CHICAGO — The Heat’s scouting staff will spend a lot of time on the road leading up to the June 21 NBA draft.
That’s because the Heat don’t plan to host any pre-draft workouts at AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami this year. Instead, the team’s scouts will be on the road evaluating prospects at pro days around the country.
Why? Because without a pick, the Heat would find it hard to convince draft prospects to take time from their busy schedules to work out for them in Miami.
“Usually you bring a lot of players to Miami. This year we’re not doing that because we don’t have a pick,” said Chet Kammerer, the Heat’s vice president of player personnel who leads the organization’s NBA draft scouting team.
“Because if you’re an agent and I tell you we don’t have a pick and then I sign you up for [a workout] next Wednesday to come. And by that time, some team calls and says we have the 35th pick and we really are interested. The agent will call me up and say, ‘Hey, Chet, I’m sorry but they have 35 and they really like him.’ What am I going to say? We have no leverage. I can tell them that we might get [a draft pick], but they actually have one. So we said, ‘Let’s not even fight that.’”
Instead, Kammerer and his staff of Adam Simon, Eric Amsler, Keith Askins and Bob McAdoo, along with other members of the Heat front office will split up to attend different pro days around the country before gathering to finalize their player rankings for this year’s draft.
“We’re going to all these pro days,” Kammerer said Friday. “And when we’re there, we’re going to interview guys. So we might not have the workout in the Miami Heat facility. But we as a staff, we’re even splitting up next week. A couple guys are going there and a couple guys are going here because we’re trying to see guys and interview them for all the information. So when we sit down and put our order together, we’re ready to go. We’re going to spend so much time working.
“Do we have it all set up now? No. Because we’re still gathering. We’ve gathered information, we’ve done a lot of intel, a lot of background checks, working on that and calling people.”
This strategy is different than the one the Heat used last year when they drafted Bam Adebayo with the 14th overall pick. Miami became sold on Adebayo after his pre-draft workout at AmericanAirlines Arena.
But without a selection this year, things are different for the Heat. That made this week’s NBA combine in Chicago especially important because it brought the Heat’s front office and scouting staff together to an event to evaluate draft hopefuls.
“One thing that I think is really important is the fact that when we come here, we will get a medical on all the players,” Kammerer said of the combine. “So we will gather that information from here. The other thing is we just interviewed 20 guys over the last three days. So we have a lot of good information. We got to know them personally, we got to meet them, we got to talk with them for over a half hour. So that’s been very helpful. And then the third thing is we’re watching 45 players play again. So it’s an opportunity for those who haven’t seen some of these guys live, we have the opportunity to watch them in a 5-on-5 situation.”