With the NBA Draft just a few weeks away, speculation has ramped up as to what the Miami Heat will do with the 27th pick. Will Miami trade the pick, or do they think they can draft a rotation-ready player on a cost-controlled rookie contract?
Greg Sylvander of the 5 Reasons Sports Network reported Friday that 6-foot-11 Moussa Diabaté worked out for the Miami Heat. Sylvander said that Diabaté has the co-sign of Juwan Howard, who won two championships with the Heat in 2012 and 2013 before becoming an assistant coach. Howard is currently the head coach for Michigan, where Diabaté played.
At first glance, Diabaté appears like a do-over of the 2020 drafting of Precious Achiuwa. The Heat selected Achiuwa with the 20th overall pick then — the Philadelphia 76ers took Tyrese Maxey the next pick — before trading him to the Toronto Raptors in the Kyle Lowry sign-and-trade. He’s an athletic big who can run the floor.
We’ll have to see if Diabaté can have a better rookie season than Achiuwa, who had good moments early on but soon fell off. But with Dewayne Dedmon looking broken-down towards the end of the season — he didn’t even play in the final three games of the Eastern Conference Finals — perhaps the Heat are looking for a backup five.
In his one season at Michigan, Diabaté also attempted just 14 3s in 32 games. That would complicate the proposition of Adebayo and Diabaté playing together.