Tag Archive for: NBA Draft

Previewing the Top Five NBA Draft Prospects for 2023


The 77th regular NBA season kicked off in earnest on Tuesday 18th October 2022. The 2022-2023 season will comprise 82 games per team and is expected to end on Sunday, April 9th 2023. News on all the moves made by the teams has been made available.

As the new season begins, new players will be drafted by all the NBA teams. With the draft date set for June 23, 2023, scouts are travelling all over the world, looking for the best players. Below is the current status of the top 5 NBA draft players for the 2022-2023 season.

1. Victor Wembanyama (France)

There hasn’t been a prospect like Wembanyama for a while. His talent, physique and skillset are a thing of beauty. He is a 7-foot-4 superstar in the making capable of creating his own shot off the bounce and posting up on his opponents. Coupled with a top-performing point guard, his execution of pick-and-roll plays is amazing to watch. If you are an NBA fan, you can stay updated with his performance and general NBA odds on this page

Despite only playing 34 games in the LNB Pro-League in the 2020-2022 season, he still demonstrated his incredible potential as a two-way forward, averaging 17.6 MPG, 8.1 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 0.8 APG, 0.5 SPG, and 1.9 BPG as well as shooting 46%. Wembanyama, who was only 16 when he started playing professionally, has competed against adults for the past two seasons. 

He has shown a remarkable level of commitment to the game with his next-level competitiveness and was crowned the LNB Pro A-League’s Best Young Player in 2021 and 2022. A rare combination of size, length, mobility and skill, Wembanyama will begin his draft cycle regarded as one of the top prospects, with the chance to hold this position until draft night. 

2. Scoot Henderson (G-League Ignite)

18-year-old Scoot Henderson decided to skip his senior year at Kell High School in Marietta, Georgia, to play for the G-League Ignite team. He was the youngest player to play in the G-League. The physical attributes that Henderson possesses have made him one of the best athletes in the G-League as a teenager. These include his long arms, muscular body type, and high-level strength and speed with the ball.

As an incredible athlete with so much explosiveness, he has continued to sharpen his pull-up game, as well as his playmaking and passing skills this summer. Henderson, who averaged 24.5 MPG, 14.0 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 3.7 APG, and 1.6 SPG in 11 games for Ignite last – season, is expected to improve his performance this year. A little ball-dominant and not particularly a great passer, Henderson is still figuring out how best to be a lead guard. He has good hands on the defensive end but needs to improve. 

3. Amen Thompson (Overtime Elite)

With his abilities as a ball handler, passer, and overall creator, Amen has displayed his abilities against high-level professionals on the court, at the free-throw line, and passing off the dribble. During the three preseason games, he scored 18.6 points, grabbed 8 rebounds, made 5 assists, stole the ball 3 times, and blocked one shot and 65% of his 2-point shots. His free-throw percentage also improved to 80%, which is the highest it has been since he first came to the team. 

In addition to his explosive strides, his ability to manoeuvre through different angles and driving lanes with grace and balance is incredible. His passing ability is pristine, getting the ball to his teams with wrap-around passes and cross-kick-outs. He has yet to develop his jumper, which places him behind the top two players at this point in terms of skill set.  

4. Nick Smith Jr. (University of Arkansas)

With the ball in his hands, Nick Smith Jr. exhibits a high level of playmaking ability and creativity. He is able to change directions and gears with ease, as well as finish above the rim while showing creative instincts. The 6’4’’, 185-pound Smith has a 6’9’’ wingspan and can play bigger than his size, score in tight areas, and make sensational passes. 

As a member of the NBA superstar Bradley Beal’s AAU team, Smith led the team to the Peach Jam Finals while averaging 18.6 points per game, 3.0 RPG, and 3.0 APG. 247Sports ranked Smith the top-rated high school prospect in the country, Rivals ranked him as the best shooting guard in the country, and ESPN ranked him as the top shooting guard in the nation.  

5. Cameron Whitmore (University of Villanova)

In addition to his physicality and athleticism, Whitmore has also developed sharpshooting abilities, knocking them down in the paint. His 6-foot-6 frame allows him to take on older players easily. He is rated one of the best defenders on the court and performs well in transition because of his driving ability. He is one of the most powerful dunkers in the 2023 draft. 

Whitmore averaged 18.7 points per game, 6.3 rebounds per game, and 1.7 assists per game in 6 games at the 2021-2022 U18 America’s Championship Tournament. Additionally, he shot 63% from the field and 45.5% from three-point range. After a recent injury, Whitmore underwent thumb surgery which has cast doubts on his shooting ability going forward. 

Final Words

As the NBA Draft date draws nearer, NBA prospects will be looking to perfect all their skill sets and stay healthy as the scouts watch their games. Joining the NBA is not an easy accomplishment and will talent and strong work ethic are bound to come out on top. 


Worst Heat Draft Picks

5 Worst Heat Draft Picks of All-Time

Entering their 34th season of existence, the Miami Heat find themselves without a selection in the 2021 NBA Draft. In five previous drafts (’96, ’06, ’13, ’16 and ’18), the Heat did not make a selection of any kind. But in the years they have made selections, their hit-rate has been spotty. Miami has found itself in the draft lottery 14 times, and some of those selections represent the worst Heat draft picks of all-time.

While it remains to be seen how the 2021 NBA Draft will play out, here’s a look at the five worst Heat draft picks of all-time.


First, a Quick Look at a few Regrettable Trades

Without a pick entering the evening’s festivities, there is precedent for Miami trading into the first round. In 1996, Pat Riley reshaped the Heat roster following a playoff sweep at the hands of the eventual champion Chicago Bulls. Sound familiar?

