With the NBA Draft just five days away, most Miami Heat fans will surely look to see the player Miami drafts with the 14th pick. But according to the Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson, the Heat have scheduled at least five workouts with centers — possibly foreshadowing a trade into the second round or a free-agent signing of a player who will go undrafted.
Heat summons centers to South Florida today, with draft five days away, and Miami open to adding a young big: https://t.co/avoAL5PUDl— Barry Jackson (@flasportsbuzz) June 18, 2017
According to sources close to the players, the Heat has booked at least five pre-draft Miami workouts on centers who are expected to be outside Miami’s draft range at No. 14, meaning lower in the first round (North Carolina’s Tom Bradley), somewhere in the second round (Indiana’s Thomas Bryant) or potentially undrafted (Connecticut’s Amida Brimah).
The Heat doesn’t have a second-round pick but could easily trade for one using up to $3 million in available cash, per NBA rules.
Jackson also said that Heat executives are unsure if they will be able to keep Willie Reed, the impending free agent who emerged as a solid backup for Hassan Whiteside. Miami may look for two centers this summer, one to fill in Reed’s shoes and another as a developmental project, according to Jackson.
Miami’s interest in a backup center if Reed signs with another team could also signal that the team will waive Josh McRoberts under the “stretch provision” of the collective bargaining agreement. Of course, the ideal scenario would be for Miami to re-sign Reed, who said his goal is to remain with the Heat, and then add a young center in the second round or after the Draft.
The Heat have previously struck gold in the second round and beyond. Just on last season’s team, Josh Richardson (second round), Tyler Johnson (undrafted), Rodney McGruder (undrafted), Okaro White (undrafted) and Udonis Haslem (undrafted) all caught the Heat’s eye. We’ll see how the Heat’s Draft night June 22 plays out.