There are many different ways the Heat can go in the June 22 draft.
With the 14th overall pick, the Heat should have some quality options when it’s their turn to select a player.
Or the Heat could end up using their pick as a trade chip. Miami can’t trade its 2017 first-round pick before the draft, but it can immediately trade the player they select at No. 14 after the pick is officially announced on draft night.
So what is the best possible outcome for the Heat in the draft? We answer that question in this week’s installment of the Heat mailbag.
Anil: What is the best possible outcome (it has to be realistic, of course) for the Heat in the NBA draft?
Anthony Chiang: The Heat may just end up taking the best available player with the 14th overall pick, but I still believe a power forward should be the organization’s first-round target. So in my humble opinion, picking up a stretch-four would be the best realistic possible draft outcome for Miami. There should be one available at No. 14 with prospects like Cal’s Ivan Rabb, UCLA’s TJ Leaf and Arizona’s Lauri Markkanen projected to be selected in the Heat’s range. These guys fit the mold of an NBA stretch-four and would be nice complements to center Hassan Whiteside’s physical presence inside, and Goran Dragic and Dion Waiters’ drive-and-kick game.
With Chris Bosh out of the picture and power forwards James Johnson and Luke Babbitt set to be free agents this summer, Miami needs to add depth to this position either through the draft, free agency or trade. Why not address it in the draft? The Heat’s other options are to draft a center to play as Hassan’s backup, spend another lottery pick on a small forward after taking Justise Winslow in 2015, or add another guard to a guard-heavy roster. Taking a power forward seems like the most logical option unless a top prospect at another position unexpectedly drops to the Heat.
@PurpleBuckets: Who would win a seven-game series between the 2013 Heat and the 2017 Cavs?
Anthony Chiang: Well, the 2013 Heat finished with a 66-16 regular-season record and the 2017 Cavs finished with a 51-31 regular-season record. The 2013 Heat ranked seventh in the NBA with a 100.5 defensive rating and the 2017 Cavs ranked 22nd in the NBA with a 108.0 defensive rating. The 2013 Heat had the second-best net rating in the NBA at 9.9 and the 2017 Cavs had the eighth-best net rating in the NBA at 2.9. I know these are all regular-season numbers, but it counts for something. I’ll take the 2013 Heat over the 2017 Cavs in six games. But it would be an instant classic. Watching the headband-wearing LeBron James try to get past the headband-less LeBron James would be something.