That year, Riley sent a future first round selection to Utah for the draft rights to Martin Müürsepp. The 6-9 Estonian proved to be something of a reach and developed very little in a Heat uniform. All told, Müürsepp played 10 games for Miami before being packaged with Sasha Danilović and Kurt Thomas to the Mavericks for Jamal Mashburn.

Picking Müürsepp at 25 helped yield an impactful player for Miami, yes. But there were other, better players on the board during the 1996 NBA Draft. Namely, Jerome Williams (26), Malik Rose (44) and Shandon Anderson (54), among others.

What compounds this regrettable move is the inclusion of the 2000 1st rounder, a selection that eventually became DeShawn Stevenson.

The other bad trade came in 1992. The Heat sent their ’93 first and rookie Isaiah Morris (a ’92 second round pick) to Detroit for veteran center John Salley. Although Salley proved useful for three seasons, Miami left him unprotected in the 1995 expansion draft and Toronto plucked him.

That ’93 first Miami surrendered? It became Lindsey Hunter at No. 10. Some of the other players on the board at that time were Allan Houston (yes, that Allan Houston) and Sam Cassell.

Related: 5 Best Heat Draft Picks of All-Time

Worst Heat Draft Picks: Willie Burton (No. 9, 1990)

Worst Heat Draft Picks

Lady Luck didn’t smile on Miami in 1990. In the first year of the weighted lottery system, the Heat held the second-best odds for the No. 1 overall selection. That season, Derrick Coleman was expected to go first. Future Hall-of-Famer Gary Payton stood as the likely No. 2 pick. But instead of landing the Glove 15 years before he’d make it to Miami, the Heat slipped to No. 3.

Prior to the draft, Lewis Schaffel, first GM in Heat history, dealt that selection to Denver for the ninth and fifteenth picks that year. Schaffel said at the time the difference between third and the ninth was “not huge. There might not be any.”

There was.

Third overall turned out to be Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf (nee Chris Jackson). The Heat chose Willie Burton from Minnesota at nine. Over eight NBA seasons, Burton posted a minus-0.9 VORP (Value-Over-Replacement-Player), 39th in the class, and 9.1 Win Shares, 23rd in the class.

Burton played well as a rookie, averaging 12 PPG and earning a spot the NBA’s All-Rookie second team. But his production cratered from there. After four seasons, Miami waived him. Burton got revenge in 1994 when, as a 76er, he scored a career-high 53 points against the Heat.

Going into ’90-’91, the Heat had need at power forward and shooting guard. By swapping No. 3 and No. 9, the team missed out on Dennis Scott (4) and Kendall Gill (5). Miami could’ve used Tyrone Hill (11), too.

Miami used No. 15 overall to take guard Dave Jamerson, who they traded to Houston with their No. 30 pick Carl Herrera for power forward Alec Kessler. Other players Miami missed out on in 1990 included Elden Campbell (27), Toni Kukoč (29), Antonio Davis (45) and Cedric Ceballos (48).


Worst Heat Draft Picks: Khalid Reeves (No. 12, 1994)

Worst Heat Draft Picks

Heading into the 1994 NBA Draft, the Heat were coming of the first winning season in franchise history. As the 8-seed in the playoffs, Miami nearly upset the top-seeded Hawks, losing in the deciding Game 5 of the series. A year after not having a first-round pick, Miami held the No. 12 selection overall, the first outside the lottery.

Miami lost Brian Shaw to free agency and waived Burton, so the team needed guard depth. The promising young core of Glen Rice, Steve Smith and Rony Seikaly seemed ready to vault up the Eastern Conference and drafting Jalen Rose could have provided just the playmaker Miami needed.

But that’s not what Schaffel did. Instead of taking Rose, Miami selected Khalid Reeves at No. 12. A 6-3 scorer from Arizona, Reeves was miscast as a point guard in Miami. He provided very little production as a rookie and stood by as Schaffel and Billy Cunningham retooled the roster. Miami missed the playoffs and Micky Arison assumed controlling interest in the franchise. Arison brought in Pat Riley who included Reeves in his franchise-altering trade for Alonzo Mourning.

Reeves played six seasons in the NBA, but just one for Miami, making him arguably one of the worst Heat draft picks of all-time. He posted a 1.0 VORP (19th in class) and 8.4 Win Shares (22nd in the class).

On the board at the time of his selection: Rose (13), Aaron McKie (17), Wesley Person (23) and Charlie Ward (26).

Heat legend Voshon Lenard was drafted No. 46 overall by Milwaukee. Miami passed him over in the second round, opting instead for Oklahoma forward Jeff Webster. Riley would sign Lenard as a free agent on December 29, 1995.


Worst Heat Draft Picks: Michael Beasley (No. 2, 2008)

Worst Heat Draft PicksTo include Michael Beasley’s name on this list is to court the ire of #HeatTwitter. Beasley remains oddly beloved in Miami, despite limited production and questionable behavior.

The ‘07-‘08 Heat season couldn’t have gone any worse. Their 15-67 mark tied the expansion club for the worst record in franchise history. It was Riley’s last season as head coach and Zo’s last as a player. Dwyane Wademissed time with injuries and Shaquille O’Neal was shipped off. The second half of the season saw Miami trot out lineups that included Blake Ahearn, Stéphane Lasme, Smush Parker and Kasib Powell. The only hope was the 2008 NBA Draft.

