It’s been an interesting discussion about what Miami will do with their 20th pick in this NBA draft. A defensive guard or a back-up big seem to be the two options, but what if they already have a young big being groomed?
Kyle Alexander went un-drafted in the 2019 NBA draft, after four solid years at the University of Tennessee. The reason Miami was so intrigued by him is that he truly represents work ethic and culture. He told Knox News after he got picked up by Miami, “The Heat culture is a work ethic culture. They really grind over there. That is what I did at Tennessee. It is built into me.”
The reason I believe that there’s a chance Miami can utilize him is because he fills a lot of their holes. His strength is that he has an outstanding ability to protect the rim. In his first two games with Sioux Falls, he had a total of 15 blocks. Blocking shots is what he’s most known for defensively, but he’s also very quick and lengthy, which makes him a threat against guards on the perimeter.
Another interesting strength is that he’s a very good offensive rebounder, which could be helpful in spurts when Bam Adebayo is off of the floor. His timing is actually what many have emphasized on, which also played a part in his shot blocking.
Offensively there may be some limitations, but there are also things he can look to mirror. For one, he’s a very good screen-setter, and really knows his way around the pick and roll. He is also pretty deadly from the mid-range area, when his confidence allows him to shoot.
Pat Riley told the Sun Sentinel a few months ago, “We’ve really liked him and he’s developed…We feel he has the potential to be a prototype of today’s NBA big man.”
Draft analyst, Jonathan Givony, projected Alexander to be a late first round pick in the draft, due to the reasons mentioned prior. Many teams were worried about his size, since he’s only 6’10 with a small frame. But Riley also told the Sun Sentinal, “He’s really developed an upper body.”
This situation seems pretty similar to both Duncan Robinson and KZ Okpala. Duncan was kept under the radar for a reason during his rookie year, and we all know how that turned out. Many are expecting KZ Okpala to do the same next season, but what if Kyle Alexander does so as well?
If Miami goes the route of selecting a guard or wing in this year’s NBA draft, I believe it’ll be for the reason of another young big awaiting his moment in the NBA.
And his name is Kyle Alexander.