The Miami Heat Beat Big Board: Wings

This is a re-post from last month…

Your Tankathon simulations were futile. Sorry. The Miami Heat will be drafting 13th.

With that finally being settled, the Heat Beat/Five Reasons crew will be rolling out some piping hot draft #content for you. We — as in myself, Greg “Leif “Sylvander, and Jack Alfonso — will kick things off with some general big boards, covering players that may be available around Miami’s range. We started with the guards; now it’s time to knock out the wings.

Tier 1

Cam Reddish, Duke, Freshman, Wing, 6’8” 218 lbs

Stats: 13.5 points, 3.7 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 36/33/77 shooting split

Considered by many to be one of the most intriguing, yet unpredictable prospects at the top the 2019 draft class. Recent reports of the potential for Reddish to slide in the draft seemed impossible a year ago. His strength as a shooter seemed to fade as the season came to a close. That dip in outside shooting, combined with questions regarding his effort, intensity and defensive IQ have contributed to him potentially being this year’s Caron Butler or Justise Winslow who slides down the board.

Let’s start with the good. Reddish displays some of the traits that have drawn comparisons to Paul George, Gordon Hayward and Rashard Lewis. He’s a versatile scorer with outside shooting touch. His catch-and-shoot ability (particularly as a trailing player in secondary fast breaks) make him an attractive option for Miami who lack wing scoring and are intent on updating offensive schemes to help find ways to get easy buckets in transition. If he reaches his potential, Reddish’s upside is that of an All Star.

His lone year at Duke may be a sign that it may take more time for him to reach his potential than some anticipated. He struggled as a third banana alongside Zion Williamson and R.J Barrett. It felt like he could never find his groove in Duke’s cramped up offense, and that was reflected in his efficiency numbers.

That being said, his size, ball handling, passing and scoring make for a strong base skill set that eventually could blossom into the ability to even initiate offense from the wing, a la PG. He has the tools to be a good defender on the wing at the pro level. His 7-1” wing span is intriguing as the Heat continue to try to build a roster that is as position-less and switch-capable as possible.

In short – Reddish could be JR Smith or the next PG or discount bin KD. If he is there at 13, some within the Heat organization with Duke ties would be heavily inclined to select Reddish. -Leif

De’Andre Hunter, Virginia, Sophomore, Wing, 6’7”, 225 lbs

Stats: 15.2 points, 5.1 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 52/44/78 shooting split

De’Andre Hunter is one of those prospects that can get you day-dreaming. Wingspan. Athleticism. Wingspan! Hunter has long arms. It may sound like a trivial thing to harp on, but it’s not. Miami’s three young guys are all versatile defenders, with the ability to guard at least two positions. Adding a guy like Hunter with his impressive wingspan, strong body, and consistent effort, could help turn the Heat into a nightmare for opposing offenses.

Hunter should be a good shooter at the next level. He also seems to be a smart guy with a feel for where to be on the floor. There aren’t any huge red flags in his game. The question for Hunter is, weirdly, upside. He’s not the youngest guy in the draft, and he’s not one of those guys who could just take over games at the college level. There isn’t much “shake” in his game, which puts a cap on his potential as a shot-creator.

I think Hunter will be a valuable role player on offense. If you’re looking for a go-to scorer, Hunter doesn’t seem to be that guy. If Miami calls his name on draft night, fans should still be thrilled. He just isn’t the sexiest prospect out there. -Jack

Tier 2

Sekou Doumbouya, France, N/A, Wing, 6’8 205

Stats (per 36): 13.9 points, 6.2 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 1.6 steals, 1.0 blocks, 47/29/76 shooting split

Oooh, buddy, am I intrigued here.

Doumbouya is raw, but he has the kind of tools (hello, 7’2 wingspan!), athleticism chops, and ball skills to make him the type of late lottery flier the Heat should consider. There’s legit point-forward potential here, and that shines through when he’s running the open floor. He’s showcased some nice reads in half-court situations, but I’d like to see a little bit more.