Miami held the best odds for No. 1, which would’ve landed Derrick Rose. But at the lottery, Chicago jumped eight places to steal the first pick, pushing the Heat to No. 2. Prior to the draft, it was said that Miami preferred O.J. Mayo. The Heat were trying to trade down and get some cap relief, but when there were no takers, Miami selected Beasley.

Taking Mayo would’ve also been one of the worst Heat draft picks of all-time, considering the names following. Russell Westbrook (4), Kevin Love (5) and Brook Lopez (10) have all been far superior NBA players than both Beas and Mayo.

Beasley’s posted a 0.9 VORP (25th in the class) and 15.6 Win Shares (28th in the class) during his career. Miami moved Beasley to the Timberwolves in 2010 to clear cap space, ultimately allowing them to assemble the Big-3: Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh. Beasley’s winding career has made two stops in Miami since.

And who knows? Maybe fourth time’s a charm.


Worst Heat Draft Picks: Justise Winslow (No. 10, 2015)

Worst Heat Draft PicksAlthough #JustiseBetter was a thing for a considerable amount of time, there’s no escaping the fact that Justise Winslow remains a disappointment to Heat faithful. At the time of his selection, however, people lauded Miami’s choice.

The do-it-all forward entered the 2015 NBA Draft coming off a National Championship and even drew comparisons to (gasp) Grant Hill. But in the end, inconsistency and injuries ultimately landed Winslow among the worst Heat draft picks of all-time.

Two things color the Winslow selection beyond his underwhelming play and limited availability.

First, reports floated around immediately after the draft and in the intervening years that Boston Celtics’ GM Danny Ainge coveted Winslow so much that he offered a package of six draft picks to trade up. This offer was reportedly made to Detroit, which held the No. 8 pick, Charlotte (No. 9) and Miami (No. 10). All three teams rebuffed Boston, opting instead to draft Stanley Johnson, Frank Kaminsky and Winslow in succession. In retrospect, Miami might have done well with six additional picks, including four firsts.

Second, Miami missed out on a potentially franchise-altering player in Devin Booker, who went No. 13 to Phoenix. Some of the others on the board between Winslow and Miami’s second round pick (No. 40, Josh Richardson) included Myles Turner (11), Kelly Oubre Jr (15), Terry Rozier (16), Delon Wright (20), Bobby Portis (22) and Montrezl Harrell (32).

Miami traded Winslow on February 6, 2020 in a three-team deal that saw the Heat land  Jae CrowderSolomon Hill and Andre Iguodala. Those three helped propel Miami to the 2020 NBA Finals.

Winslow, meanwhile, has posted a minus-0.2 VORP (32nd in the class) and 7.0 Win Shares (25th in the class) over six spotty seasons.


Worst Heat Draft Picks: Harold Miner (No. 12, 1992)

Worst Heat Draft PicksThe 1992 NBA Draft stands as a turning point in league history. Orlando won the lottery and the right to select Shaq, while Charlotte moved up six spots to land Zo. Minnesota slipped to No. 3 overall, settling for Christian Laettner.

The Heat held No. 12 after making the franchise’s first playoff appearance. The Bulls swept Miami out of the first round that year, so it’s fitting that the Heat wound up with “Baby Jordan.”

Harold Miner earned Sports Illustrated’s player of the year over Laettner, Mourning and O’Neal in 1992, averaging 26.3 points- and seven rebounds-per-game for USC. Most mocks had Miner as a top-10 pick, some going as high as No. 3. So it was a surprise for him to be there when Miami picked at 12.

At the time, Miami needed another rebounder and frontcourt enforcer to compliment the young core of Rice, Seikaly and Smith. The quintessential Heat enforcer was on the board, too. P.J. Brown went 29th to New Jersey. Instead, Miami opted for Miner, who never really fit.

Miner played three unremarkable seasons with the Heat (save for his two Slam Dunk Contest victories). He posted a minus-0.9 VORP (42nd in the class) and 4.2 Win Shares (29th in the class). Miami traded him to Cleveland in 1995 as part of a second-round pick swap.

Among the other players on the board at No. 12 besides Brown: Anthony Peeler (15), Doug Christie (17), Hubert Davis (20) and four-time All-Star Latrell Sprewell (24).

What makes Miner arguably the worst of the Heat draft picks of all-time is that Sprewell probably changes the trajectory of the franchise at that point. He was immediately an elite defender and quickly became a go-to scorer. He might’ve been the missing piece for the franchise’s initial young core.


Heat’s Strange Connection to the 1992 Draft

Ironically, the Heat rostered eight of the first 10 players selected in the 1992 draft: O’Neal, Mourning, Laettner, Jim Jackson, LaPhonso Ellis, Walt Williams, Todd Day and Clarence Weatherspoon.

Beyond those eight, there was also Miner, Brown, Don MacLean (19), Matt Geiger (42), Sasha Danilović (43) and Matt Fish (50). Miami drafted Isaiah Morris in the second round (37) but traded him to Detroit as part of the package to acquire Salley in ‘92. That makes 15 of 48 players (31 percent) who actually played in the NBA from this draft were one-time members of the Miami Heat.

Also of note, the Heat’s selection of Geiger with the No. 42 overall selection came thanks to a trade made with the Los Angeles Lakers. In a pre-expansion draft deal on June 23, 1988, LA sent a future 1992 2nd round pick to Miami ensuring the Heat would not select Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in the expansion draft.

