If your favorite NBA team wasn’t a title contender, it was likely leaving tributes at the base of Mt. Zion (Williamson). Thirteen franchises all sit under the stoplight that is the 2019 NBA Draft. TSFJ gives each team a reason to speed through, take caution and even hit the brakes hard before making a wrong turn. We continue this series with a look at the 13th overall pick and the Miami Heat.
How they got here
The Miami Heat acquired the 13th pick of this year’s Draft by being living close enough to the middle of the road to contend for a playoff spot, but ultimately miss out and end up in the Draft Lottery. Their record of 39-43 garnered them enough ping pong balls to end up with #13, which giving them the worst lottery position among teams that missed the playoffs (as the Celtics inherited the pick that would have been the Sacramento Kings’ ahead of them).
Green Light: Draft Tyler Herro
The Miami Heat are the picture of mediocrity. Last year, they finished two games out of the eighth spot in the East. With no All-Star player aside from Dwyane Wade (who received the nod as more of an honorarium than due to performance), and him being the team’s oldest player and leading scorer, they were somehow just good enough to appear like they’re trying to compete.
Truth is, they need help, but appear to be drafting too low to get a prospect with star potential. Kentucky freshman Tyler Herro provides backcourt shooting and size. He can help space the floor for driving players like Goran Dragic and Justise Winslow. He projects as a bigger JJ Redick, more capable off the dribble. There’s not a ton of sizzle to the pick (especially for a team in desperate need of some), but Herro is a solid pick in a solid draft class.
Yellow Light: Draft Kevin Porter, Jr.
Porter, Jr has all the talent of an elite prospect. The USC guard is a prototypical NBA wing and can score with the best of the other potential draftees. But Porter has some doubt surrounding him because of him being suspended from his college team due to undisclosed conduct issues. Prior to that, he was sidelined with a thigh injury. If his issues are as minor as that thigh bruise, then the Miami Heat should look at taking Porter, if he’s still available here. The only reason there is caution is if there is any residue left over from his freshman troubles. Hopefully, those are past him.
Red Light: Draft Bol Bol
As with most of these seemingly unwise decisions, the prospect in question is talented. He just does not fill a need for the team being discussed. Bol is ridiculously coordinated for someone so tall. The Oregon freshman was limited to only nine games, but averaged 21 points and nine rebounds, while shooting 56% from the floor during his limited exposure. However, the Heat have invested time and money into Hassan Whiteside, and there doesn’t seem to be much of a market to move him. Talent is not the issue, rather it is a matter of fit and need alignment as the backcourt is much bigger area of concern. The son of Manute Bol is very good and will help a team. Just not this team.
Poemer. 8-time Hug Champion. Pick&Roll Enthusiast. Guardian of Logic and Tact. Apocalypse’s good Brother. Collector of muted souls for Mt. Filtermanjaro.