The wait for the Miami Heat will come to an end on Tuesday, and if they actually lose their pick to the Philadelphia 76ers, this will probably be the most pointless Hot Hot Hoops article ever. Until then, read on!!
Miami has had two confirmed visits with players at the NBA rookie combine:
1) Devin Booker
2) Kelly Oubre Jr
Devin Booker, SG, Kentucky
Booker has been anointed as the draft's best shooter, and according to Sam Vecenie of CBS Sports, he had a solid few days at the combine, easing concerns about this lack of athleticism. "He's extremely quick coming off of screens, and also is very slippery against defenders. This type of score also points to some potential defensive upside, the side of the ball where Booker showed quite a bit of weakness this season" says Vecenie.
Devin Booker met w/ #Heat. Says Riley told him Wade is in the final phase of his career and he could learn under him.— Jason Lieser (@PBPjasonlieser) May 15, 2015
Devin Booker calls himself best shooter in draft. Met with Pat Riley. "It was a great vibe. I could feel the Big Blue nation."— Ethan J. Skolnick (@EthanJSkolnick) May 15, 2015
If this kid is going to learn from Dwyane Wade, I hope he's able to get Wade's drive to the basket as if he actually is the second coming of Klay Thompson. Miami could definitely use him to space the floor and keep defenses honest, but the question is can this kid who will be only 19 when the season starts, handle the responsibility of being Wade's backup?
Kelly Oubre Jr, SF, Kansas
Oubre is also 19 and revealed his expectations at the combine:
"I’m hoping to show people I’m more than just a basketball player. I’m a student of the game," Oubre said. He continued by saying he's been specifically studying the games of MVP runner up James Harden, Most Improved Player of the Year Jimmy Butler and last year's Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard.
According to Jason Lieser of the Palm Beach Post, here's what Oubre said about his meeting with Riley:
"It was great, he’s a legend who has coached greats in the past, and seeing what he knows about the game of basketball is something I would never take for granted. I listened to every single thing he said. I asked him a couple questions, also, to see if I could pick his brain for things I need to know about my future. Oubre continued by saying "One of the things that stuck out to me was he said, ‘If you want to play for us, you've gotta be in the best shape of your life.’ I like to run and gun. If I’m running, I’m scoring in transition, and that’s what I do best."
Now Oubre might have one of the highest potentials in the draft. He isn't gifted offensively but he is a shutdown defender against wing players (one of Miami's major flaws last season, sorry Luol Deng,) is 6-foot-7 and has a 7-foot-1 wing span! The likeliness is the Heat would still want to pick Stanley Johnson from Arizona, but the team didn't meet him at the combine, so maybe Riley thinks Johnson is out of the Heat's range.
So which other players talked about possibly playing for the Heat next season?
Stanley Johnson, SF, Arizona
Johnson has already declared himself the best pick of the NBA Draft, and says what makes him stand out is his ability to "score from all three levels pretty well," Johnson continued by saying on defense, he plays hard, smart, and is a "nasty competitor." All these qualities are what the Heat look for, and my bet is if he's available at 10, Miami will pick him.
About being a possible Heat pick:
"To have guys like Dwyane Wade, Luol Deng and Hassan Whiteside on the team and be on a team that already knows they want to win next season - bringing my contribution to that team would be great."
Frank Kaminsky, PF/C, Wisconson
Now Kaminsky didn't play at the Combine because he says considering he was already named National Player of the Year, he didn't think anything he did at the Combine would top that. But Kaminsky did compare his game to Chris Bosh and even said he would "love" to be Bosh's understudy.
So there you have it folks. To recap, if Miami ends up at #10, they'll probably have Stanley Johnson as their preferred pick, and if he's not available; look for the Heat to draft either Devin Booker or Kelly Oubre.