Prediction: Haywood Highsmith is signed to a 10day contract after midnight tonight.— J Blevins (@JBlevinsNBA) January 6, 2019
Blue Coats play in Greensboro tonight but I have a feeling they wanted to announce a signing pre game (2 mic theory) but made a last minute decision to wait one more game.
If you have been following PFO, you probably already know about Haywood Highsmith. Right away in training camp, Blue Coats GM Matt Lilly specifically called out Highsmith as a pleasant surprise and a player to watch. PFO first sat down with Highsmith in October in Camden.
One of the key interests of note that we initially discussed was the process of transitioning from playing power forward in college at Wheeling Jesuit to small forward for the Blue Coats. Highsmith noted that the biggest difference was that he was typically the screen setter in college and now he is learning how to run off screens to catch and shoot.
For the uninitiated, let’s get into the very intriguing 6’7″ wing player.
JBlevins: Is there anyone interesting in the Blue Coats Organization that you’ve got your eye on?
Elton Brand: For sure, Haywood Highsmith; he’s played well. He was mentioned in an article about the top 5 guys to look at.” December 22
Elton Brand on the Blue Coats organization, Haywood Highsmith and Norvel Pelle pic.twitter.com/9RvwWP66Dh— J Blevins (@JBlevinsNBA) December 23, 2018
In 21 games for the Delaware Blue Coats, Highsmith, who turned 22 on December 9th, has 20 starts and has averaged 13.8 points and 7 rebounds to go with 2.4 assists, 1 steal, and 0.6 blocks in 33 minutes played per game.
He is shooting 40.2% from three on an average of 4.9 attempts per game.
Highsmith’s versatility and generally glowing reports as a teammate stand out. Below is PFO’s initial report on Haywood from December:
Player profile: Haywood played four years at Wheeling Jesuit, three of those in the starting lineup. Last season, Highsmith averaged 22 points per game, 12.5 rebounds per game, and 3 assists per game in 36.6 minutes per game. He showed a true shooting percentage of 60.9% while shooting 40.5% from 3 on 3.9 attempts per game. Haywood shot 75.7% from the free throw line on 6 attempts per game. He averaged a double-double for 2 straight seasons and was named Mountain East Conference Player of the Year and NCAA Division II National Player of the Year. He went undrafted in the 2018 NBA draft.
Highsmith on Buttoned Up
On December 20th, Philly Front Office had Highsmith on the Buttoned up Podcast. On the podcast, Haywood talked specifically about his role, his work ethic, and the difference in approach in his first professional season.
All signs indicate that it is just a matter of time until Highsmith is following the example of other Blue Coats players such as Shake Milton and Jonah Bolden who were able to come to Philadelphia and provide quality minutes for the 76ers.