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Q & A: All about the Heat's first round draft pick

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A pair of HHH writers tackle some Q & A about the Miami Heat's #10 pick.

Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA Draft is this Thursday, June 25 and in preparation for it Hot Hot Hoops writers Isaac Koppel and Jay Ramos discussed the Miami Heat's pick, the 10th overall selection.

Isaac: First things first, what's your philosophy for approaching the draft? Do you go best player available, fit, or some happy medium?

Jay: I'm a believer in taking the best player available with one exception. The only exception being a player under control for at least three more seasons and being under 25 while being an All-NBA performer.

Only under that premise do I pass on the best talent on the board. If we can check those three things, we will pass for the next best talent at another position.

Obviously every situation has it's own nuances. I generally like to go into things with that rule.

What about you?

Isaac: I'm in agreement. I think the only time it doesn't make sense to go BPA is when that player has no playing time in sight. It makes little sense for Minnesota to try and draft somebody to play behind Andrew Wiggins because he should (hopefully) be there for a long time. If you've got an aging group, however, you can usually just take the best player and figure it out later.

Which brings me to the Heat. They're in the interesting position where their starting five appears to be locked down for next season (assuming nobody leaves, which I'm not expecting), so they can pretty safely commit to drafting the best player. Is that how you see it or do you think they should at least try to target a specific need?

Jay: Miami has to go best player available. They don't enjoy first round picks very often given Pat Riley's habit of consistently auctioning them off, much less a lotto pick.

They have to consider everyone and figure it out later. They can afford to spend development time on a prospect. The only young player on this roster who the Heat can safely assume to be above average long term is Hassan Whiteside, and though we don't assume he'll leave, he'll be a free agent in 2016.

Isaac: What's really bugged me about the talk of the Heat wanting somebody who's 'ready now' is just what you said - they can afford to spend time developing somebody!

The rotation probably has, what, one open spot next season come playoff time? I just don't buy that Spo will be trusting Kaminsky/Dekker/Johnson in the playoffs in year one (those are the three that ESPN's Chad Ford says the Heat have zeroed in on).

The Heat need to take the guy they project best long term. I've already written about how I think that may be Myles Turner, but I'm open to a few different guys besides him as well.

If you're in charge, who are you targeting?

Jay: I think Justise Winslow is the second best player in the draft, so I love the value of getting him between picks five and eight, but that's just out of Miami's reach.

Stanley Johnson is actually a happy medium because he has some upside and is ready to contribute.

Kelly Oubre has a few loud tools but he's as safe a bet to be in Spo's rotation in year one as me and you. Which is fine, but I like his frame, and potential as an above average shooter and defender in today's NBA. When I watched his film I wanted to turn it off and run back to the security of Johnson, but the tools kept me engaged and I'm trying to keep the recency bias at bay.

He has a lot of work to do on ball handling and getting to the basket consistently, and he may never be a primary scoring option, but he's an intriguing piece that Miami will love defensively.

I'm ok with either one there.

Isaac: I'd probably rank them in that order with Mario Hezonja between Winslow and Johnson. I think it's pretty unlikely the Heat take Oubre, for the aforementioned 'ready now' rule I mentioned earlier.

Let's pretend that Boston decides to trade up for Charlotte's pick and take Myles Turner, leaving you your choice of Johnson and Devin Booker (Charlotte's projected pick should they keep it). Does that change things for you or do you still want Johnson?

Jay: I'm taking Johnson over Booker if that's the choice. I love the idea of the guy who can guard both forward positions and stretch the floor. It's really, really tough not to like the kid. He has everything you want intangibly too. I'm thinking of Miami's potential smaller lineups here. In Booker you are passing on the best American shooter in the draft, and that's tough to do, because he's going to help you more offensively right away, even at 19.

But the truth is Booker is my fourth favorite player in that range. I like Willie Cauley-Stein, Stanley Johnson, Myles Turner and Booker, in that order. Assuming Towns, Okafor, Hezonja, Winslow, Porzingis, Russell and Mudiay are gone, I'm happy with coming away with one of the top three options there.

I would take Cauley-Stein over Porzingis and think he would be incredible value for Miami at 5. Not a bad draft to be picking tenth in.

Isaac: I think I'm with you on Johnson over Booker but it's an interesting debate. If the season started tomorrow Booker could step on the floor and help a team as a shooter and that's one of Miami's biggest needs. Still, Johnson is built like a tank and should be able to defend larger players for that reason. If you think you can correct his jump shot to the point of making him a legitimate NBA shooter (he won't shoot 37% in the league for a bit, in my opinion), then I think he's clearly the choice between the two.

Cauley-Stein was never even a possibility in my mind until recently when mock drafts started having him slip all the way down to the Pacers at #11. Guys his size are not supposed to be able to move the way he does. There are few, if any, guys in the league capable of defending every position the way he can. He seems like a good fit stylistically alongside a guy like Goran Dragic who likes to run and even in the halfcourt alongside Chris Bosh who can space the floor. If he's there (which I doubt he is, honestly) I think the Heat need to take a long look at him before they choose anybody else.

Jay: Yeah I'm a big believer in Johnson and I think his shooting will translate. He releases the basketball a tad low in his shooting pocket but that's correctable if it came down to it. He shows a clean release and good balance and elevation. I'm counting on that as a big reason why I'm as high as I am on him.

The Booker thing is a need trap. He's good, but if you pick him, I hope it's because you think he's going to be better than Turner and Johnson, not because he can help the Heat in a few months.

Isaac: The only guy I think we haven't discussed that is a legitimate option for the Heat is Frank Kaminsky. What are your thoughts on him as a potential pick?

Jay: I'd prefer it not happen, but I think Kaminsky's getting a little bit of a bad rap.

He's going to be a useful rotation player, but he'll never really project as a starter for Miami because of what we expect to be individual defensive shortcomings, especially if he's a center, which he will probably have to do against smaller lineups.

I'd go with the upside and the fit pick. Myles Turner fits the type of big Miami likes. Johnson fits the type of wing Miami likes. We know a body like Willie Cauley-Stein is enticing given Miami's bounty of past prospects similar to him.

You want the upside pick here. You have your starters set and you don't pick in the lottery often. Don't go safe for a 7th man.

Isaac: I'm probably part of the group giving Kaminsky a bad rap. Oops. I agree, I don't think he'll be a bad player by any stretch, but I also don't think he has a particularly high upside. He'll always be a shooter and he probably won't be as bad a defender as many think but he won't ever be better than a good role player, in my opinion. When you're picking in the lottery I think you're generally looking for more than that (that's one reason I might pass on Booker even if he's there at #10). If the Heat take Kaminsky I think they're taking the easy way out with this pick.

To wrap things up, here are our top five choices, in order, for the #10 pick.



1) Myles Turner

1) Willie Cauley-Stein

2) Stanley Johnson

2) Stanley Johnson

3) Willie Cauley-Stein

3) Myles Turner

4) Devin Booker

4) Devin Booker

5) Kelly Oubre Jr.

5) Kelly Oubre Jr.