The Miami Heat met with some prospects at the NBA Draft Combine last week. And some of them — like Tennessee forward Grant Williams and Purdue point guard Carsen Edwards — are projected to go after the Heat’s 13th pick in the draft.
Five players confirmed meetings with the Heat last week: Carsen Edwards, Grant Williams, Bruno Fernando, Naz Reid and Ignas Brazdeikis. Some scouting reports on that group: https://t.co/OlCNIPKlIk pic.twitter.com/5dW3ded5IF— David Wilson (@DBWilson2) May 20, 2019
Does that mean the Heat are thinking of trading their pick and moving downward in the draft? First, let’s start with a couple players Miami met with.
The Ringer projects the 6-foot-8 Grant Williams to be drafted with the 17th overall pick, labeling him as a “high-IQ defender,” an “instinctual rebounder who boxes out” and someone who will “take a charge or dive for a loose ball.” Pat Riley may hope he can emerge as the prototypical glue guy for a championship team and provide the toughness that Udonis Haslem brought for so many years — but with a 3-point shot.
The Ringer projects Carsen Edwards going 27th. (Of note, the Brooklyn Nets have both the 17 and 27th overall picks — could the Heat trade the 13th pick for the 17th and 27th ones?) He is barely 6 feet tall, something that could make him a liability on defense. In an ideal world, he would become an instant offense guard off the bench with his shooting ability.
But in a not-ideal world? The Ringer actually compares Edwards to Shabazz Napier, whom Miami traded up in the 2014 NBA Draft to get. But Napier disappointed in his rookie season with the Heat, and Miami traded him after just one year.
Are Heat executives dissatisfied with the players in their range? Of course, Miami could simply be doing their due diligence, meeting with various players to see how players’ stock will rise and fall until draft night. The Heat don’t have a second-round pick in this June’s draft; Riley may want to see if he can trade into the second round for a player he likes. He did that for Mario Chalmers in 2008.
We never know who pans out in the NBA Draft — at least after the first few picks. Draymond Green was taken with the 35th pick in the 2012 NBA Draft. The Heat had the 27th pick that year, coming off an NBA championship. Miami even brought in Green for a workout.
(Side note: Imagine if Riley had kept Patrick Beverley, whom he traded for during the 2011 NBA Draft, and drafted Green in 2012. Would LeBron James still be a member of the Heat?)
Pascal Siakam was the 27th pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, when Miami didn’t even have a first-round pick. So if the Heat want to trade down? Fine by me. I just hope the players the Heat get pan out.