Miami Heat Beat’s 2017 Big Board 1.0

Insight5 years ago12 min readMiami Heat Beat Staff

It’s officially #DraftSZN! The Miami HEAT are projected to pick 14th, but we all know Adam Silver is probably going to rig the lottery. Whether he does or doesn’t, Miami Heat Beat has you prepared. Nekias Duncan (@NekiasNBA) and Leif Sylvander (@Lefty_Leif) have you covered with 14 names the HEAT may consider in our first edition of the 2017 NBA Draft Big Board.

The “If Adam Silver Rigs The Lottery” Big Board

1. Markelle Fultz
Point Guard, Washington, Freshman

Age: 19.1 | Height: 6-4 | Weight: 195 | Wingspan: 6-10 | Standing Reach: 8-6 | Vertical: N/A

The Fultz-led Huskies missed the NCAA Tournament this year. Mustard is a condiment. There are 31 days in May. I figured I’d continue the theme of listing facts that we shouldn’t care about.

Fultz is easily the best prospect in this year’s class and is arguably the best guard prospect to come out in the last decade. Defensive effort is the only thing you could consider as a weakness, but even then, we’re not sure if that’s actual laziness, or just boredom considering his situation at Washington. The guy’s a stud. — Nekias

2. Jonathan Isaac
Forward, Florida State, Freshman
Age: 19.7 | Height: 6-11 | Weight: 209 | Wingspan: 7-1 | Standing Reach: 9-1 | Vertical: N/A

Isaac is still very raw and needs to develop physically, but the toolbox is full. The type of developmental project that would be worth the wait. Unlimited potential, especially if entrenched in Miami’s world-renowned strength and conditioning program. Has shown flashes of Tracy McGrady, Kevin Garnett and Rashard Lewis—sometimes all in the same possession. — Leif

3. Lonzo Ball 
Point Guard, UCLA, Freshman

Age: 19.7 | Height: 6-6 | Weight: 190 | Wingspan: N/A | Standing Reach: N/A | Vertical: N/A

There are questions about his in-between game and his ability to create off the bounce. There are questions about his lateral quickness, and, well, his father off the court.

But this guy is such a special passer, has elite vision, high basketball IQ and NBA range on the three-ball. Maybe I’m crazy, but I still think he’ll be really good on the next level. Playing alongside Goran Dragic would help take the creation burden off of him, and I think he’s athletic enough to hold his own defensively once he learns the intricacies of the NBA game. — Nekias

4. Malik Monk
Shooting Guard, Kentucky, Freshman

Age: 19.4 | Height: 6-3 | Weight: 200 | Wingspan: 6-4 | Standing Reach: 8-3 | Vertical: N/A

It could be argued that Lauri Markkanen, Jayson Tatum or even Dennis Smith Jr. would all be better fits considering the current roster. However, in my opinion, Monk has star potential. The irrational confidence label that has been attached to Dion Waiters applies here, except Monk has the chance to make that confidence seem far more rational. A CJ McCollum skill-set (but more athletic) with a Reggie Miller mindset. — Leif

5. Jayson Tatum
Small Forward, Duke, Freshman

Age: 19.3 | Height: 6-8 | Weight: 205 | Wingspan: 6-11 | Standing Reach: 8-11 | Vertical: N/A

Spreading the floor and moving the ball is extremely valuable in today’s NBA. But there’s still value — a specific value, but value nonetheless — in having a guy you can give the ball to and say, “hey, go get us a bucket.”

Miami needs a guy like that, and there’s plenty reason to believe Tatum is that guy. He’s a mid-post assassin; not quite Melo, but think of the good version of Danny Granger. He can also shoot from deep, but he has work to do to become elite in that area. He’s a good athlete, though I don’t see him as more than an average defender on the next level. He’s a great complement to Justise Winslow, me thinks. — Nekias

The “If Adam Silver Doesn’t Rig The Lottery” Big Board

Disclaimer: From a roster construction standpoint, a replacement for Willie Reed is a position the HEAT will need to be addressed. So any of the handfuls of big men currently being projected around the 14th pick would all make varying levels of sense if Riley & Co. so choose to go that route. However, I prefer to add a player at a position other than the one that the team already invested $100 million dollars in. But that’s just me. If pressed for a name among the late lottery big men, I would go Bam Adebayo. — Leif

1. OG Anunoby
Small Forward, Indiana, Sophomore

Age: 19.9 | Height: 6-8 | Weight: 236 | Wingspan: 7-2 | Standing Reach: 9-0 | Vertical: N/A

Would be number one in this group if I knew for sure his surgically repaired knee was fully healed and ready. The idea of Spoelstra being able to throw Anunoby, Winslow, James Johnson and Okaro White in waves at opposing top wing players is especially intriguing. Has to develop his offensive repertoire but worthy of the 14th pick off athletic ability and defensive prowess alone.

Had his knee injury never occurred, I think he would be a lock to go in the Top 10. The situation (not the player) is vaguely reminiscent of how Caron Butler slipped in 2002. Also, would cry tears of pure joy. That could potentially trigger into a good cry. That is reason enough to covet OG. — Leif

2. T.J. Leaf
Power Forward, UCLA, Freshman

Age: 20.1 | Height: 6-10 | Weight: 222 | Wingspan: 6-11 | Standing Reach: 8-11 | Vertical: 34.5

It has been whispered that while Riley was scouting Lonzo Ball back in December and January, he grew particularly fond of Leaf’s skill-set. Talented offensive player that is athletic enough to be a factor on defense in the right system. Needs to gain strength, which shouldn’t be a problem in Miami working with Bill Foran & staff.

