This article is paraphrased from Chad Ford from ESPN and Barry Jackson from the Miami Herald.
First off, is Ray Allen coming to play in Miami next season? I want to say it's no big deal because it's just off-season activities, but man Ray you are such a tease!! Okay moving on.
We are only nine days away from the Miami Heat knowing where they stand in the NBA Lottery. Though I wish Alonzo Mourning could intimidate the ping pong balls into a top 3 pick, unfortunately we must all sweat it out.
Remember, Miami has an 87% chance at picking #10, a 4% chance at a top 3 pick, and a 9% chance at picking below #10, which would then be surrendered to the Philadelphia 76ers.
So who's available at #10? Well, there will be some wing players but only a few of them are actually good at shooting. The question is, would you rather have someone backing up Dwyane Wade or do you want a shooter who can space the floor for D Wade?
The 2 ideal picks for Miami would be Justise Winslow from Duke and Mario Hezonja from Spain. According to ESPN's Chad Ford, Winslow is "blessed with an elite NBA body and athleticism and plays with a crazy motor every second he's on the floor,"
Winslow is a 6'6 small forward who has averaged nearly 13 points a game and shot 41% from beyond the arc. Hezonja on the other hand is a 6'8 shooting guard, who is skilled at shooting the three and can also attack the rim off the dribble. The problem is, both these players will most likely be picked before #10.
So who's available from the rest?
Stanley Johnson (Arizona), Kevon Looney (UCLA), Kelly Oubre (Kansas) and Sam Dekker (Wisconsin) could be available by the time Miami makes their selection, as well as shooting guards R.J. Hunter (Georgia State) Devin Booker (Kentucky).
First, let's take out Kevon Looney, because he is projected to fall down to the 20's so is it wise for Miami to select him at #10? Some evaluators also have Oubre also going in the 20's, due to his inconsistency.
Ford has Miami picking Johnson, who has averaged 13.8 points, 6.5 rebounds and shot 44.6 percent overall. Johnson is very good driving to the basket but needs to work on his stroke, which at times is erratic. According to Ford: "He's one of the most NBA-ready players in the draft, can play the two and three, and he's a fierce competitor. He can back up both Wade and Deng if they come back or take a starting role if one of them decides to leave."
There is also a chance Miami might be picking Sam Dekker (Wisconsin) because he might be the best talent available at the #10 spot. Dekker might be part of a filled out frontcourt in Miami, but the last time Miami picked the best available player over a need was in 2003, when the team drafted Wade, even though they had Caron Butler and Eddie Jones. That move has clearly worked. So Dekker might be of similar thinking.
Ford says this about Dekker: "Dekker is bigger, he's a better athlete. He is ready to play right now in the NBA and I think there's a swagger to him that Pat Riley will appreciate. I think I'd take Dekker over Johnson and I think, in five years, I'd be right."
So what happens if Miami lands a top 3 pick?
Duke center Jahlil Okafor and Kentucky power forward Carl Anthony Towns are expected to go 1-2 in some order, with the third pick being either Ohio State point guard DeAngelo Russell or combo guard Emmanuel Mudiay who played in China this past season instead of going to college.
So to recap and be realistic, depending on where Miami lands, here are the most likely choices for the Heat:
1) Justise Winslow
2) Mario Hezonja
3) Sam Dekker
4) Stanley Johnson
5) Devin Booker