Barry Jackson

Scouts assess Heat’s first-round power rotation options


After our piece taking a look at wing players on the Heat’s radar earlier in the week, here’s some feedback from two scouts – and what we’re hearing – on power rotation players who were invited to work out for the Heat, with Miami owning the 14th pick in Thursday’s draft:

• UCLA power forward TJ Leaf.

First scout: “He can shoot, has a little bit of a postup game and handles pretty well. He’s a true four [power forward]. If he’s your pick at 14, that’s a good pick. He’s going to be a good player. Some question his toughness, but I don’t know about that. Not real bulky. More of a stretch, skilled four as opposed to a Charles Oakley type. There are defensive concerns, but the Heat can make him a better defensive player.”

Second scout: “People question his defense a little bit, but nobody plays with a traditional power forward anymore. He can stretch the floor. He runs and rebounds pretty well. Good enough athlete and has got a little edge to him.”

The view here: The Heat likes him and he will be strongly considered if available at 14.

• Duke center/power forward Harry Giles, who could fall to Miami’s range because of three knee procedures (two on one knee, one on the other).

First scout: “Before the knee surgeries, he was this unbelievable guy who separated himself from the pack. I saw him at Duke; he’s still pretty lively and quick, but not the athlete he was pre-injuries. People say he has a face up game. But I saw him as a back-to-the-basket guy. The one clear skill he has is rebounding. What you saw last year isn’t everything you’re going to see. How much has he truly lost with the injuries and how much more can he grow? I think he would be worth the risk at 14.”

Second scout: “I have serious doubts about him. One of the big issues is confidence in the knee. What is he going to be like mentally in a crowd in an NBA game with those knees? It’s too much of a damn risk at 14.”

The view here: Cannot be ruled out for Miami, but there is concern inside the Heat about his knees, and he canceled a scheduled Heat workout for an unknown reason. Not sure the upside is big enough for the risk.

• Gonzaga center Zach Collins.

First scout: “I haven’t done him, but two scouts told me he would be the steal of the draft.”

Second scout: “They would be lucky if he’s there at 14. He can score. He’s tough. He can shoot the ball. North Carolina is lucky he got in foul trouble in the national championship game. He might be a stretch five or stretch four. Versatile and very talented.”

The view here: The Heat likes him and he would be highly appealing if he slips to 14.

• Wake Forest forward/center John Collins.

First scout: “Has a post game, can rebound, very good shot-blocker. He’s going to be a good pro. Little undersized for a five. Has some face up game, but more of an inside guy. Doesn’t have three-point range.”

Second scout: “Don’t really like him. In today’s game, what does he do at an NBA level? I don’t know. I think he’s an end of the first round talent. I don’t see him defending stretch fours [power forwards] and he can’t guard a five [center]. He’s not long. Can he stretch it to the three-point line? That remains to be seen. He scores a lot around the basket in college, and I don’t think he’s going to be able to do that [as well] in the NBA.”

The view here: The Heat liked his workout last week, but a Western Conference official mentioned an issue that concerns some teams. (That issue is not performance, not legal and not character related. Character is not an issue). Hasn’t yet shown the three-point range necessary to be an ideal fit playing with Hassan Whiteside.

• UCLA power forward/center Ike Anigbogu.

First scout: “He is the mystery guy because you’re going on very little sample size [averaged 13 minutes as a freshman at UCLA]. The one thing we know is he can block shots.”

Second scout: “You watch highlights on him and say, ‘Holy [bleep]!’ He can run jump, tremendous offensive rebounder. Long arms. But he’s raw as hell and he’s another guy that’s an upside play. Doesn’t start on his college team. Not expecting a whole lot from him next year.”

The view here: He intrigues the Heat, but No. 14 seems a bit too high for a developmental big man.

• Texas center Jarrett Allen.

Second scout: “An enigma. So talented but doesn’t play hard all the time. A role of the dice. Upside play that is as talented as any player in the draft but you just don’t what you’re going to get.”

The view here: See Anigbogu.

• Creighton center Justin Patton.

Second scout: “I like him. Can do a lot of things. The only thing that can hold him back is immaturity, not uncommon for a young big kid. He could be gone by 10.”

The view here: Diverse skills but didn’t help himself in his Heat workout.

• The scouts thought 14 would be too high for Cal forward Ivan Rabb.

First scout: “His stock went down. Runs kind of funny. Going to be able to rebound, got somewhat of a postgame. I don’t think he has three-point range. I think he will be a solid play, but I wouldn’t take him at 14.”

Second scout: “I wouldn’t take him at 14. What does he do at an elite level?”

The view here: Not worthy of the 14th pick.

• Kentucky power forward Edrice Adebayo.

Second scout: “Nice player; not a great player. Not as athletic as people think. Good kid that plays hard. A good big off the bench.”

The view here: Would be more appealing if the Heat picked 20th.

Here’s my post from earlier tonight with 10 UM nuggets, including some thoughts from Mark Richt.