NEW: A fresh 6-pack of Heat nuggets, including the player in mix for No. 13 who was summoned team headquarters Monday, plus more draft chatter, other things: https://t.co/hEw8ygQ8mw— Barry Jackson (@flasportsbuzz) June 3, 2019
Jackson said that Clarke is “one of about 10 players in the mix” for the Heat’s 13th overall pick in this month’s NBA Draft. For what it’s worth, Jackson said last week that Miami would prefer to draft a wing player in the draft, but would take a big if that’s who is the best available option.
Now, Clarke will probably be drafted somewhere around the Heat’s No. 13. ESPN’s Jonathan Givony currently has Clarke being drafted 14th overall to the Boston Celtics. The Ringer’s mock draft has him hearing his name called with the 11th pick.
Clarke is known for his defensive wit and skill, and that may be what has drawn Miami’s interest. According to The Ringer’s profile of him, he “plays his ass off. Makes the extra effort, attacks the offensive boards, dives for loose balls and hustles back in transition.” Looking at other players Miami has worked out, I’ve noted that Pat Riley may look to draft the next Udonis Haslem for his team. The longtime Heat power forward and all-time team leader in rebounds is contemplating retirement. Clarke could become that player for the next iteration of the Heat, provided he develops a 3-point shot.
But after drafting Bam Adebayo in 2017, should the Heat draft another big — especially in the new NBA? As I’ve mentioned before, the Heat’s apparent willingness to draft a power forward signals that Miami may look to trade James Johnson, who still has two years left on his deal. Could Riley possibly look to overhaul his perimeter player rotation via trades, and have young players like Adebayo, Derrick Jones Jr. and Clarke supporting that infusion of talent?
The NBA Draft day of June 20 is fast approaching.