Related: NBA Lottery Mock Draft: Cunningham and company

Best Heat Draft Picks

5 Best Heat Draft Picks of All-Time

The Miami Heat hold a checkered history when it comes to the NBA Draft. Whittling down the list to the five best Heat draft picks of all-time can be difficult, though there are some obvious choices.

With first round picks often flipped for veteran players, the number of years draft night held any intrigue in Miami remains small. In 33 seasons, the Heat held a spot in the draft lottery 14 times (not including 1988). Two of those lottery selections were shipped to other clubs prior to the draft. Five times, draft night came and went without a pick from the Heat (’96, ’06, ’13, ’16 and ’18). On seven other occasions, Miami made only second round selections (’93, ’98, ’00, ’01, ’09, ’10 and ’11).

Miami has made 58 draft selections over the years. But only two players drafted by the franchise have become NBA All-Stars in a Heat uniform. More often than not, draft picks provide momentary hope, before becoming assets sent to other teams for other stars.

So here’s a look at the five best Heat draft picks of All-Time.


Best Heat Draft Picks: Josh Richardson (2015, 40th overall)

Best Heat Draft Picks

Tennessee’s Josh Richardson / Credit: UT Athletics

The Miami Heat have a long track record of developing talent. The list of undrafted free agent success stories is a long one. But the team’s success rate on second round picks remains less favorable. Of the Heat’s 58 draft picks all-time, 34 have come in the second round. The best of those picks came in 2015, when the Heat selected Josh Richardson with the 40th overall selection.

A 6-5 combo guard out of Tennessee, Richardson went on to play four years in Miami. Richardson’s metrics improved with each season as he became a staple in the Heat’s rotation. His 419 career three-pointers made rank 10th all-time in franchise history. Sometimes miscast as a playmaker, Richardson remained a reliable defender throughout his time with the Heat. Richardson headlined the trade package that landed Miami Jimmy Butler in 2019.

Even though he was the 40th pick of the 2015 NBA Draft, Richardson stands among the most productive players from that draft class. He’s top-10 from that class in Win Shares (20.3). And his 4.1 VORP (Value over Replacement Player) ranks 12th among the 60 selections, 20 slots ahead of Miami’s other selection that season, Justise Winslow.

Related: Some Possible Undrafted Gems that Miami Should Have their Eyes On


Best Heat Draft Picks: Rony Seikaly (1988, 9th overall)

Best Heat Draft Picks

June 28, 1988 the Heat made the 1st pick in team history, choosing Rony Seikaly 9th pick in the NBA Draft. (via: Miami Heat Instagram)

Rony Seikaly’s name remains forever etched in Heat history. The first ever draft selection by the franchise, Seikaly proved to be a valuable cornerstone player in Miami’s early years.

The ninth overall selection of the 1988 NBA Draft, Seikaly played six seasons with the Heat. He averaged 15.4 points-per-game and 10.4 rebounds-per-game, and won NBA’s Most Improved Player award in 1990. Seikaly anchored Miami’s first playoff teams and his name still dots the top-10 in 22 statistical categories.

But a falling out with then-managing partners Lewis Schaffel and Billy Cunningham ultimately paved the way for a franchise-altering rebuild. Seikaly was shipped off to Golden State for Sasha Danilović and Billy Owens on November 2, 1994. That deal was quickly followed with another that saw Steve Smith and Grant Long sent to Atlanta. Suddenly, the initial promising young core in Heat history was no more.

Seikaly finished his career as the second-best rebounder and eighth-best scorer from the 1988 class. Ironically, the Heat rostered the top three rebounders from this class, including the overall leader Anthony Mason and Long. In a redraft of that class, Seikaly could arguably go as high as fifth.


Best Heat Draft Picks: Bam Adebayo (2017, 14th overall)

Best Heat Draft Picks

Bam Adebayo and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver at the NBA basketball draft, Thursday, June 22, 2017. (Photo Credit: AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

The Heat landed in the 2017 NBA lottery despite the 30-11 second-half. Miami found itself eliminated from the playoffs on the final day of the regular season, missing out thanks to a tie-breaker. And although that 30-11 run mucked up the Heat’s salary cap for years to come after some (highly) questionable free agent decisions, the Heat landed one of the franchise’s best and most impactful draft picks of all-time.

Bam Adebayo came to Miami via the 14th overall selection in 2017 NBA Draft. And although the move was panned by many at the time, Adebayo has grown into a franchise cornerstone in the intervening years. Only he and Dwyane Wade boast All-Star bids as draftees of the Heat. He’s also a two-time All-Defensive player and one of five in Heat history to make the Team USA’s Olympics roster. If he remains with the club long-term, there’s no doubt Adebayo’s name will rewrite the franchise record book.

As it stands right now, Adebayo ranks first from the 2017 class in Win Shares, ahead of Jayson Tatum, Donovan Mitchell and all the others. He’s second in VORP. There’s no doubt Adebayo, the 14th pick overall, would be in the top-3 in a 2017 redraft.


Best Heat Draft Picks: Glen Rice (1989, 4th overall)

Best Heat Draft Picks

(Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

Coming off an inaugural campaign that saw the Heat win just 15 games, Miami landed its first true star in the 1989 NBA Draft. The Heat labored through that first season, playing in the Western Conference as part of the Midwest division with Dallas, Denver, Houston, San Antonio and Utah. And despite having the worst record in the league by five games, the Heat slipped to fourth the draft lottery. The Kings, Clippers and Spurs all jumped Miami in the draft order.

