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Kyle Alexander has one ability the Miami Heat covet

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Known for his prowess on defense, Kyle Alexander has a surprisingly good jump shot for a center.

2019 California Classic - Miami Heat v Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images

Kyle Alexander and Gabe Vincent of the Miami Heat were featured in a recent article by Ira Winderman about possible gems among Miami’s two-way players as seen by Pat Riley and his staff.

“We like him [Alexander],” Riley told the Sun Sentinel. “We’ve really liked him, and he has developed. And before he got hurt, we had Chris [Silva] down here and Kyle was doing very well. We feel he has the potential to be a prototype of today’s NBA big man. You don’t have to be 7-1 or 7-2. If you have one of those guys, then fine. But he’s long, he’s rangy, he’s really developed an upper body.”

Alexander’s former head coach at Orangeville Prep in Mono, Ontario, who also mentored Jamal Murray and Thon Maker, said his potential is scary.

“He’s 6-10 with a 7-4 wingspan,” Blunt told SNY.tv. “He runs faster than our guards and has a knack for blocking shots. His dad was a Division 1 1,000-point scorer and his sister was an All-American at Syracuse and a first-round draft pick in the WNBA. The kid has been playing basketball for three years and his potential is scary.”

Jonathan Givony ranked Alexander as a first-round pick in the 2019 NBA draft with the Houston Rockets selecting him 29th.

“Alexander’s body has taken a while to fill out, and at 222 pounds he is still a ways away,” Givoy writes, “but the fact that he stands 6-11½, with a 7-5½ wingspan and a massive 9-2 standing reach obviously helps.”

“For now, Alexander is an elite screen-setter, diver, offensive rebounder and finisher — all coveted traits in the NBA,” Givony says. “His defense is what will get him on the map, though. He shows terrific timing as a shot-blocker and gets out to hedge or switch screens on the perimeter.”

Alexander’s defense takes center stage, but his soft touch and smooth shooting stroke hasn’t been fully taken advantage of yet. Note how easily he’s able to cleanly shot over his defender around the paint and from mid-range.

Another pretty turnaround jumper deposited in the net with a soft touch.

Alexander’s full game highlights during his 21-point performance.

What Alexander could bring to the Miami Heat is his potential as a paint and mid-range scoring threat. In his brief G League stint Alexander used his height advantage and footwork to be the only player making over 75% of his shots from the 8-16 foot range (13 attempts minimum).

Issues in lacking court awareness and aggressiveness could have resulted in Alexander not hearing his name called on draft night.

“Kyle Alexander might have played as bad of a game he’s played since his first game as a freshman. That’s what he looked like tonight. A guy that was totally lost. Not competitive. We haven’t seen that from him in a while.”

Hopefully a full year as professional will go a long way towards improving his understanding of basketball after several false starts in college.

“It looked as if he was set to take off, but that wasn’t the case. Mired by spotty play over the course of the next several games, things hit rock bottom after the Vanderbilt game in Knoxville. Alexander recorded a season-low 11 minutes in that game. His lone stat? Four fouls that helped Vandy come back from a 20-point deficit and almost steal the game back from the Vols.

“This prompted Barnes to do his usual call for accountability and this time the focus was on Alexander. Barnes demanded “consistency” from Alexander, quite possibly the only factor keeping him from reaching his full potential.”

Given all his physical gifts Kyle Alexander has problems most late-bloomers display when they decide to make basketball their profession in their teen years.

“In only 27 minutes per game, 6’10 rookie forward Kyle Alexander is averaging 11.2 points, 9.8 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks per game on 71% from the field for the Sioux Falls Skyforce. That efficiency combined with him hitting 76% from the free-throw line has allowed him to maintain a 79% True Shooting Percentage during his first sixteen games.”

“The one thing that has prevented the rookie forward from being an All-Star would be his inability to stay out of foul trouble. Currently, he’s averaging 3 fouls in 27 minutes per game, which prevents him from staying on the court during the later stages of games.”

When Pat Riley mentioned Alexander as prototype the new NBA big man, one who has the standing reach of a center and the soft shooting stroke of guard, he’s looking beyond what happened in the past to envision another high-reward, low-risk situation such as Duncan Robinson, who some believed wasn’t NBA material as a rookie, bearing fruit for the Heat.