June 25, 2012; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat shooting guard Dwyane Wade (center) gives a Hublot watch to Heat president Pat Riley (right) at the 2012 NBA championship rally at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE
Miami Heat vice president of player personnel Chet Kammerer may have surprised some people when he spoke to the media today, in advance of Thursday's NBA Draft. Contrary to reports that the Heat would likely select a big man tomorrow, Kammerer said that he anticipates that it will be difficult to draft a big man with the 27th pick. He mentioned that the Heat's effectiveness in using small lineups during the NBA Finals might lead Miami to draft a versatile wing player.
The Heat's versatility was certainly a key to winning in the playoffs. Shane Battier defended players from David West to Paul Pierce to James Harden during the postseason. LeBron James, Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade and Battier - the Heat's four best players during the Finals - all defended multiple positions and spaced the floor offensively. Miami may look to continue to go in that direction with the pick. David Aldridge's mock draft predicts that the Heat will select Draymond Green, and Chad Ford's has Miami selecting Jeff Taylor. Both are the versatile wing players that Kammerer may envision complementing the Big Three.
Kammerer, Pat Riley and Erik Spoelstra may feel that this team can continue to go small because Miami defeated the Indiana Pacers, which had 7-foot-2 Roy Hibbert. If the Heat draft a wing, it may also signal that Mike Miller won't return to the team next year, either via retirement or the amnesty clause.
Miami's willingness to reject conventional thinking allowed Spoelstra to play his best players and unleash his team's versatility. With Bosh moving over to the five and James going to the four, Miami won't need to sign players like Erick Dampier or Eddy Curry anymore. Riley can now simply continue to build a team that plays to its strengths.