Miami Heat

What if a projected top-10 prospect falls to the Heat in draft? A look at the possibility

Riley: “Not a new culture, but to tightening the screws on a culture that sometimes erodes just a little bit.”

Miami Heat President Pat Riley talks to the media during the season-ending press conference at the AmericanAirlines Arena on Saturday April 13, 2019 in Miami.
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Miami Heat President Pat Riley talks to the media during the season-ending press conference at the AmericanAirlines Arena on Saturday April 13, 2019 in Miami.

What’s the best possible outcome for the Heat at pick No. 13 in the June 20 NBA Draft?

A player who is projected to be a top-10 selection falling to Miami, similar to how Justise Winslow fell to the Heat at No. 10 in the 2015 draft.

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Two candidates for that scenario this year could be Duke forward Cam Reddish and North Carolina guard Coby White. Both players are projected by almost every mock draft to be top-eight picks, but they are close enough to the Heat’s range that the possibility of dropping a few spots to No. 13 isn’t completely out of the question.

Reddish, who arrived to Duke as a five-star prospect, didn’t quite live up to high expectations as he was overshadowed by RJ Barrett and Zion Williamson for most of this past season. Reddish averaged 13.5 points on 35.6 percent shooting from the field and 33.3 percent shooting on threes to go with 3.7 rebounds in 36 games as a freshman in his lone season at Duke.

But on-court stats aside, Reddish has the size and length NBA teams are looking for in wing players. He measured at 6-8 and 208 pounds at last week’s Combine with an impressive 7-0.5 wingspan, and his perceived untapped potential has even brought on comparisons to six-time All-Star Paul George.

White averaged 16.1 points on 42.2 percent shooting from the field and 35.3 percent shooting on threes, 3.5 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 1.1 steals per game as a freshman at North Carolina this past season.

White, who considers himself to be a point guard on the NBA level, measured in at 6-4.75 and 191 pounds at the Combine with just 4.3 percent body fat.

WHAT ARE MOCK DRAFTS SAYING?

Basically every mock draft has Reddish and White as top-10 picks, which would take them off the board before the Heat picks 13th.

The latest ESPN mock draft has White going to the Bulls at No. 7 and Reddish going to the Hawks at No. 8.

“His impressive size, open-court quickness and shot-making ability make him an ideal fit in the modern NBA game,” ESPN wrote of White, “and he should make strides as a passer and defender as he continues to gain strength and experience.”

ESPN wrote of Reddish: “Reddish is one of the biggest enigmas of this draft class, as he rarely produced up to his talent level as a freshman and mysteriously missed an NCAA Tournament game. Still, his combination of size, length, fluidity and perimeter shooting ability is highly intriguing in a draft that is lacking deep star power.”

The Athletic’s latest mock draft also projects White to be drafted at No. 7 and Reddish to be drafted at No. 8.

Sports Illustrated’s mock draft has Reddish going even higher at No. 5 to the Cavaliers and White going to the Bulls at No. 7.

“Despite a disappointing year at Duke, Reddish does offer some upside with his physical tools and shooting potential, and figures to end up somewhere in the lottery,” Sports Illustrated wrote.

As for White, Sports Illustrated wrote: “White possesses a good deal of upside, tied to his size, perimeter shooting and developing lead guard skills.”

BOTTOM LINE

Most likely, the Heat will not have the chance to draft Reddish or White unless it trades up in the first round.

Reddish and White are expected to be taken somewhere in the 5-10 range. But if one of them falls to the Heat, it would seem to be a no-brainer to pounce as both present great value at the No. 13 spot.

How would each fit with the Heat? With the uncertainty surrounding the future of the roster, fit probably isn’t as much of a concern. It’s about drafting the best player available who the team feels has the most upside. Reddish and White both check those boxes if they are still on the board at No. 13.

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Anthony Chiang covers the Miami Heat for the Miami Herald. He attended the University of Florida and was born and raised in Miami.
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