With the NBA Draft less than 48 hours away, we thought it would be a good idea to take a broad look at some of the names mentioned as a possibility for the Heat at pick #31. We've already taken an in-depth look at Shelvin Mack and Nolan Smith but the players below are just a few of the names that have also been linked to the Heat.
The hottest name linked to the Heat right now seems to be 6'3'' Boston College Jr. guard Reggie Jackson. Jackson is a player on the rise as of late, and it seems all everyone can talk about is his length (7ft wingspan for a guard? Wah?). He plays more like 6'6'', and it pains me to say this – but he reminds me a lot of Jason Terry. He isn't your pure point guard, but these days, who knows what a "pure point guard" is anymore? The bigger question is if he would be a nice fit for this Miami Heat team, because his weakness may be that he isn't as "NBA ready" as some of the similar prospects. He has had knee issues in the past, which is always a concern. His 42% success rate from three point land last season has to jump right out at you as a Heat fan, though. Also he seems to enjoy playing the kind of pesky defense Miami would be looking for in a young point guard. Rumor is the Celtics do not have concerns about his knee, and he may not make it past them at #25. Some say Miami wants him pretty bad, which combined with that Celtics tidbit, may be why you recently have heard rumors about the Heat trying to buy their way back into the first round. As if beating the Heat out for Troy Murphy wasn't enough, Celtics! (shakes fist in general direction of Boston)
6'10'' Purdue power forward JaJuan Johnson is a intriguing player, mostly due to his amazing versatility for a man his size. If the Heat are going big, this is the guy I'm hoping is on the other end of the telephone Thursday night. I mean watch the tape, sign me up. JaJuan Johnson (I can't decide if it sounds like I'm stuttering or about to sneeze when I say his name) averaged 20.5 points, 8.6 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks a game last season for the Boilermakers. For a big man he has excellent ball handling skills, and as an added bonus hits just over 80% of his free throws. With the Heat team's current makeup, his jump shot could be the threat in a lot of the ways that Big Z's was meant to have been last season. I get the feeling that he falls in love with his talent once in awhile, and forgets just how big he is. He will need to work on his inside game, to compliment his unique big man perimeter skills. Picking at #31 however, you have to love that kind of value/potential combination. Plus, who amongst us can say they wouldn't enjoy to hearing Mike Baiamonte saying "JaaaaJuaaaaannnn Jooooooooohnnnsonnnnnnn"!!!
6'9'' Duke SF Kyle Singler is a player that would hard to pass up in the 2nd round. I'm not confident he will last that long, but if he does, he would be a solid pick. Singler does a lot of the things Mike Miller can do, bringing more to the court than just his outside game. He does a good job becoming part of the offense, and fights hard off the ball trying to get open. Once again, the Duke factor plays in here , he knows what it's like to play in a hostile hated environment. He gets to a lot of loose balls, and he looks all crazy doing it. His strength is the catch and shoot, so he could be a ideal compliment to one of the Big 3, when the other two are taking a breather. He could develop into the kind of off-the-bench threat Kyle Korver has with the Bulls – just kind of lurking, waiting for the ball to rotate over to him. I would have to see LeBron run him over, to truly compare him to Korver however.
Kansas guard Josh Selby is another guy you have to hope is on the board when the Heat pick. This 6'2 Jayhawks guard averaged just 8pts as a freshman at Kansas, battling foot injuries and suspensions most of the year. This might be a risky pick for the Heat, because he is so unproven, and his character is an issue. The intrigue is the combination of talent, and value here, as Selby came into Kansas with considerable hype. I get a very "OJ Mayo" type of vibe from this kid, attitude AND game wise. He loves to talk, he reminds me of Tim Hardaway in that sense. He is very proud of himself when he scores, if you get where I am going with this. With these "one and done" kids, you basically are investing a #31 pick now, for what you think would be a lottery pick three years from now – not exactly the approach I see the Heat taking. I won't be afraid to clap if they do however, and Selby won't be afraid to gyrate and flex.
Tokyo Apache International (seriously) C Jeremy Tyler is a player I wanted to give you a little background on. He is 6'11 262lbs, and skipped his senior season OF HIGH SCHOOL to travel overseas and play professionally. He originally committed to Louisville as the top rated high school player in the country. He has the size you are looking for in a guy down low, but he's barely 20. Would the Heat draft a "high school Bynum" this year? I would think they would, but how lucky are you feeling Pat? Once again, you're picking #31, sometimes you just got to put your money on red.
So those are just a few, of the many players the Miami Heat could be considering with the first pick of the second round. Which path will they take? The safer one, (Smith, Mack, Singler), or the high reward, yet riskier one, (Selby, Tyler)? It's hard to predict exactly who the Heat will take Thursday, but you can bet that it will be a tough decision they will be faced with. You would assume the time is now, and they need a piece to plug right in – but then again Pat Riley does tend to make the big exciting splash from time to time. Whomever the Heat pick, their chances of making the team are greater than in years past.
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