Barry Jackson

Current and former NBA scouts assess Heat’s draft options at 13

More from the series


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.

Expand All

For feedback on many of the players in the mix for the Heat’s pick at No. 13, we solicited input from a veteran NBA scout for a Western Conference team and from former NBA scout Matt Doherty, the ex-North Carolina and FAU coach who has studied these players closely and now works for a Charlotte radio station.

Here’s what they had to say:

Gonzaga forwards Rui Hachimura and Brandon Clarke:

Doherty: “A lot of people seem to have Clarke ahead of Hachimura and I don’t know why. Hachimura can play power forward/center right away and can shoot the ball. I like him, have him at 11. I have Clark at 20. Clark can do a lot of things but he’s 22 and 6-8 and 207 pounds and he has no perimeter skills. He can block shots, great offensive rebounder, 6-10 wing span which is not freaky. Narrow shoulders and small hands. I’m not as big a fan of Clarke because he may not even be a rotation player.”

Scout: “I like Hachimura. He can score, but I question his range and feel. He kind of puts his head down and goes. He can get his own shot, is mobile, more scorer than shooter. My concern would be basketball IQ. Clarke is a big time athlete but can’t shoot well enough. What role can he play? I’m not sure.”

Kentucky forward PJ Washington and guard Keldon Johnson:

Doherty: “I loved Washington since high school. He reminds me of Paul Millsap. He’s durable, he’s versatile. He has a maturity about him. He brings good energy every game. He’s a good rebounder, good length – 7-3 wingspan.

“Keldon Johnson is a straight two guard, maybe a Danny Green type, good shooter. I can see him floating anywhere from 15 to 26. He might be more of a need guy. Off the dribble stuff is the question. You have got to have some wiggle at the wing spot. When the shot clock is going down, can you get to the rim and make a play? He’s limited off the dribble.”

Scout: “Big fan of Washington. He can shoot, he rebounded, he got better last season. He’s got an NBA body. He’s athletic. He’s going to be a good NBA player. I thought Keldon Johnson was a little overrated. Pretty good shooter; his niche is probably a scorer.”

Kentucky guard Tyler Herro:

Scout: “Good all around player. Not a great athlete, but knows how to play. Moves well without the ball, competes. A little limited in terms of upside. He’s not Kyle Korver or JJ Redick yet. I still have some questions about the shooting. Some people say he’s a better shooter than his numbers indicate.”

He shot 46.2 percent overall last season, including 35.5 percent on threes.

Doherty ranks Herro 18th in this draft: “Short arms [but] good sized two guard that is an excellent shooter.”

Southern Cal guard Kevin Porter Jr.:

Doherty: “One of those guys where he’s a crapshoot. I have him at 27. I could make a case he’s a second-round pick. He only averaged 9 points a game, team had a losing record. Had a deep thigh bruise that kept him out. Only shot 52 percent from the free throw line; that’s focus, concentration. I don’t like his stroke. Had 30 assists to 39 turnovers. The lower he gets drafted, the better he might be [because he will be motivated].”

Scout: “I saw him on tape. A super athlete, not really a great shooter, though his numbers aren’t bad from three. Defense isn’t that great. Character stuff could loom large there. High risk, high reward.”

North Carolina small forward Nassir Little:

Doherty: “I have a lot of concerns. He’s a 6-6 small forward, but plays like a power forward. Face up 4-man with limited range. He’s got length and he can defend and has improved his shooting in workouts. Still a straight line driver. I see him as undersized power forward and very undersized at 6-6. I have him at 16. Better chance he doesn’t perform to expectation than the chance of being very successful. If he played at Georgia State, would he even be a lottery pick? No.”

Scout: “He’s a guy that got all this acclaim. I don’t get it. He did not play well. He’s athletic and he can score, but to me, he’s a total crapshoot. He could very well get overdrafted. He’s an undersized four [power forward]. I don’t think he’s really a three [small forward].”

Indiana swingman Romeo Langford:

Doherty: “He can create, he can run pick and roll, has a 6-10 wingspan. If he’s got work ethic and character, his shooting will come. I don’t think his shot is broken. Even if he doesn’t [improve his shooting a lot], he still has a place because he’s not just a one slot guy. He can guard three, maybe four positions and offensively can play a couple positions. Could be a star if the shooting comes. Kawhi Leonard wasn’t a great shooter and then became an excellent shooter.”

Scout: “You might get value in the teens, and you can see the talent. Didn’t shoot well but can score.”

Oregon center Bol Bol:

Doherty: “I’m concerned with the [foot] injury and the maturity. Everything I read is questioning his motor and love of the game. What’s your care factor and maturity?”

Scout: “Has rare combination of shooting and shot blocking but high risk.”

Virginia Tech guard Nickeil Alexander Walker:

Doherty: “Very good shooter, limited athlete. Good size. Has got the maturity people are looking for. Some people compare him to Jeremy Lamb.” Doherty has him going 19th.

Incidentally, Doherty would not be surprised if Duke swingman Cam Reddish slips to the Heat at 13.

“Good size for the position and has range, but shot only 33 percent from threes and people question his motor and competitiveness,” Doherty said. “Pat Riley and Erik [Spoelstra] could be the best thing for Cam Reddish or the worst thing. You are going to get pushed and if you don’t like it, you are not going to respond to it but it’s what you need. If you embrace it, [the results will be good]. He missed an NCAA Tournament game; what is your care factor?”

French forward Sekou Doumbouya:

Scout: “Underwhelmed. I’m surprised he’s being projected this high. Did not strike me as a lottery pick.”

North Carolina shooting guard Cameron Johnson, who’s projected lower than Miami’s range:

Doherty: “I have him at 17. He’s older, 23, but he’s a 6-9 two guard that can shoot the hell out of the basketball. Has a good attitude. Tries on defense. My concern is: Is he injury prone? But what’s not to like? His past performance is pretty damn good. He can come in right now and play because he is mature. With Little, you’re going to have to wait three to four years.”

Here was my Dolphins six-pack from Wednesday, including thoughts from an NFL executive. And please check back tonight for some Marlins news.

Related stories from Miami Herald

  Comments