But what resulted is arguably the second best Heat draft pick of all-time: Glen Rice. The face of the franchise for six seasons, Rice lead Miami’s young franchise to its first playoff berths and winning season. He became the Heat’s first-ever 20-point-per-game scorer and would have been the NBA Rookie of the Year had 1987 draft pick David Robinson not missed his first two seasons for military service.

A three-time All-Star and one-time NBA Champ (albeit not with the Heat), Rice won the NBA Three-Point Shootout in 1995, the first of four Heat players to do so. Rice remains among the franchise top-10 in 26 different statistical categories, including top-3 in scoring (9,248). Rice became the centerpiece in Pat Riley’s trade for Alonzo Mourning on November 3, 1995.

Rice ranks fourth among the 1989 draftees in Win Shares (88.7) and fifth in VORP (24.9). But in a redraft of that class, Rice arguably goes first overall. That class also featured a great second round pick by Miami in Sherman Douglas. Heat legend Tim Hardaway also entered the NBA that year, going 14th to Golden State.


Best Heat Draft Picks: Dwyane Wade (2003, 5th overall)

Best Heat Draft Picks

(Victor Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images)

This one goes without saying. The Heat landed Wade with the fifth overall selection in the loaded 2003 NBA Draft, arguably the league’s best draft class of all-time.

The lottery sported all the intrigue that year, considering the hype surrounding then-high school phenom LeBron James. Miami finished the 2002 season with the fourth-worst record in the league, but saw themselves pushed down in the draft order when Memphis jumped to the No. 2 overall pick.

Unfortunately for Memphis, their pick was only lottery-protected if it landed No. 1. So, thanks to an ill-fated 1997 trade as the then-Vancouver Grizzlies for Otis Thorpe, it went to Detroit. The Pistons, meanwhile, used the second overall selection to surprisingly take Darko Miličić. Carmelo Anthony went to Denver, Chris Bosh to Toronto. Wade landed right in the Heat’s lap.

This fortuitous turn of events altered the trajectory of the Heat franchise and really NBA history. Had Miami not been jumped in the draft order, Riley might have taken Bosh over Wade. There was even talk of Chris Kaman being the selection at five. Thankfully, Wade was the pick.


Among that class, Wade ranks second in Win Shares (120.7) and VORP (62.8). There’s no doubt he’d be the second overall selection in a 2003 redraft. Wade ranks first among Heat career leaders in 19 statistical categories and among the top-10 in 17 others.

Three championships and countless memories later, Wade remains the only player ever drafted by Miami to have his number retired. He stands atop the list of the Heat’s best draft picks of all-time.

Related: Answering Your Questions: What is Next for the Miami Heat?

Miami Heat Draft Notes from Media Session Day 2

Today’s media session with NBA draft prospects included more players in the Miami Heat’s range.

The name that surrounded the Miami Heat the most was Precious Achiuwa, since he mentioned that he worked out with them.

Precious definitely is a very intriguing prospect for Miami, but I’m not so sure he will still be on the board by pick 20.

And although I think he will be a very solid NBA player, I just don’t believe he’s the best fit for the Heat. A power forward should not be the route Miami will lean towards, since a true center will be more enticing. But obviously they know he’s talented since they worked him out, so we will see what happens.

Theo Maledon, Tyrese Maxey, and Devin Vassell did not work out with the Miami Heat. Vassell should be a lottery pick, so that makes sense, but it was interesting to hear that Theo or Tyrese didn’t. Tyrese only worked out with one NBA team thus far, which was the New Orleans Pelicans. And I’ve discussed that Theo won’t be a player Miami would go after since he’s more of a project than an immediate fit.

Jalen Smith and Patrick Williams are two guys that have been discussed as possibilities as well, but neither would disclose the teams that they worked out for.

Jalen Smith talked about his intriguing shooting abilities, which includes more than just the standstill jump shot.

Patrick Williams gave a very Miami Heat type quote, when he mentioned he wants to help a team more than achieving personal accolades. He also said that his biggest strength is his versatility, and mentioned “I think you saw it a lot with the Miami Heat in the finals since they played with all guards.”

All of these guys will be considered if they’re still on the board at 20, even if they didn’t workout with Miami. And we will see which route Miami ultimately elects to go.

Some Miami Heat Draft Notes from Media Session Day 1

There were a bunch of top picks in this NBA draft that spoke with media today about their games and different teams they have spoken with.

The one that stood out the most for the Miami Heat was Aaron Nesmith, since he mentioned Miami was one of the five teams that he had a workout with.

I do believe there’s a good chance that he will be selected earlier, since he is one of the best shooters in this draft. He continually mentioned his best attributes are shooting the three ball and his all around defensive abilities.

A 3 and D guard will definitely be on Miami’s radar, especially one with his type of talent.

Another guy that talked with media and could possibly fall to Miami is Saddiq Bey. I wrote about him back in June as a target for Miami, since I don’t believe there’s a better fit for their culture. He’s gritty, tough, and can also give Miami that 3 and D role.

He mentioned that he has no preference for a specific role, since he will do whatever a team wants him to do. And that pretty much sums up the Miami Heat’s situation exactly, since there are spots they could possibly plug him into.

And of course he had to give a very Miami Heat-esque answer when asked about his main priority upon arrival, which he responded “helping the team win.”

The last guy that spoke with media that Miami has a shot at was RJ Hampton.

In my opinion, a couple things stood out from his interview. For one, he is one of the most confident players in this draft. I believe his stock took a bit of a hit since he played overseas, which led to his scoring numbers taking a dip, but that shouldn’t be the case.

He mentioned the fact that he was a top 5 player coming out of high school, and the international route polished up his all around game. He was 19 years old playing against pros and played pretty well. As he said, some people are more worried about the “oohs and ahs,” but he just plays to get better.

