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One overlooked area Miami Heat need to fix after the Dwyane Wade era

While solid defensively, the Heat still lag in upgrading their offense to contending status.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-West Regional-Gonzaga vs Florida State Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Heat seem to have several good, but not game-changing choices, in the 2019 NBA Draft on June 20th.

A couple of names mentioned are PJ Washington and Tyler Herro from the elite University of Kentucky basketball program, but do they make sense for the team?

Even though highly skilled they were exposed in the NCAA tournament with their lack of quickness against Jared Harper and the Auburn Tigers, who also knocked out the slower UNC team with Coby White.

In the video below Harper’s speed illustrates how fast-paced NBA players, such as De’Aaron Fox, easily beat their man off-the-dribble or in transition at the next level.

Adding another slow-footed player via the draft doesn’t compensate for the retirement of “The Flash” Dwyane Wade, and the excitement he brought to South Beach.

Wade really was fast as measured by his NBA Combine speed of 3.08 seconds in the three quarter sprint.

Among the leaders, who participated in this year’s NBA combine and remained in the draft, Harper lead the field at 3.04 sec.

Other selected speedsters were Tremont Waters 3.07 sec, Jordan Bone 3.08 sec, Jaylen Hands 3.12 sec, Kevin Porter Jr. 3.14 sec, Brandon Clarke 3.15 sec.

Bone aced the agility portion of combine, but his low draft stock indicates he seems to struggle finishing what he starts.

Porter excites with his crossover moves and speed in high school, yet he has to get refine his decision-making instincts against professionals who have faced players as good or better than him, and will soon catch on to Porter’s moves as they game plan against him.

Clarke is surprisingly fast for his size and would be a top pick except for his age and lack of shooting from the perimeter.

Looking at both Clarke and Rui Hachimura, their ability at 215 lb and 230 lb respectively, to beat opponents in transition and half-court brings back visions of the Heat’s glory days running the floor.

However in no manner are they a second coming of Wade, because drafting a Hall Of Fame talent like Wade happens to few teams in the NBA.

What does matter this season is having roster that’s well thought-out, i.e. not put together with players based on likable personalities and perceived potential.

Personally I prefer younger players with unlimited upside, but that’s not my ONLY criteria since it could shut out prospects who have an obsession to win, as Kobe Bryant puts it.

ESPN has a sleeper draft guide where stat head Kevin Pelton has unheralded prospects for picks 2 through 5 based on WARP (Wins Above Replacement Player).

NBA Draft ranked by WARP

PLAYER ESPN WARP RANK
PLAYER ESPN WARP RANK
Chuma Okeke 33 2.6 2
John Konchar 65 2.6 3
Dedric Lawson 61 2.6 4
Shamorie Ponds 46 2.6 5
Bol Bol 14 2 9
Alen Smailagic 64 2 10
Talen Horton-Tucker 34 1.8 11
Matisse Thybulle 32 1.7 13
Darius Bazley 26 1.3 20

The only take on this year’s NBA Draft might be to prepare for anything and everything, because trades and unexpected selections will make choices difficult to predict with any certainty.

The Heat’s mantra is defense wins championships, but they have to make the playoffs first before dreaming of a ring.

Shooting and spacing are keys, but finishing at the rim remains as one area Miami needs to work on during the off-season.