CHIGAGO – The first step of the six-week grind leading up to the NBA draft is complete and the Miami Heat now are 20 interviews into the process.
The Heat contingent led by President Pat Riley, CEO Nick Arison, GM Andy Elisburg, vice president of player personnel Chet Kammerer, coach Erik Spoelstra and director of basketball development Shane Battier conducted 20 interviews, watched hours workouts and set up private workouts during their three days at the draft combine in Chicago.
Next up is Tuesday’s draft lottery in which Alonzo Mourning will represent the Heat in front of the cameras and Elisburg will be behind the scenes, about 30 private workouts in Miami and then the June 22 draft.
The Heat enter with the 14th pick and have just a 1.8 percent chance of moving into the top three.
Most of the players the Heat interviewed this week are projected to be selected in the second round or go undrafted.
Although Miami enters the draft with just one pick, it could trade into the second round.
The following list includes 17 of the 20 players who confirmed to the Palm Beach Post that they met with the Heat this week:
OG Anunoby, SF, Indiana
Jordan Bell, PF, Oregon
Chris Boucher, PF, Oregon
Thomas Bryant, C, Indiana
PJ Dozier, SG, South Carolina
Josh Hart, SG, Villanova
Isaiah Hicks, PF, North Carolina
Wesley Iwundu, SG/SF, Kansas State
Peter Jok, SG, Iowa
Monte Morris, PG, Iowa State
Jonathan Motley, PF, Baylor
Semi Ojeleye, PF, SMU
Devin Robinson, SF, Florida
Kobi Simmons, PG, Arizona.
Sindarius Thornwell, SG, South Carolina
Derrick White, SG/SF, Colorado
Nigel Williams-Goss, OG, Gonzaga
Anunoby and Boucher both tore an ACL last season. Anunoby is the highest ranked among those interviewed and is projected to be taken in the mid first round. But he still is unable to work out so the Heat did their vetting at the combine rather than bring him to Miami. He is hoping to be ready before training camp. Boucher, a projected second rounder, said his target date for full recovery is Oct. 1
The next step is to bring in about 30 players for private workouts. These workouts will include most every player projected to fall somewhere between No. 10 and 25 in the draft, among others. In other words, the player Miami takes with the 14th overall pick – assuming it does not get lucky – likely will be working out at AmericanAirlines Arena in the next month or so.
Florida State shooting guard Dwayne Bacon has a workout scheduled for Friday. Other players who said this week they expect to come in for a workout include TJ Leaf, PF, UCLA; Ivan Rabb, PF/C, California; and Justin Jackson, SF, North Carolina.
Look for players like Wake Forest power forward John Collins, Gonzaga center Zach Collings, FSU power forward Jonathan Isaac, Louisville shooting guard Donovan Mitchell, Creighton center Justin Patton, UCLA center Ike Anigbogu, Purdue power forward Caleb Swanigan, Texas center Jarrett Allen, Duke shooting guard Luke Kennard, Duke power forward Harry Giles and shooting guard Terrance Ferguson, who played in Australia last season, to work out for the Heat.
BY THE NUMBERS
The highs and lows from the anthropometic testing at the combine:
Tallest players (without shoes): Jeanne Jordan, France, 7-0.75; Thomas Welch, UCLA, 6-11.5; Omer Yurtseven, NC State, 6-10.5; Zach Collins, Gonzaga, 6-10.25; Thomas Bryant, Indiana, 6-9.5.
Shortest players: Juwan Evans, Oklahoma State, 5-10.75; Frank Mason III, Kansas, 5-11; Derrick Walton Jr., 5-11; Kadeem Allen, Arizona, 6-1; Four at 6-1.25..
Heaviest player: Kennedy Meeks, North Carolina, 276.6.
Lightest player: Kobi Simmons, Arizona, 166.2.
Lowest body fat: Devin Robinson, Florida, 3.2.
Highest body fat: Tyler Lydon, Syracuse, 13.6.
Highest standing reach: Jonathan Jeanne, 9-5.5.
Shortest standing reach: Frank Mason, Kansas, 7-10.
Largest hand width: Harry Giles, Duke, 10.75; Moritz Wagner, Michigan, 10.75.
Smallest hand width: Juwan Evans, Oklahoma State, 7.75.