The Miami Heat were one of the hottest teams down the stretch, nearly making the playoffs after a horrific start. They finished the season tied with the Chicago Bulls for the eight seed in the Eastern Conference, but the Bulls won the tiebreaker and the Heat missed out on the playoffs. The team now needs to look to build a better roster for the 2017-2018 season. With the NBA Draft right around the corner, it is time to look for some intriguing options for the team. Former Duke transfer, SMU junior standout Semi Ojeleye is a great option for the team with their 14th pick in the first round.
Ojeleye broke out in his junior season at SMU. He proved to not only be one of the best players in the American Athletic Conference but in the country. He is a sort of swiss-army knife, as he can do everything.
First, I want to talk about a small, but important aspect of Ojeleye’s game, his ability to get offensive rebounds. In his junior season, Ojeleye averaged 3.2 offensive rebounds per 40 minutes on the floor. He showed he had a knack to get in the right position to rack up offensive rebounds. Along with Hassan Whiteside, the Heat could be grabbing a ton of offensive rebounds next season, if they were to draft Ojeleye.
Second, Ojeleye showed an ability to be a high-flyer with an ability to finish at the rim. The Heat already have a big man in Whiteside that has the ability to finish at the rim along with some other players, but it would be lethal if they can add Ojeleye to that mix.
Third, the most important aspect I saw out of Ojeleye was his ability to score. Per 40 minutes last season, he averaged 22.2 points per game, while shooting a scorching 53.1 percent from the field and 42.4 percent from behind the three-point arc. The Heat need some more offensive firepower and that’s exactly what they will get from him.
The Heat have the role players to make the playoffs next year, but they are still in the need of an x-factor and I think that they get that with Ojeleye. Ojeleye has the ability to guard both threes and fours so the team could roll with a smaller lineup and use him with Justise Winslow. When the NBA Draft comes around next month, don’t be surprised if the Miami Heat select Semi Ojeleye out of SMU with their first round selection.