He’s come on pretty strong overseas over the last month or so, getting accustomed to the physicality of playing against guys much older/stronger than he is. It’s not fair to make “Next Giannis” declarations; I have some questions (that’ll come in a breakdown further down the line) that gives me pause. However, it’s hard not to be excited about his ability to handle the ball and finish inside. His length and athleticism also makes him an ideal fit in a switch-y scheme, provided he gets stronger. -Nekias

Nassir Little, North Carolina, Freshman, Wing, 6’6 205

Stats: 9.8 points, 4.6 rebounds, 0.7 assists, 48/27/77 shooting splits

Not many players disappointed relative to their pre-season hopes quite like this guy.

Little entered the season as one of the nation’s top five prospects, an tremendous athlete with an NBA-ready frame. He projected as arguably the best 3-and-D (and more) prospect in the class, but things quickly fell apart during his lone year at North Carolina.

Little showcased his athleticism in the open floor and show plus-impact as an on-ball defender. That’s pretty much where the positives ended. His lack of fluidity limited his shot creation abilities. The lack of feel reared its ugly head with questionable decisions with the ball, and a plethora of off-ball lapses on the other end.

There’s hope for him, of course. You can’t teach that kind of athleticism, and by all accounts he’s a tremendous young man with a great work ethic. The Heat would love him as a person. There’s a plus-shooter with the ability to abuse opponents on shaky close-outs in there. With more reps (and some patience), there’s potentially a good defender in there. For now, the mocks that have him going mid-late first round are well within reason.  -Nekias

Tier 3

Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Virginia Tech, Sophomore, 6’5 205

Stats: 16.2 points, 4.1 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 47/37/78 shooting split

I’m pretty confident calling NAW (boy, do I love that) one of the most skilled players in this draft. He isn’t just a good shooter, he’s a multidimensional one. He can make teams pay on spot-up attempts, come off pindowns or flares, or catch, pump, then fire off the bounce. There’s secondary creation ability to like, as he has all of the basic high pick-and-roll reads down. His ability to pull-up can hurt teams that employ “Drop” schemes”, and that’s certainly something the Heat need someone other than Josh Richardson to do on a consistent basis.

It’s cliche, but my concerns with NAW are all based on his athleticism. He just isn’t explosive, and I just worry that he won’t be the kind of three-level threat his skills should allow him to be. Airspaces will close quicker in the NBA. Teams are more physical at the rim, and he wasn’t this super elite finisher in college. He should be a fine team defender, and his near 6’10 wingspan should make him somewhat switchable. He may not be able to handle elite-quickness guys, but that’s what Josh Richardson or Justise Winslow should be there for. This would be a good value pick for the Heat if they trade back. -Nekias

Keldon Johnson, Kentucky, Freshman, Wing, 6’6, 211 lbs

Stats: 13.5 points, 5.9 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 46/38, 70 shooting split

I’m sure Bam Adebayo wouldn’t be mad about getting to play with another high-flying Kentucky Wildcat.

Keldon Johnson has a lot of tools to be excited about. He’s an impressive athlete with a work ethic that could earn the adoration of the Miami Heat coaching staff. Physically, Keldon has everything you could possibly ask for in a young wing prospect. He has the potential to be a more-than-reliable defender, and his 38 percent accuracy from behind the arc should give people hope that he can do more than just jump at the next level. If Keldon puts it together he could be a valuable 3&D player with the ability to get out and finish in transition.

I have concerns about the shooting though. He shot a solid percentage in his one season at Kentucky, but his relatively low free throw percentage may be cause for concern with regard to his jumper. He’s certainly not a natural born shooter, and if he can’t succeed as a catch and shoot guy, his offensive utility becomes incredibly limited.

Johnson has good physical tools, but doesn’t seem like a guy you can count on to break down a defense. Creation in general seems like a question mark. He’s not a great passer or shooter. He isn’t the most creative scorer. I think Johnson has a spot in this league, but with his question marks on the offensive end, I worry that Miami is not that spot. -Jack




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