We are nearly two weeks away from the 2022 NBA Draft, with the Miami Heat selecting No. 27 overall — barring any offseason trade. They will hopefully add to an already strong core that finished first in the Eastern Conference at 53-29 and came one game away from an NBA Finals berth.
It will be their only pick, as there will be 58 picks instead of 60 this year, because of the Heat and the Milwaukee Bucks had their 2022 second-round picks revoked due to tampering allegations over the last two years.
For my first mock draft roundup, click here. Once again, I sifted through several mock drafts to see who the experts project the Heat selecting at No. 27, should they keep their pick. Though team evaluators will inevitably change their thoughts on nearly every player between now and then, so nothing is certain!
Without further ado, let’s jump into it!
Sports Illustrated (Jeremy Woo): Jake LaRavia, F, Wake Forest
“Miami has done a terrific job finding talent on the fringes and can add a rookie on a cost-controlled deal here if it chooses. LaRavia endeared himself to teams over the course of the season with his competitiveness, efficient scoring and steady defense, building an analytics-friendly profile and gathering some momentum as a potential first-rounder. LaRavia isn’t super explosive and isn’t going to create a ton of offense off the dribble, but he’s a smart passer and ball-mover who can accentuate talent around him. His range appears to be somewhat wide, starting in the early 20s and running into the early 30s, but he does enough things well to think he’ll stick as a useful role player long-term.”
The Ringer (Kevin O’Connor): Jaden Hardy, G, G-League Elite
“The Heat are better than anyone at developing talent and with their team culture, Hardy would have to iron out his weaknesses to earn regular playing time. Miami won’t just feed him minutes. I would pick Hardy much higher than this if I were a GM, but it could be in his best interest to slip to a team like Miami. Jimmy Butler gets shot-creation assistance from Kyle Lowry, Tyler Herro, and others. But with Lowry looking like he’s on the back nine of his career, and Herro not being a consistent star yet, Hardy would be another worthy prospect to add to the roster. Why not take a big swing on a prospect that was projected ahead of the season to go in the top five?”
CBS Sports (Colin Ward-Henniger): Jean Montero, G, Overtime Elite
“Montero is as big a mystery as anyone in the draft, but his potential as a lead guard is incredibly tantalizing. He’s a blur in the open floor with a tight handle, and he’s adept at navigating pick-and-rolls — either finishing himself or setting up teammates. As with most young guards, his defense needs a lot of work, but the Heat are in position to keep him on the bench while he learns the ins and outs of the NBA.”
ESPN (Jonathan Givony): Dalen Terry, G, Arizona
“Few teams have been as successful drafting in the first round as the Heat have over the past few years. The team seems to prioritize finding young players who fit their mentality culturally and have room to grow in their strong player development infrastructure. Terry has been one of the big winners of the pre-draft process so far, impressing teams with his character on and off the court while dropping glimpses of significant versatility and upside he can grow into at just 19-years old.”
NBC Sports Edge (Raphielle Johnson): Kennedy Chandler, G, Tennessee
“Chandler led the Volunteers to an SEC title this past season, averaging 13.9 points, 3.2 rebounds, 4.7 assists, 2.2 steals, and 1.4 3-pointers in nearly 31 minutes per game. He shot just over 38% from three on 3.8 attempts per game, and the ability to run a team is what makes Chandler a likely first-round pick. His size could prove to be problematic for some teams, but that may not be the case for Miami due to the presence of Kyle Lowry. Having an experienced guard like Lowry to show Chandler (who’s more slender in build) the ropes would only help him as he moves forward in his career. And the bench unit could use another option at the point, as Gabe Vincent’s contract for next season is not fully guaranteed.”
Fantasy Pros (Kyle Williams): Chandler
“We saw Miami get exposed in the half-court offense during this last playoff series with the Celtics. The lack of a true ball-moving point guard in a half-court setting really hurt them and adding Chandler could really help improve it. Chandler led the Volunteers to an SEC title this past season, averaging 13.9 points, 3.2 rebounds, 4.7 assists, 2.2 steals, and 1.4 3-pointers in nearly 31 minutes per game. He’s a 38% shooter from three, which the team loves, and has the ability to help create and ease the pressure off an aging Kyle Lowry.”
Basketball News (Matt Babcock, Derrick Murray, Doc Martin, Jason Filippi, Grant Aqui): Kendall Brown, F, Baylor
“A big, strong, and explosive wing with a high motor, Kendall Brown has provided an impact right off the bat at Baylor this season. Brown can finish with both athleticism and finesse as a slasher, although he lacks elite self-creation. He is also a terrific defender, using his length and quickness to disrupt the opposition. Brown is a potential lottery pick in the 2022 NBA Draft.”
“Outlook: An additional year at Baylor would greatly benefit his long term outlook at the next level … A gifted athlete with intriguing potential, Brown has “NBA athleticism”, but is still a long ways away from being able to contribute at the offensive end … Like so many other young players, outside shooting is a swing skill, as even an average shot could greatly benefit his offensive game … An ideal defender for the modern game, Brown can smother almost any position on the court … Needs to be more confident in creating looks for himself and others, with that creation ability being critical to his offensive prowess … The freshman is likely a sought after prospect because of his bounce, defense and potential … If he can add more isolation scoring to his arsenal, he will be a tough player to stop …”
The Miami Heat could really go anywhere with this draft pick at the end of the first-round, including possibly packaging it together with Duncan Robinson, Tyler Herro or someone else to go out and add yet another high-level talent to their roster. Here though in this mock draft, they end up with a really solid athletic wing that has the ability to play on both ends of the floor in Kendall Brown.
Adding depth behind Jimmy Butler is key for the Heat, especially given that Butler is their only real talent on the wing with Caleb Martin being a free agent. Continuing to find ways to improve as a shooter will help Brown turn into a more complete prospect, but he is one of the more athletic wings in this draft class and possesses a near 7-foot wingspan. Given how well the Heat play defensively, Kendall Brown could be a valuable 19-year-old they invest in, especially since he could give them a boost in transition.
Yahoo Sports (Krysten Peek): Wendell Moore Jr., F, Duke
Elite Sports NY (Danny Small): E.J. Liddell, F, Ohio State
“The Heat culture adds E.J. Liddell, an undersized big with a high feel for the game.”
247Sports (Joal Ryan): Blake Wesley, G, Notre Dame
The Rookie Wire (Cody Taylor): Christian Braun, G, Kansas
“Braun recorded a 40-inch max vertical leap at the combine and enters the draft as one of the most athletic players. He established himself as a strong two-way player at Kansas and should bring that ability to the next level. He seems to fit into the Heat culture quite well and could find himself on South Beach soon.”