Mock drafts are all over the board when it comes to the Miami Heat’s pick at No. 14.
NBA.com studied 12 of them and found eight different players projected as the 14th pick in the June 22 draft. Three different mocks had the Heat selecting Indiana small forward OG Anunoby and two had them picking UCLA power forward T.J. Leaf and North Carolina small forward Justin Jackson.
Others projected to go to Miami: Duke power forward Harry Giles, Arizona power forward Lauri Markkanen, Kentucky center Edrice Adebayo, UCLA center/power forward Ike Anigbogu and Wake Forest power forward John Collins.
The site assigned a numerical value to each mock limiting it to the 14 lottery teams and came with Anunoby being taken 14th. It had Jackson going 12th to the Pistons and Denver selecting Donovan Mitchell of Louisville one spot ahead of Miami.
That means Collins, the former Cardinal Newman High standout who at one time was linked to the Heat by three different mock drafts, drops out of the lottery. Collins is projected anywhere from No. 13 to 18 by most mock drafts.
The 6-8, 232-pound Anunoby played just 16 games last season before tearing his ACL. He is considered an elite defender and draws comparisons to Spurs’ All-NBA small forward Kawhi Leonard. He could be a steal at No. 14 considering he likely would have been projected much higher in the lottery had he not been injured.
The Heat will workout and/or interview about 50 players, according to vice president of player personnel Chet Kammerer, with the process starting weeks ago at the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago.
Several prospects projected to go in the middle of the first round have come through South Florida for private workouts.
Miami’s biggest needs are a power forward/center and small forward. With James Johnson and Udonis Haslem becoming free agents July 1, the only true power forwards/centers on the roster behind Hassan Whiteside will be Josh McRoberts and Okaro White. Justise Winslow is the lone true small forward on the roster. Rodney McGruder started at the spot last season after Winslow was injured.