Heat

Who Should the Heat Select at No. 15?

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The Miami Heat haven’t used their first-round pick in three consecutive seasons since 2009-2011.

While the Heat could opt to trade their first-round pick to upgrade the roster, they have very limited cap flexibility which could lead to them making their selection at pick No. 15. The draft class is weak in comparison to previous years, but there could be a lot of value with the pick coming just after the lottery.

Here are five players who make sense for the Heat in the upcoming draft.

Devin Carter (PG – Providence)

Like Jaime Jaquez last year, Carter is an obvious fit for Miami.

He’s an experienced college player who has improved every season, including taking a massive offensive leap this past year. Carter shot 37.7% from three on high volume— almost a 10% increase from 2022-23. He also was extremely efficient inside the arc by shooting 56.3% and improved as a playmaker.

The 2024 Big East Player of the Year has a unique two-way skillset and could be trusted to guard 1-3 at the NBA level due to his 6-foot-9 wingspan. Carter is an elite rebounder who may have tested his way out of the Heat’s range by setting the NBA combine record for fastest 3/4 court sprint time to go along with a 42-inch max vertical jump. If he does fall to 15, however, the Heat should be thrilled.

Tristan Da Silva (PF – Colorado)

Da Silva is a 6-foot-9 wing who can shoot, pass and put it on the floor.

He shot just under 40% from three in each of the past two seasons and is a career 38.6% shooter from beyond the arc in four seasons at Colorado— where he exceled shooting both off the catch and dribble. He projects as a multi-positional defender where he could likely guard 2-4 at the next level, but he is most impressive as an off-ball defender.

Da Silva averaged just 2.4 assists per game last season, but his feel as a passer is even better than the numbers show. He sees the floor well and his ability to attack closeouts should translate to the next level. The 23-year-old isn’t extremely athletic which could limit his versatility, but he is ready to contribute from day one.

Kel’el Ware (C – Indiana)

Ware has top-ten upside in this class.

He averaged 16/10/1.5 with just under two blocks per game last season on 59/43/63 splits. He’s a great athlete, plays with great touch around the rim and will instantly provide value as a lob threat. The motor issues are a concern, so landing in the right situation is going to be massive for his development.

Miami would be a great fit, as he would fix their backup center issues and could also play next to Bam Adebayo at some point in the future if he shows that he can stretch the floor at the NBA level. Ware needs to get stronger, however, and is one of the hardest players in the entire class to assess, but adding a seven-foot rim deterrent who has shown the potential to stretch the floor is a really intriguing option at 15.

Jared McCain (CG – Duke)

Shooting is a premium in the NBA, and McCain might be the best shooter in the entire class.

He’s an undersized guard but he competes defensively, and his rebounding will translate. The 20-year-old is an elite shooter. He can shoot it off movement, off the dribble and catch and shoot. If he can continue to make plays in the pick and roll, he will be a steal at 15.

McCain averaged 1.2 points per possession in PnR despite his lack of explosiveness. He understands footwork, changing speeds and positioning very well. The fit is going to depend on what the Heat’s guard room looks like next year, but the value of getting arguably the best shooter in the draft outside of the lottery is too much to pass up if he’s still available.

Ja’Kobe Walter (SG – Baylor)

I don’t know if Walter makes it out of the lottery, but if he does, it makes a lot of sense to take a swing on his upside.

He’s a high-level shot maker who is one of the best movement shooters in the entire class. Walter is skilled at drawing fouls and tested well at the combine. He’s typically an engaged defender but does get caught ball-watching at times and is inconsistent as a perimeter defender. He struggles to create separation and isn’t efficient at the rim — shooting just 1-for-13 on transition layup attempts last season — but this pick would be made based on the spacing he would instantly provide and the potential as an all-around scorer.

About Frankie Richetti

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