Then he gave the Miami Heat quote of the day, saying when going overseas, you must be willing to “Get less of the hype and more of the work.”

The Miami Heat were not one of the teams that he worked out with though, but anything can happen in this very unique NBA draft.

It’s clear Miami has many options with this 20th pick, and I believe all three of these guys will be considered if available.

Miami Heat Draft

Heat Draft History: Mid-First Round Picks

Believe it or not, the next NBA season is right around the corner. It’s draft week over at Five Reasons Sports as the Miami Heat prepare for Wednesday’s NBA draft.

Is the 2020 NBA Draft A Good One? Listen to Five On The Floor!

The Heat hold the No. 20 pick in the draft. They don’t own their second-rounder this year thanks to the deal that landed Miami Zoran Dragic on back in 2015.

The Heat don’t have a long history with mid-first round picks, considering they’ve either been contending or rebuilding for much of their 32-year existence. They’ve made just five selections between picks 15 and 25, despite having 12 selections in that range over the years.

The NBA draft itself remains a crapshoot. Lottery talents flop while second round picks become revelations. While there haven’t been a ton of mid-first round picks in franchise history, the Heat’s history in the draft is spotty, especially in this range.

*For the purposes of this discussion, a mid-first round pick will (admittedly arbitrarily) be those between No. 15 (the first non-lottery selection) and No. 25.

Heat Draft History: Mid-Round Selections

Kevin Edwards

Far and away the best pick for the Heat in the mid-first round remains Kevin Edwards. The Heat landed the No. 20 overall selection in an expansion draft deal with Dallas. Miami agreed not to select Bill WenningtonUwe Blab or Steve Alford from the Mavericks in exchange for their 1988 first-round pick.

That’s right. They landed Kevin Edwards for not picking Uwe Blab.

(Side Note: Miami landed second-round picks in other expansion draft deals, too, including agreeing not to pick Kareem Abdul-Jabbar from the Lakers or Dennis Johnson from the Celtics.)

Edwards led the expansion Heat as a rookie with a 13.8 scoring average and with 139 steals. A combo guard, Edwards continued as a regular starter through 1990. In 1991, he shifted to a sixth-man role. All told, Edwards played the first five seasons of his 11-year career with the Heat and seemingly started the do-it-all-undersized-two-guard archetype for the franchise. He finished his Heat career averaging 12.2 points, 3.2 assists and 1.6 steals-per-game in 357 appearances.

Tim James

The Heat wouldn’t hold another mid-first in the draft until 1999. That year, they used the No. 25 pick to take Tim James out of the University of Miami. James became the first local product to make his way to the Heat. He played high school ball at Miami Northwestern before joining UM. With the Hurricanes, James ended his career ranked fourth in scoring (1,713 points), fifth in rebounding (856) and second in blocks (224).

But his time with the Heat would be short lived. Heat head coach Pat Riley had James bulk up and that largely robbed the 6-7 wingman of his elite athleticism. He played just four games with Miami, scoring a total of 11 points. James was then part of the blockbuster deal with Charlotte that saw the Heat land Anthony Mason and Eddie Jones in 2000.

James would play in the NBA for two more seasons before enlisting the US Army for four years. During his tours in Iraq, James reportedly never told the other soldiers about his NBA career. After that, he bounced around the world playing pro ball. The Heat honored James in 2011 as part of their Home Strong program.

Interestingly, James wore the No. 40 while with the Heat, a number now worn by another South Florida high school basketball legend, Udonis Haslem.

Dorell Wright and Daequan Cook

Miami’s next mid-first round selection came in 2004. That year, the Heat took Dorell Wright out of Leuzinger High School in Lawndale, CA. This marks the only time in franchise history the team selected a high school player.

Wright appeared in three games as a rookie in 2004-05, scoring a total of seven points. Wright would play parts of six seasons with the Heat and was the youngest player on the team’s first NBA championship. He wouldn’t break into the rotation until his third season, when he played 66 games, scoring six points with 4.1 rebounds- and 1.4 assists-per-game.

Injuries and inconsistent opportunity kept Wright from fully developing with the Heat. Ultimately, Wright put up 6.3 points and 3.0 rebounds-per-game on 46 percent shooting in 211 games with Miami. When he left for Golden State in free agency in 2010, Wright vaulted to another level. He averaged a career-high 16.4 points-per-game that season, starting all 82 games.

In 2007, the Heat entered the draft with the No. 20 pick and took Jason Smith, a stretch big out of Colorado State. They flipped Smith to Philadelphia for the No. 21 selection, Daequan Cook, cash and a 2009 second rounder.

(That second round pick, incidentally, was later dealt to Minnesota in 2008 for none other than the goat, Mario Chalmers.)

Cook played the first three seasons of his six-year NBA career in Miami. His most notable moment was becoming the third Heat player to win the Three-Point Contest at All-Star Weekend. He proved to be a solid role player for a time, averaging 8.8 points as a rookie and 9.1 points in his second season. He was limited to just 45 games his third year before being dealt to Oklahoma City that offseason.

Wheeling and Dealing Mid-First Round Draft Picks

The Heat have always been willing to deal draft picks, particularly their mid-first round picks. Even in this draft, Miami may deal the pick, according to Five Reason’s Ethan Skolnick.

In 1990, the Miami Heat held the 3rd overall selection in the draft after an 18-64 season. The team traded the No. 3 (which became Chris Jackson, later Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf) to Denver for the No. 9 and No. 15 selections. Miami turned those picks into Willie Burton and Dave Jamerson.

