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Can the Heat mold prospect Joshua Smith into a Wes Unseld-type player?

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Wes Unseld was not a particularly tall center at 6'7", but he was an immovable object in the paint area like Joshua Smith is now.

Godofredo Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Legendary center Wes Unseld was known for his build of granite and picture-perfect outlet passes that led to a Hall of Fame career. Former Georgetown Hoya standout Joshua Smith is far from a finished product, but his sheer physical mass and immovability make him an intriguing prospect built along the lines of Unseld.

Just as Hassan Whiteside took years to become a legitimate NBA prospect (and he may still need more time to establish a credible product), Smith needs time and patience in order to build the utter will power to conquer his physical fitness demons.

Much as Udonis Haslem has mentored Whiteside on what it takes mentally to stick in the NBA, Whiteside could motivate Smith on being obsessed about developing a perfect body and getting his NBA2K16 score up.

Whiteside is an absolute fanatic on working out to hone his body: if now he could only influence Smith to shed about 70 pounds and still remain an immovable piece of sheer muscle in the paint.

The Miami Heat have a true "diamond in the rough" in the undrafted center, but they somehow need to solve Smith's conditioning failures. The Heat are always looking for low-cost alternatives with ridiculous upside potential and Smith could be one of them.

Having Smith study Unseld's game films and molding himself after Unseld's style of play, Smith could turn out to be a monster find for the team. As Unseld told the Washington Post years ago:

"I know that night in and night out the guy I play against will have more physical ability, but I feel like if I go out against a guy and play him 40 or 48 minutes a game or whatever, toe to toe, head to head, he is going to get tired or beat up or bored for two or three minutes. That will be enough to make sure he doesn't win the game for his team."

Miami has almost three months to work on Smith's mental battles with his weight issues, but under all that excess poundage a Wes Unseld could very well lurk hidden inside.

A Whiteside/Smith tag team in the paint area would wreck havoc on other teams, because it would take 12 personal fouls between them to foul out of the game.