Mailbag: Should the Heat find a way to get a pick in this year’s draft?

Kostas Antetokounmpo #14 participates in drills during Day Two of the NBA Draft Combine at Quest MultiSport Complex on May 18, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

MIAMI — It’s time for another Heat mailbag.

If you weren’t able to ask a question this time, send your questions for future mailbags via Twitter (@Anthony_Chiang and @tomdangelo44). You can also email me at achiang@pbpost.com.

@Doug2k7: Do you think the Heat should try to get a first-round pick or buy a second-round pick? A lot of teams have multiples second rounders.

Anthony Chiang: It depends. If a prospect the Heat have high on their draft board slips and they feel it’s worth making a trade to take him, then sure. Otherwise, I think Miami should just stay out of the June 21 draft. The Heat have a reputation of finding gems in the undrafted pile. Just look at Udonis Haslem, Tyler Johnson and Rodney McGruder, three undrafted guys who the Heat helped turn into quality NBA players. When I spoke to Heat vice president of player personnel Chet Kammerer at the draft combine in May, he said trading for a late first-round pick was a possibility along with trading for or buying a second-round selection. But dealing for a first rounder could be difficult for the Heat, with no draft pick to swap with another team and just a few attractive assets on their roster. And why try to get into the second round when Miami has already proven it can find quality undrafted players, who sometimes turn out to be better than most second-round picks. There are ways for the Heat to get into this year’s draft, though, if they really want to. It will just depend on if there’s a player Miami covets who slips.

“When we see somebody on the board that we like and then all of a sudden he’s still there,” Kammerer said at the combine. “Then if we like him, we’re just hoping that he gets to where we are. Or what Pat [Riley] thinks of a lot and he’s the person who makes those calls, let’s see if we can buy a pick. Let’s see if we can get a 30s pick or somewhere in the second round. So there’s a chance.

“You’re always looking for somebody that you really like that’s on the board. Like when we got Josh Richardson. We got him at 40 [in the 2015 draft]. We really had him that year in the draft like at 23. We had him as a late first-rounder. He was there and we ended up getting him at 40.”

@T0928Tucker: Is there any chance the Heat are able to move Tyler Johnson?

Anthony Chiang: There’s definitely a chance, but it’s going to cost the Heat. The price? Probably one of Miami’s young assets. To get a team to take on Johnson’s contract, which is set to spike to $19.2 million in each of the next two seasons, Miami will have to include a sweetener. And the only sweeteners the Heat have are really Josh Richardson, Justise Winslow, Bam Adebayo and a 2019 first-round pick. So here’s the real question, is Miami willing to attach one of those players in a deal just to get rid of Johnson and his expensive contract? Or should the Heat just play out the final two seasons of Johnson’s deal and keep their young assets? We’ll see.

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