Jamerson wasn’t around long, though. He and the No. 30 overall pick (a second rounder then), Carl Herrera, were sent to the Houston Rockets for the No. 12 pick, Alec Kessler.

Kessler became the first player in Heat history to wear the No. 33, now retired for Alonzo Mourning. He played all four seasons of his career with Miami, averaging 5.2 points- and 3.2 rebounds-per-game in 210 appearances.

In 1996, the Heat’s first round pick, No. 16, went to Charlotte as part of the Mourning/Glen Rice trade. The Hornets used the pick to take Tony Delk out of Kentucky. Later in that draft, Miami made an ill-fated deal with Utah for the rights to the No. 25 selection, Martin Müürsepp.

The 6-9 power forward remains the only Estonian player to ever make an NBA appearance. The Heat sent a future first for Müürsepp, who played a grand total of 10 games and scored 17 points for Miami. The Heat then shipped Müürsepp to Dallas with  Sasha Danilović and Kurt Thomas for Jamal Mashburn at the trade deadline that season.

Mid-First Round Draft Picks the Heat Dealt Away

Miami’s 1998 first rounder (No. 22) went to the Los Angeles Clippers with Isaac Austin and Charles Smith for Brent Barry. The Clippers would draft Brian Skinner with that pick, ahead of Ty Lue, Nazr Mohammed, Al Harrington, Rashard Lewis and Rafer Alston, among others.

In 2000, the pick Miami sent to Utah for Müürsepp turned into DeShawn Stevenson for the Jazz.

The Heat’s No. 20 overall selection in 2001 went to Cleveland as part of a complicated three-team trade that saw Shawn Kemp flip to Portland and Brian Grant come to Miami. The Cavs selected Brendan Haywood ahead of the likes of Gerald Wallace, Samuel Dalembert, Jamaal Tinsely, Tony Parker and Gilbert Arenas.

In 2009, the Heat’s No. 18 pick in the first round went to Minnesota as part of the Ricky Davis/Antoine Walker trade. It was the second time the Heat had acquired Davis via trade. The No. 18 pick that year became Ty Lawson.

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2010 saw the Heat package Daequan Cook and the No. 18 overall selection for Oklahoma City’s second rounder. This move cleared out addition cap space to help make the Big-3 Era possible. The second-round pick Miami acquired became Dexter Pittman. The No. 18 pick that year was Kentucky’s Eric Bledsoe.

In 2016, the Heat lost their No. 24 overall pick to Cleveland, thanks to the sign-and-trade deal for LeBron James. The Cavs selected Timothé Luwawu-Cabarrot ahead of Pascal Siakam and Dejounte Murray.

Finally, in 2018, Miami saw their No. 16 overall pick head to Phoenix as part of the Goran Dragic deal. The Suns would select Zhaire Smith. The Heat also stands to lose their 2021 first round draft pick in this deal.

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Another Possible Miami Heat Draft Night Surprise

The 2020 NBA draft will be taking place on October 16th, which will be one of the most interesting drafts in recent history. There is a lot of unknown involved when dealing with scouting and drafting already, but this takes it to a whole other level.

The 2020 draft will be the least scouted draft in the history of the NBA. Players did not have the luxury of playing in March Madness which is one of the many important scouting factors. Draft workouts could end up going virtual as well, which automatically gives scouts less of a feel for these young prospects.

One of the most interesting things to look out for is that teams may not want to deal with it at all, and try and turn it into a 2021 draft pick. Don’t be surprised if some teams make a poor deal just to get the pick out of their possession.

With the Miami Heat, it’s a coin flip on whether they will draft or trade the pick. They’re always going to be open to trading it either to close a big deal or to trade away a bad contract. But with many teams looking to trade away their first round picks, the Heat could make a major trade to secure their perfect prospect, Saddiq Bey.

Saddiq Bey is a 6’8 wing out of Villanova who could’ve been even higher of a pick if he was able to show his talents in the tournament. He’s a textbook 3 and D guy that has shown flashes to be even more than that. He shot 45% from three on 5 attempts per game. Saddiq has a chance not only to be the best shooter in this draft, but also the best defender. He can guard anybody from a 2 to a 4 and shut down some of college basketball’s best scorers including Markus Howard, Devon Dotson, and more. Here’s a look…

If you were to ask a coach of his or even a scout about him, they’d probably start with the word physical. He has that Miami Heat grit to him with not only his physicality, but his high energy. He plays with the same type of energy that Bam Adebayo played with in college. And the most interesting connection to the Miami Heat is his very similar play style to Jae Crowder. The toughness, the scrappiness, the 3 and D role. And with Jae Crowder’s contract up this offseason, he could be the perfect replacement to not only fill his role, but also save the Heat money. The only question is, do they have enough tradable assets to secure a top pick.

Though it may be a long shot for the Heat to trade up like this in the draft, if there was ever a time to do it, it’d be this year. The Heat haven’t took the traditional pick in their last two lottery pick selections, and those two players ended up being Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro.

So don’t be surprised if the Miami Heat shock Heat fans in an even different way on draft night this year.

2020 NBA Mock Draft Plus Possible Miami Heat Picks

There are many players drawing uncertainties as they enter the NBA draft this coming year. Since teams are unable to see the players true colors during March Madness, everything seems up in the air about guys. Even though it seems as if the draft will most likely be pushed back, here’s a mock draft using the current standings.

