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Reports diverge on Heat's draft strategy

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The Heat's lead scout said the Heat are looking for an NBA-ready rookie with the 26th pick. But Grantland's Zach Lowe reports that Miami may trade that pick for Iman Shumpert.

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As fellow Hot Hot Hoops scribe Matt Pineda reported earlier, Heat lead scout Chet Kammerer said that the Miami Heat are looking for a player to contribute on this team immediately with the 26th pick in this year's draft. But Grantland's Zach Lowe tweeted Monday that the Heat may trade that first-round pick for Knicks shooting guard Iman Shumpert.  ESPN's Marc Stein said that New York is looking to trade Shumpert for a late first-round draft pick. Lowe also tweeted that the Knicks almost traded Shumpert last year for the 29th pick.

After a promising rookie season in 2011-12, Shumpert (and many other Knicks players) have regressed as the franchise struggles to find its footing. Carmelo Anthony's decision to opt out of his contract could signal huge changes for the team, and it may look to rebuild in a post-Melo era. Though he's not the 3-point shooter Miami looks out of that wing position, he is a defensive player who could fit as a backup to Dwyane Wade, especially if Ray Allen retires.

Miami is still dealing with a lot of uncertainty, and may up until Thursday's draft. If Wade, Chris Bosh and LeBron James all opt out before June 30, the Heat would enter free agency with cap space. In that situation, the Heat may feel incentivized to trade the 26th pick for an early second-round pick.

Unlike first-round selections, second-round picks do not have cap holds. In 2010, the Heat traded away the 18th pick to the Oklahoma City Thunder for the 32nd pick, allowing the team to use its cap space on the Big Three, Mike Miller and Udonis Haslem. The Heat signed that player taken with the 32nd pick, which turned into Dexter Pittman, for $473,604. For comparison's sake, Norris Cole -- the 28th pick in the 2011 NBA Draft -- made a little over $1 million his rookie year due to his status as a first-round pick. (That the Heat took Pittman when Lance Stephenson was available is another story.)

Wade, Bosh and James have until June 30 to let the Heat know whether they intend to opt-in, so Pat Riley may still be unsure of his financial situation heading into the draft. But these next couple days -- and even the draft itself --could offer some more insight into the Heat's future.