Heading into last nights Draft, the Heat could have done pretty much anything and nobody would've been surprised. Some people may have been expecting Michael Beasley to get shipped off, some were holding out hopes that Miami would complete some kind of sign and trade for Chris Bosh...but when all was said and done, all that went down on Thursday night for the Miami Heat was they took four players in the 2nd round. Then they traded one of them for a future pick.
Not very exciting, I know, but the draft was never going to be a major part of the Heat's big summer. I'm willing to bet that the main reason they only wanted 2nd round picks was so they didn't have to pay anyone they didn't want to. Essentially, the Heat have 3 young kids who are going to bust their asses trying to make the team that Miami doesn't have to pay yet, and gets to decide whether or not they want to pay them while not having to worry about any other team trying to lure them away or outbid them.
Are any of these players going to crack the roster? It's very possible...but mostly because they are going to come cheap and the Heat are probably going to need bodies to fill out the bench.
32nd overall pick: Dexter Pittman, center from the University of Texas.
I really didn't get this pick. If the Heat wanted to go with a big guy that is fine, but from what I saw there were more proven players available when this pick was made, including the guy many of us seemed to like, FSU's Solomon Alabi. No joke...Pittman weighed around 400lbs in high school. Since then he has dropped down to close to 300 and is considered agile for his size; he is listed at 6'10", 290.
In his senior year Pittman averaged 10.4 points on 65.4% shooting, grabbing 5.9 rebounds and blocking 1.9 shots while playing 19.1 minutes. He had a great work ethic in college, which helped him drop all that weight and I'm sure is something that Pat Riley really liked about him. He also has a great attitude, which makes me hope he does make the team.
I'm much more wary of how guys act when coming out of college and how their attitudes and personalities will translate to the NBA; you can blame Chalmers and Beasley for that because in 2+ years neither of them have done anything to win me over, but more the opposite.
41st overall pick: Jarvis Varnado, center/forward from Mississippi State University.
Probably the more impressive ‘on paper' pick the Heat made last night, Varnado left Mississippi State the all-time leading shot blocker in NCAA history with 564. Though he played center in college everything that I've seen and read have Varnado moving to play power forward. At 6'9" 230, he could potentially take the place of Joel Anthony should the Heat pass up on offering him a contract.
Varnado's senior stats: 13.8 points, 10.3 rebounds and 4.7 blocks. He is one of those guys who always seems to be around the ball when it comes into the painted area, and his defensive ability could get him some NBA minutes sooner rather then later.
42nd overall pick: Da'Sean Butler, forward from West Virginia.
Some may call this pick a bit of a gamble considering that Butler is coming off of major knee surgery, but I really like that Miami made this pick. Some of you may remember Butler as ‘that guy who tore his ACL in a Final Four game' last spring. The 6'7" ‘slashing' forward was having a great senior year, averaging 17.2 points and 6.2 rebounds while setting a new school record for minutes played (1,360 over 38 games).
What I like about Butler is that while he is known as a cutter, his shooting range is impressive. Assuming his college game translates to the NBA, the depth to his offensive game will allow for ultimate production when you think about who he will be on the court with. D-Wade plus whoever else the Heat sign next month will draw a lot of defensive attention, leaving room for other guys (like Butler) to do their thing.
The Heat used the 48th overall pick to take forward Latavious Williams before trading him later in the night to Oklahoma City for a 2nd round pick in next summers draft. At the time of the pick it was significant because Williams was the first player to be drafted out of the NBA's development league.
So there you have it, the 2010 draft class of your Miami Heat. I think its pretty cool that all three players have a legitimate chance of being on the roster when the season begins this fall. One person who is extremely happy with the Heat's draft is Pat Riley. While he is obviously going to be positive about his new players, he had this to say about his new additions:
"We feel like we drafted three first-round picks in the second round. We had all three of those guys in the first round."
I'm pretty anxious to see these guys in action. Every year you see a couple rookies playing very well who weren't top draft picks, so hopefully this season the Heat will have one or more of those players. We shall see...