1. Golden State Warriors: Anthony Edwards

  (Georgia, SG, 19 PPG)

Anthony Edwards is the best prospect by far in this draft since he already has a polished game that’ll translate well into the NBA.


2. Cleveland Cavaliers: LaMelo Ball

(Illawarra Hawks, PG, 17 PPG)

LaMelo Ball has the most potential out of any prospect in this draft, while being such a confident scorer, he has great vision averaging 8 assists per game.


3. Minnesota Timberwolves: Obi Toppin

(Dayton, PF, 20 PPG)

Obi Toppin is a high flying and super athletic player, who is most known for his vertical and dunk packages, while his shooting has gone majorly underrated after he improved his three ball in his last ten games.


4. Atlanta Hawks: Deni Avdija

(Maccabi Tel Aviv, SF, 12 PPG)

Deni is an outstanding shooter and has a great IQ for the game, and would fit in nicely next to Trae Young to try and make a Curry and Klay type of backcourt.


5. Detroit Pistons: James Wiseman

(Memphis, C, 20 PPG)

James Wiseman has a great feel once he gets the ball in his hands inside the paint, and would replace Drummond perfect as they can build around an improving 20 year old center.


6. New York Knicks: Cole Anthony

(North Carolina, PG, 19 PPG)

Cole Anthony is a very explosive point guard that would give the Knicks a fun young player to watch, who has the guts to play in a city like New York.


7. Chicago Bulls: RJ Hampton

(New Zealand Breakers, SG, 9 PPG)

RJ Hampton is another all around player with great scoring and passing ability, but his draft stock fell once he didn’t get as many minutes as he would’ve liked overseas.


8. Charlotte Hornets: Killian Hayes

(France, PG, 13 PPG)

Killian Hayes has major upside and has an opportunity to get even drafted higher with his slashing and passing abilities, and while Devonta Graham has had a great year, moving him to the 2 might be better as he has been a great three point shooter the past year.


9. Washington Wizards: Onyeka Okongwu

(USC, C, 16 PPG)

Okongwu has been turning heads since he played with the Ball brothers in high school, and putting his athleticism and defensive versatilities next to Wall and Beal would be a great start for the next couple of years.


10. Phoenix Suns: Tyrese Haliburton

(Iowa State, PG, 15 PPG)

Tyrese Haliburton has unbelievable passing abilities, and is able to play off the ball which would complement Devin Booker perfectly, and give them a young PG which is what they need.


11. San Antonio Spurs: Issac Okoro

(Auburn, SF, 13 PPG)

Issac Okoro is by far the best defensive wing in this draft and can guard all 5 positions at times, which will fit into the Spurs system perfectly.


12. Sacramento Kings: Tyrese Maxey

(Kentucky, SG, 14 PPG)

Tyrese Maxey is a player that doesn’t lack an ounce of confidence on the court with the ball in his hands, while he is streaky with his shooting ability, he would be a great spark off the bench for the Kings to replace Fox or Hield.


13. New Orleans Pelicans: Precious Achiuwa 

(Memphis, PF/C, 16 PPG)

Precious Achiuwa likes to establish himself in the paint at all times which causes him to draw many fouls by the basket, and he is also one of the best rebounders in this draft at only 6’9.


14. Portland Trail Blazers: Devin Vassell

(Florida State, SF, 13 PPG)

Devin Vassell is one of the top shooters in this draft class and can defend both the perimeter and paint at a high level, which will entice the Blazers to put him next to Lillard and McCollum.


23. Miami Heat: Vernon Carey Jr

(Duke, C, 18 PPG)

Vernon Carey is a South Florida native who grew up around the Heat as he turned heads constantly in high school. He uses his size inside the paint to score, but has one of the best big man passing abilities in the draft. Having a center come off the bench who can rebound at a high level would be perfect for Miami, which is where they struggle at times.

Miami Heat draft Tyler Herro, fans not thrilled



Bol Bol.

Three high upside players, which the Miami Heat need.

Even Brandon Clarke, the so-called safest pick.

Plenty of players thought to be Heat options were available at No. 13.

Pat Riley, however, went back to his alma matter, for a player — swingman Tyler Herro — who was projected in the 20s until recently.

Miami has done good work in the draft the past four years, so maybe this works out.

Herro was certainly happy.

But the initial reaction was mostly skepticism.

Early polling on @5ReasonsSports had about 75 percent of the fans against it.

Nor was there much excitement in the main bowl of AmericanAirlines Arena, where the Heat were hosting a draft party.


More on a podcast posting soon, plus comments from Herro and Pat Riley.

Miami Heat’s draft night gets busier

Refresh our memories.

When is the last time the Miami Heat were the team giving up cash considerations?

Maybe it’s happened recently, but it doesn’t come to mind. The Heat have been in cost-saving, more than cost-adding, mode since the middle of the Big Three era — but apparently they like some of the prospects in this draft enough to pony up a little.

Here’s the trade they just made:

What’s interesting about this deal is that the Heat have done such an incredible job of developing undrafted players of late that it hasn’t seemed necessary to stockpile second round picks.

But apparently, the Heat scouts are intrigued by the depth in this year’s draft. And they also may see a need. The team’s depth, particularly in the backcourt, has already been thinned by the cost-related subtractions of Rodney McGruder, Tyler Johnson and Wayne Ellington — plus the retirement of Dwyane Wade.

Look for coverage from American Airlines Arena — on this website and on podcasts — from myself (Ethan Skolnick) and Alphonse Sidney. That will include a recap of Pat Riley’s remarks, which now figure to occur early Friday morning, when everything is over.