Miami Heat

What did Washington, Bol, Little and others linked to Heat have to say before draft?

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What will Miami Heat do in 2019 NBA Draft?

The 2019 NBA Draft is Thursday. The Heat currently holds two picks, Nos. 13 and 44. What will the Heat decide to do with the selections? Here’s a look at all of our coverage leading up to the draft.

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With the start of the 2019 NBA Draft just hours away, here are some words from the prospects who have been linked to the Heat’s 13th pick throughout the predraft process.

Most of the green room invitees spoke to reporters Wednesday at the Grand Hyatt New York. The draft begins at 7:30. ...

Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Virginia Tech guard

When asked what skills he brings to the court, Alexander-Walker said: “God has blessed me with a lot of talent and versatility. Just being able to be a playmaker on both sides of the ball. Primary guard and kind of playing off the ball as well allows me to fit in with different pieces and bring value to a team.”

Goga Bitadze, Georgian center

At 7 feet and around 250 pounds, Bitadze believes he can play against stretch bigs in the NBA because “I think I’m pretty quick. I can get quicker. My lateral movement is pretty good, so I can switch on guards and be able to defend and be able to defend the rim. I think I can adjust my game pretty well.”

How would he try to pitch his game to an NBA team that’s interested in drafting him? “I bring a lot of energy, positive energy. I am physical and try to compete every game and win the game. Trying to win the game and being positive. After that, all the basketball stuff I think I can do. All the stuff on both ends I can do pretty well.”

Bol Bol, Oregon center

When asked if he feels like he has been able to convince NBA teams he’s healthy after a season-ending left foot injury in December cut his freshman season short after just nine games, Bol said: “The little pro day I did last week, I think that helped me very much. The 12 teams and the five GMs that came out, I think they saw that I’m back on track and I was healthy.”

Bol said one of the biggest questions he’s gotten from NBA teams during the predraft process has been if he really loves playing basketball.

“Me only playing nine games, I didn’t get to completely show that,” he said.

Of his strengths on and off the court, Bol said: “On the court, for my size, I can do a lot of things like space the floor, dribble, shoot and pass very well. Off the court, a lot of people don’t know but I am a very fun person.”

Brandon Clarke, Gonzaga forward

How can Clarke help an NBA team? “Probably start with my defensive versatility. I feel like I can guard almost anybody on the court. I also play really hard, so my motor is always going. Offensively, I have a really high basketball IQ. So, there are going to be a ton of things on the court that I’m going to be able to help change for the better.”

One of the concerns about Clarke is that his offensive game could be limited moving forward because he didn’t show much of an outside shot at Gonzaga. But Clarke said he “shot it pretty well in my workouts and proved I’ve been working on the shot.”

Sekou Doumbouya, Guinean forward

The aspects of his game Doumbouya decided to highlight when asked about his skill set? “Defense. My transition defense. My fast break game. I think everywhere, in each part of the game I can bring [something].”

Rui Hachimura, Gonzaga forward

Hachimura pointed to Kawhi Leonard and Giannis Antetokounmpo as his favorite NBA players at his position.

“I like to watch them a lot,” Hachimura added. “How they play hard and how they use their bodies.”

Tyler Herro, Kentucky guard

Herro said his agent told him to expect to be drafted between picks 11 and 18.

Not only has Herro been compared to Suns guard Devin Booker by some, but he said Booker has offered him advice during the predraft process. Herro also said Booker is his dream NBA one-on-one matchup.

Keldon Johnson, Kentucky forward

Johnson said, while growing up, Dwyane Wade was one of his favorite NBA players to watch.

“It’s crazy because I used to just love watching basketball in general,” Johnson said. “We watched a lot of Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and players like that. Chris Paul, Jason Kidd, Vince Carter — we grew up just watching basketball.”

Romeo Langford, Indiana forward

Langford averaged 16.5 points on 44.8 percent shooting from the field and 27.2 percent shooting on threes to go with 5.4 rebounds and 2.3 assists in his lone season at Indiana. Outside shooting was an issue for Langford, but it was later revealed that he played most of his freshman season with a torn ligament in his right thumb (his shooting hand).

How is the recovery from that injury going? “It’s going good,” Langford said. “Summer league is probably the first time I’ll get back out there playing at full speed.”

Langford said the NBA move he tries to emulate is James Harden’s step-back jumper.

On his expectations for his rookie season: “I always have high expectations for myself. So I’m going in there thinking I just want to get a couple of minutes. I’m going in there wanting to be the best and wanting to be a leader. I feel I have all the capabilities to come right in from Day One in summer league and training camp and compete for a role.”

Nassir Little, North Carolina forward

What has Little wanted to prove to NBA teams during his predraft workouts? “It was just showcasing my ability to shoot the ball. I think I shoot better than I get credit for, and that’s what I wanted to show going into this process. I wanted to do a good job of representing that.”

Little shot 48 percent from the field, but just 26.9 percent from three-point range as a freshman this past season. But he also played just 18.2 minutes per game.

“I think the thing at UNC, it was just a small sample size,” Little said. “So there wasn’t a lot to take from it. Going into this process, I just wanted to work every day to get used to the NBA line and develop the consistency of it.”

Little said he would compare his style of play to Kawhi Leonard.

“I like his demeanor. He doesn’t get rattled by anybody,” Little said. “I think that is one of the most important things in the NBA, to be able to block out all the noise and the extra stuff and be able to just focus on the game.”

PJ Washington, Kentucky forward

Washington said his agent told him to expect to be drafted between picks nine and 15.

What has Washington wanted to show in predraft workouts? “Just my ability to do different things on the floor. I feel like in college I really didn’t show my full game. So I just tried to come in and show that.”

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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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