Fans might struggle to get excited about the pick but I think he would be a great fit with this HEAT core. Imagine if Luke Babbitt could make athletic plays and dunk on people. Excited yet? Still no? Oh well, I like him. Maybe it’s the fact that his name is pronounced the way so many people mispronounce my name. — Leif

3. Justin Patton
Center, Creighton, Freshman
Age: 20 Height: 6-11 | Weight: 229 | Wingspan: 7-3 | Standing Reach: 9-4 | Vertical: 30.5

I think Patton has the potential to become the best big man in this class. He runs the floor and changes direction like a wing. He has baby-bottom-soft shooting touch around the rim and solid mechanics on his jumper that lend me to believe he could knock down threes at some point at the next level. He protects the rim well and showed flashes of switching out on guards.

The guy could become Tyson Chandler with a jumper; I’m not sure how you pass on that if you need a center. With Willie Reed’s impending free agency, I think Patton would be a great fit here. — Nekias

4. Justin Jackson

Small Forward, North Carolina, Junior
Age: 22.2 | Height: 6-8 | Weight: 201 | Wingspan: 6-11 | Standing Reach: 8-9 | Vertical: 33

Jackson is a safe pick. I’m not necessarily a fan of those (which is why I’m lower on Leaf than Leif is), but I get it. Jackson is jack-of-all-trades, he’s progressed tremendously as a shooter, possesses a high IQ, and, for what it’s worth, is a winner. You could put him on an NBA team tomorrow and he wouldn’t have any issue chipping in wherever he’s needed. He’ll be a rotation player for a long time. — Nekias


Hamidou Diallo
Shooting Guard, Kentucky, Freshman
Age: 18.9 Height: 6-5 | Weight: 197 | Wingspan: 6-11 | Standing Reach: 8-6 | Vertical: 44.5

I have to admit, I haven’t seen a ton of this kid other than what can be found on YouTube. From my conversations with a few people who have seen more of him, he has that alpha scoring guard potential. His athletic ability and explosive style of play are highly intriguing. Clearly would be a developmental selection, a couple years away from being ready to contribute.

Quite frankly, part of the intrigue lies in the chance to get out in front of drafting a top Kentucky recruit. The gamble could be a worthy one, although I admit it would be an out of character selection for the HEAT front office. Might be at the top of this list by the time the draft arrives, or not even in the conversation. Could go either way, word to . — Leif

Harry Giles
Power Forward, Duke, Freshman
Age: 19.2 Height: 6-11 | Weight: 232 | Wingspan: 7-3 | Standing Reach: 9-2 | Vertical: 32.5

I feel bad for Giles. Coming out of high school, he seemed to be head and shoulders above the rest of the pack as a prospect. He was a supreme athlete with a versatile skill-set, but then ACL injuries derailed him.

He never quite looked himself at Duke. In hindsight, he probably should’ve sat out the year and replenished his stock during private workouts. However, he’s still supremely talented. If Miami can keep him upright, there’s still all-star potential to be realized. I’d love to see Miami take a flier on him. — Nekias

Caleb Swanigan
Power Forward/Center, Purdue, Sophomore
Age: 20.2 Height: 6-9 | Weight: 245 | Wingspan: 7-3 | Standing Reach: 9-0 | Vertical: N/A

My shock the world sleeper is Biggie. The only PF/C that makes my list is a name that is probably far from the radar of any HEAT fan or media member. In my opinion, the most complete, skilled big man in the draft hands down — assuming he stays in the draft. Swanigan has had significant challenges getting and staying in shape. The opportunity for the HEAT staff to mold this kid’s body and get him into world class condition makes his highly evolved skill set that much more intriguing.

Basketball IQ, feel for the game and leadership qualities abound. This is my dark horse at 14. The pick nobody sees coming and boos like hell, only to end up being exposed in clips of Inside the HEAT after Biggie is a Lifer a few years later. Although now he is rated as a late first/early second-round prospect by most NBA Draft analysts, I think he will flourish in private workouts.

Also, would put his cape on for any player with the nickname Biggie. So, Swanigan is President approved despite the fact Alf might (Editors Note: for sure) not have ever even heard of him. — Leif

Jonathan Jeanne
Center, Nancy/France
Age: 20 Height: 7-2 | Weight: 207 | Wingspan: 7-7 | Standing Reach: 9-6 | Vertical: 31.5

The parallels to Rudy Gobert (Editors Note: stop being obtuse, word to BenjiDowsettt), as a prospect of course, are there. Both were tall with ridiculous wingspans. Both ran the floor well and blocked more shots than Jalen Rose on Twitter. Both also weighed less than your coffee mug.

What separates Jeanne is that, to me, he moves better laterally. On the flipside, Gobert had and has a better motor. If Miami takes a chance here, they’d have to hope that improved conditioning can bring the best out of him effort-wise. — Nekias

Thanks, But No Thanks

Terrence Ferguson, G, USA

His agent is Rich Paul. Moving on… — Leif

Bam Adebayo, C, Kentucky

Leif likes him, and I understand the intrigue, but something just screams “Ekpe Udoh” about him. He has the physical tools, but doesn’t have much feel for the game. He’s young, though, so we’ll just have to see.  — Nekias

Isaiah Hartenstein, PF/C, International

I am sick of seeing his name next to our logo when I simulate the lottery on — Leif