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2019 NBA Draft Profiles: Romeo Langford’s potential as part of Miami Heat’s young core

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The Heat search for a future identity relies on developing players suited for a faster paced NBA.

NCAA Basketball: Rutgers at Indiana Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Heat tried, but failed to recreate the magical ending of its 2016-17 season by resigning many of its key players from that time.

Winning 83 games and losing 84 games since then has prompted calls for a fresh approach to bringing back the winning ways which would leave fans leaving AmericanAirlines Arena in a happy mood.

With that theme in mind the selection of 19-year-old Romeo Langford, as the 13th pick in NBA draft, would add another piece to its young core (under 25), as listed below by their birthdays.

  1. 1999/10/25 – Romeo Langford
  2. 1997/07/18 – Bam Adebayo
  3. 1997/02/15 – Derrick Jones Jr.
  4. 1996/08/14 – Yante Maten
  5. 1996/03/26 – Justise Winslow
  6. 1995/08/03 – Kendrick Nunn

However tempting it may be, rushing a soon-to-be 20 year-old into an 82-game NBA season, takes a backseat to sort out the pieces comprosing the present roster.

Even Kobe Bryant didn’t become a full-time starter until his third season, when his body filled out enough to handle the NBA schedule without load management.

As of today the roster’s depth reads as such:

  • Bam Adebayo/Hassan Whiteside/Udonis Haslem
  • Kelly Olynyk/James Johnson/ Yante Maten/Ryan Anderson
  • Josh Richardson/Derrick Jones Jr./Duncan Robinson
  • Dion Waiters/Kendrick Nunn/TBD draft pick
  • Justise Winslow/Goran Dragic

At 6’6’ with a 6’11” wingspan and 215 lb, the 19 year-old Langford could possibly fill out to 6’7” with 7’ wingspan and 225 lb by his 22nd birthday when his turn arrives to fully contribute to the team’s success.

His outlook as forecast by NBAdraft.net reads:

“At 6’6, 215 pounds, he’s already bigger than nearly every shooting guard other than Jimmy Butler, DeMar DeRozan, and Klay Thompson ... Romeo Langford is expected to be a mid-first round pick in the 2019 draft ... He is a good athlete with a lot of potential to be an impact player on an NBA team ... With the game being as guard dominant as it is today, a guard who can score has added value ... He will need to develop his ability to shoot in today’s era of spacing, but with NBA coaches helping him, that shouldn’t be a problem if he works hard ... With his size and length, he can develop into a great 3 and D player ... His versatility will as a scorer, rebounder, and solid playmaker, will make him a coveted pick in a league that values players who can do multiple things.”

The scouting report by Synergy via NBA.com assesses him as follows:

“Romeo Langford is a long, talented scoring wing with excellent instincts as a finisher coming off a productive freshman season at Indiana. He emerged as a high-level prospect early in his career at New Albany High School earning a spot playing up on the USA team that won a bronze medal at the 2017 FIBA U19 World Championship and appearing in both the Jordan Brand Classic and McDonald’s All-American Game.”

“Fluid athlete with great body control who is very comfortable looking to make things happen off the dribble.”

“Played a significant role in his only season under Archie Miller serving as the Hoosiers’ first option and most dynamic player. Created his own shot prolifically from the wing finishing the year among the most efficient interior scoring wings in the country. Did a little bit of everything offensively showing a solid feel for the game, scoring in a variety of ways.”

“Natural scorer whose ability to attack the rim shined as a freshman. 41% of his possessions came on Pick & Rolls, Isolations and Hand Offs as he spent a significant amount of time playing on the ball within the flow of Indiana’s offense. Not overwhelmingly explosive, but a good athlete with a knack for finding ways to get to the rim playing with pace and footwork. Has excellent touch at the rim and is able to score over defenders and from difficult angles. Scored a tremendous 1.346 points per finishing opportunity in the half court [87th percentile]—a remarkable number for how many of those opportunities came off dribble drives. Got to the line at a strong rate as well. Still figuring out how to pick and choose his spots in the half court the way he does in Transition.”

“Shots were split 50-50 between jumpers and attempts inside last season. Scored 0.864 points per dribble jump shot in the half court [65th percentile] showing the ability to take what defenders gave him in the mid-range when they played him for his drive. Tosses in up-and-unders and floaters with soft touch from the mid-post. Has room to grow as a set shooter scoring 0.786 points per catch and shoot jump shot [21st percentile]. Has a fairly smooth release, but lacks a degree of consistency from beyond the arc. Played the large majority of the season with a torn thumb ligament. Could take his game to another level if he can keep defenders honest on the perimeter given the instincts he shows as a slasher.”

“Does some little things showing good anticipation playing off the ball, the ability to change speeds and find the open man on the move, and the versatility to take smaller guards into the post.”

Defensively he has the physical tools to be a top perimeter defender even as a teenager.

“Has significant potential defensively with his combination of length and agility. Fared well defending on the ball last season but is still early in his development as an off-ball defender. Chips in on the glass impressively.”

“Allowed 0.409 points per Isolation possession [93rd percentile] showing good feet. Ability to fight through screens and anticipate away from the play is a work in progress.”

Among 27 mock drafts Langford wasn’t among the most popular choices for the 13th pick by the Miami Heat. Those honors went to PJ Washington with 6 nods, followed by Nassir Little with 5 of them.

  1. Bol Bol - Net Scouts Basketball
  2. Bol Bol - The Stepien
  3. Brandon Clarke - NBA Draft Room
  4. Bruno Fernando - Bleacherreport
  5. Kevin Porter Jr. - The Ringer
  6. Kevin Porter Jr. - Basketball Insiders (Steve Kyler)
  7. Nassir Little - The Athletic
  8. Nassir Little - Basketball Insiders (Drew Maresca)
  9. Nassir Little - Basketball Insiders (Spencer Davies)
  10. Nassir Little - Yardbarker
  11. Nassir Little - DraftTek
  12. Nickeil Alexander-Walker - NBAdraft.net consensus
  13. PJ Washington - ESPN
  14. PJ Washington - Forbes
  15. PJ Washington - CBSsports (Gary Parish)
  16. PJ Washington - NBCsports
  17. PJ Washington - Tankathon
  18. PJ Washington - Sporting News
  19. Romeo Langford - CBSsports (Kyle Boone)
  20. Romeo Langford - Draftkings
  21. Romeo Langford - Basketball Insiders (Jesse Blancarte)
  22. Rui Hachimura - HoopsHype Aggregate
  23. Rui Hachimura - CBSsports (Reid Forgrave)
  24. Sekou Doumbouya - NBAdraft.net
  25. Sekou Doumbouya - Rookie Wire
  26. Sekou Doumbouya - Yahoo Sports
  27. Tyler Herro - Sports Illustrated

The Heat’s selection when their time comes may present several excellent opportunities, but only one can be chosen.

None of the candidates seem perfect, but hopefully the eventual pick will absorb Heat Culture to exceed expectations for Miami’s new path to become a contender.