The NBA Draft begins in just over an hour. The Miami Heat will be the No. 27 pick in the draft, their only selection of the night. Our writers below answered some questions about what they think will happen with the Heat’s pick and what they should prioritize. Enjoy!
1. Do the Miami Heat trade the pick?
Matt Pineda: I don’t think so. I believe the only the Heat move this pick is in a blockbuster deal and I don’t believe Riley has the leverage right now to pull that off. Draft picks are more valuable as picks than they are the player, but then again, the Heat used Precious Achiuwa to land Kyle Lowry. I think they make the selection.
Surya Fernandez: They may dangle it before the draft but ultimately the pick could also have value down the road as well. If there is a player that they really like that is still on the board, I don’t see the downside to adding another young, quality player on a rookie deal - especially with players like Tyler Herro expecting a big payday. The only way the Heat would already part with this pick would be as part of a package to net an All-Star type player, but is that a realistic proposition this soon into the offseason?
Matt Hanifan: The closer we get, the closer I lean yes. Unless, of course, a player they like falls to them at No. 27, which is possible. I think they trade back into the second round and stack picks — potentially extract a future first-round pick — to have at their disposal.
2. What do you think Miami need to prioritize in the draft Thursday?
Matt P.: I think they need to take the best player current player available. The end of the first round is such a toss up. You don’t know exactly what you are getting. The Heat don’t need projects, they need bodies. They can develop in other ways. And the way the season went, everyone will get a shot at playing. I’d rather take the best player than the best fit.
Surya: Miami was a shot away from reaching the Finals, and it’s hard to see any of the team’s weaknesses being quickly resolved by a rookie drafted at the end of the first round. At that point in the draft, the Heat should simply draft the best player available.
Matt H.: Should they keep the pick, draft the best player available with the most upside. It’s the safest move — especially at No. 27 — regardless of positional/schematic need.
3. Should the Heat keep their pick, who’s your most ideal Heat prospect?
Matt P.: E.J. Liddell checks the box as someone who could possibly be there and someone who is ready to contribute and a fit with Miami. A long wing-span big who can play defense and stretch the floor.
Surya: Arizona’s Dalen Terry, he could come right in and give the team high-quality, winning basketball plays in bursts.
Matt H.: Tough question, but I lean towards E.J. Liddell. But since Mr. Pineda chose him, I’ll choose Wendell Moore.
4. Who goes No. 1 overall?
Matt P: I think it will be Jabari Smith, but it should be Paolo Banchero.
Surya: I’m going with the odds that it’ll be Jabari Smith.
Matt H.: Jabari Smith.