MIAMI — The NBA draft is still more than a month away, but there are some names that keep sticking to the Heat in mock drafts.
We scanned a few mocks to see who others have the Heat taking with the 14th overall pick in the June 22 draft. Here’s what we found …
DraftExpress: Justin Jackson, SF, North Carolina
Another Heat first-round pick, another small forward? Miami used its last first-round pick to select small forward Justise Winslow in 2015. But at 6-foot-8 and with a 6-foot-11 wingspan, Jackson should also be able to play some power forward in the NBA, too. The 22-year-old is also experienced, which the Heat usually like. Jackson won a national title and was named the ACC Player of the Year this past season as a junior. But at 201 pounds, Jackson is going to have to put on weight to play at the next level. He averaged 18.3 points on 44.3 percent shooting from the field and 37 percent shooting from 3-point range last season.
The Heat should have no problem getting Collins to Miami for a pre-draft workout. Collins is a Palm Beach County native, as he played his high school ball at Cardinal Newman. Now, the 19-year-old finds himself as a possible lottery pick. And it’s well-deserved. At 6-foot-9, 225 pounds, Collins is a true power forward. It’s a position of need for the Heat with Bosh out and James Johnson and Luke Babbitt set to be free agents this offseason. Collins is most effective offensively in the post, which makes you wonder if his skill set is too similar to Hassan Whiteside’s to be his frontcourt partner. Nevertheless, Collins deserves to be considered at No. 14. He averaged 19.2 points and 9.8 rebounds and was named the ACC’s Most Improved Player as a sophomore last season.
Sports Illustrated’s The Crossover: OG Anunoby, SF, Indiana
This would be an interesting pick. Not only would the Heat be using another first-round pick on a small forward, but Anunoby also comes with some injury concerns. He missed the final two months of this past season with a knee injury and underwent surgery in January. But Anunoby could also turn out to be a potential value pick, as he showed impressive potential before going down. Known as an above average versatile defender, he averaged 11.1 points on 55.7 percent shooting and 5.4 rebounds in 16 games as a sophomore last season.