Only 6 more days until the 2010 NBA Draft! Still way behind here, so let's try to condense these a little and spit em out faster. Today, let's look at the Miami Heat.
Just like the New York Knicks (see links at the end of this post), Pat Riley and company have a blank slate from which to work...
The Heat need to hit the free agency trail big-time, but they also have the 18th, 41st, 42nd, and 48th picks. Hit the jump to see what the top mocks think.
Since the Heat have emptied the chambers, it's safe to say that they need to be draft "best player available" whenever possible.
No. 18 pick
- NBAdraft.net: Daniel Orton (pf, 6'10", 269, Kentucky, freshman). Can't go wrong with this one. Since last summer, Orton has gotten bigger, faster, stronger. He no longers needs to wear his knee brace. He's in great shape, but he's a little wet behind the ears. Plenty of room to grow, and an empty roster like Miami's a great fit for both sides.
- DraftExpress: Eric Bledsoe (pg/sg, 6'1", 190, Kentucky, freshman). Again, on a team roster where the sky's the limit, here's another player who will have room to grow. He's quick, fast, and has the raw athletic ability to be on an NBA floor. He will need to infuse a bit more playmaking ability and some IQ to make it all come together.
- Chad Ford: Bledsoe.
No. 41 pick
- NBAdraft.net: Samardo Samuels (pg, 6'8", 245, Louisville, sophomore). Another young buck. I haven't seen him play, but I've heard from the draft boards that he was highly touted last season. I've also heard there's a bit of a knock on Louisville players in that Coach Rick Pitino utilizes a press and doesn't necessarily always have the best talent out there. We'll just have to see. Again, the Heat just have a lot of options with their picks.
- DraftExpress: Lance Stephenson (sg, 6'5", 200, Cincinnati, freshman). Again, the youth trend continues, and I don't disagree with it. Stephenson is a sure-fire athlete, but it's the smarts and refined skills that are the question mark. In a draft that isn't that deep in shooting guards, and with the lockout looming next summer -- and now, as we're learning there are a few teams out there who have cleaned house for the Summer of 2010 -- I think Stephenson made the right decision to come out. He may need to spend some time in Europe or the D-League if he misses the first round and doesn't make an NBA roster.
Both draft boards have Greivis Vasquez, the big Venezuelan point guard out of Maryland, going higher than they had him ranked earlier in the season. By #41, NBAdraft.net has him gone, but on DraftExpress, he's picked at #43. Vasquez would be a nice marketing-related pick for Miami and the Venezuelan population. He's definitely a lot more refined than Samuels or Stephenson.
No. 42 pick
- NBAdraft.net: Tiny Gallon (pf, 6'10", 302, Oklahoma, freshman). I've written before that I wasn't impressed when I saw him in a couple games while actually scouting Willie Warren. But then the draft boards are all abuzz about his ability to knock down long-range jumpers. Again, you can see the picks for the Heat are all trending towards youth.
- DraftExpress: Jarvis Varnado (pf, 6'9", 210, Mississippi State, senior). He's a shot-blocker athlete, so there will definitely be a tryout for him somewhere in the NBA.
No. 48 pick
- NBAdraft.net: Art Parakhouski (c, 6'11", 268, Radford, senior). I don't know about this one. You have a slow-ish old-ish (relatively speaking) prospect. I'd rather the Heat go with the most skilled guy you can find, maybe Jerome Randle, the diminutive point guard out of Cal.
- NBAdraft.net: Jerome Jordan (c, 7'0", 235, Tulsa, senior). A better athlete than Parakhouski. There's not much left this late in the Draft.
So you can see the trend with most of the picks for the Heat seems to be with youth.
SAS - Drafting guys into the Popovich system (20th, 49th picks)
POR - Odin a bigger impact than Oden? (22nd, 44th picks)
NYK - What if they don't get any marquee free agents? (38th, 39th picks)
OKC - Drafting bigs? (21st, 26th, 32nd, 51st picks)
LAL - D-Fish most talked about this summer? (43rd, 58th picks)
BOS - Oh Danny boy! (19th, 52nd picks)
PHX - Shoring up behind Amare? (46th, 60th picks)
ATL - Calling all shooting guards not named Joe (24th, 53rd picks)
ORL - Improving while Dwight improves (29th, 59th picks)
DAL - Depends on Dirk and Dampier dollars (50th, 57th picks)
CHA - S-Jax stuck (no draft picks)
DEN - Just need Coach Karl back? (no draft picks)
CLE - If you leave (no draft picks)