8 minutes per game. He was cut by the Magic after the season was over, only to be signed on by the Oklahoma City Thunder in September. With the Thunder, Liggins played in 39 games and even started one. He average 1.5 points, 1.4 rebounds, 0.5 steals, 0.4 assists and 0.1 blocks in 7.4 minutes per game. He also played eight postseason games, 1.0 points, 1.8 rebounds, 0.5 assists, 0.1 steals and 0.1 blocks in 8.5 minutes per game.
In his time at the University of Kentucky, DeAndre Liggins was a key role player in two seasons under Billy Gillispie and the lockdown defender in John Calipari’s first season. He was the glue that held that team, lead by John Wall and Demarcus Cousins, and was also a lockdown defender for Coach Cal. In fact, he was often given the assignment of guarding the opponents best player. It was this confidence, which was instilled by Calipari himself, that gave him the drive and the passion to take his game to the next level and make it to the NBA in the first place.
It his Liggins hope that he can impress the Heat staff enough to gain a long term contract. Considering his play in the NBA D-League, where he averaged 14.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 2.5 steals in 40.3 minutes per game, he has earned the chance. The Sioux Falls Skyfall D-League All-Star has 10 days to prove his worth on a team already filled with stars like LeBron James and D-Wade. If he plays anywhere close to the level he did last season for the Thunder or his one year under Calipari, this should be no problem at all. He is built for the big time. It’s now time to show it.