While I focused on some guys in this draft that should definitely be in the undrafted market in my last piece, this group of guys will make Thursday night much more interesting from a Heat perspective.
There’s a good chance they can fall through the cracks on draft night, while other mock drafts have them at the very end of the second round. As I’ve focused on in the past, if sign and trades are facilitated in the near future, Miami can have some fun in this market to fill roster spots.
These pick-ups would not be like past evaluations where they’re looking for the most upside. This team is pushing for contention, and if they’re going to pick somebody up in that department, it will be somebody who is an NBA ready prospect that is capable of producing in some way immediately.
So, let’s just hop right into 3 possible prospects that Miami should have their eye on late Thursday night…
Duane Washington Jr
6’3, 210 Pound Guard, Ohio State
When Miami’s evaluating these type of players, there must be a specific skill that stands out to them to give the player an opportunity. In most instances, that skill will be a three-level scoring ability, and Duane Washington Jr has just that and more.
There are a few names that I’ve said to focus on more than others, and Washington Jr is one of those guys. A competitive young guard who can score smoothly with the ball in his hands, but looks even deadlier without it.
His best attribute by far is shooting from deep, after a scoring leap this past season with Ohio State, where he shot 37% from three. When looking at the clips above, there’s a reason that I didn’t harp on his number one ability too much: that shooting strength is clear, while other parts seem underrated.
The gravity he held at the college level from deep allowed him to showcase his athletic finishing abilities on the move. On some of the drives above, you see some of the up and under stuff that make up a pure scorer, but also some physical attacks where he uses his body for space. That’s the stuff that makes me think he will translate well to the next level.
He’s a very capable passer when he’s reading the defense, but I don’t see that as his role on an NBA roster. If the Heat were to pick him up, I see him as a guy that will be used as a spot-up guy to start, before fully evolving into an on-ball scorer off the dribble.
For some perspective, we’re talking about a possible undrafted player with this type of skill-set. He seems like a player that doesn’t need a ton of developing to be effective, which makes me think there’s no doubt that Miami would throw themselves at Washington Jr if he gets overlooked.
6’5, 215 Pound Shooting Guard, Michigan
Chaundee Brown is a pretty interesting prospect from the Miami Heat’s eyes, due to his overall personality and play-style screaming “Miami Heat.” It seems like there’s always one of these guys in these pieces that are included just due to the comparisons with Miami’s culture, but Brown in particular has a high-level skill-set as well.
Before talking about his game, it’s important to note the true link with this name, which is Michigan head coach Juwan Howard. If this name doesn’t end up being selected in the second round on Thursday, I would bet on somebody in the Heat front office making that phone call to Howard for some information.
Aside from that, he is another one of those players that looks NBA ready. He did have a bit of a down year this past season, going from 12 PPG to 8 PPG, but the Heat love players that are willing to accept their role in any capacity.
Other than the scoring dip, he shot 49% from the field and 42% from three, but that isn’t what truly rose his stock since the end of the season. Even after not receiving an invitation to the NBA combine, he performed at an extremely high level at the G-League Elite Camp recently. And if we forget about the numbers, his game does a lot of talking when looking at the film.
He’s a super physical offensive player, can play off the ball perfectly, has a tight handle leading into a sweet pull-up, and defensive grit and toughness. Brown just looks like a guy that Miami would form into a low rotation role player, and as stated earlier, he’s a guy that would undeniably take advantage of whatever he is told.
6’6, 180 Pound Shooting Guard, South Carolina
It has been noted that A.J. Lawson wasn’t inserted into the most ideal situation over his tenure with South Carolina, but he definitely made the most of it this past season. After making no true leap from year 1 to year 2, he jumped from 13 PPG to 16 PPG this past season.
He’s a lengthy kid with a skinny frame, while his only downfall may be true consistency from deep, which improved down the stretch of the season. He’s a good passer, can handle the rock, and knows how to get to his spots on the floor. But once again, the separation piece is a two-way ability.
Lawson is somebody who is more than capable of pressuring a ball-handler all the way down the floor. But as Heat observers know, the players that can do that on Miami’s roster don’t have much of an offensive game. Lawson, on the other hand, does.
He has a wide base on his jumper and isn’t afraid to shoot the ball with a hand in his face, as seen above. Miami will be searching for system type players if they go this avenue, and Lawson seems to be just that. A guy you can put on opposing guards to hit passing lanes, while placing him into a perfectly fitted motion offense on the other end.
Of course, there are a couple layers to this topic. For one, would the Heat choose to go this route, and secondly, would these guys even play? My answer to that would be in an ideal situation for next year’s Heat team, these type of players would be playing, since that would mean Miami completed beneficial trades to improve the top of the rotation.
While the Heat seem to have an uneventful night on Thursday with no draft picks, I believe it’ll be much more interesting that you think toward the end of the second round.
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