MIAMI (CBSMiami)- The Miami Heat enter Thursday night’s NBA Draft in Brooklyn with a first and second round pick, but who they pick or if they’ll even keep their selection remains to be seen.
Having missed the playoffs this 2018-19 NBA season, losing franchise-legend Dwyane Wade to retirement and without much money to spend during the 2019 NBA Free Agency period, Miami has a lot to figure before the team hits the hardwood next season
Miami holds the 13th overall selection and they acquired a second round selection from the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday, the No. 44 pick, in exchange for a conditional 2024 second-round draft pick and cash considerations.
The Heat do fall out of picking some of the bigger names in the draft, such as Duke’s Zion Williamson, Murray State’s Ja Morant and Duke’s RJ Barrett.
But they do have options and the likelihood of drafting a ‘difference-maker’ at No. 13 isn’t necessarily impossible.
Therefore, one of Miami’s options could be keeping their picks, specifically the 13th.
According to NBA TV’s Mock Draft, they have University of Kentucky power forward, P.J. Washington, landing in South Beach with pick No. 13.
Washington comes off an impressive season at Kentucky, where he averaged 15.2 points per game, 7.5 rebounds per game and helped lead the Wildcats all the way to the Elite 8 of the NCAA Tournament.
The Heat have reportedly had several players in for Pre-Draft workouts and visits, including Washington, Guinean-born French forward Sekou Doumbouya, Gonzaga forward Brandon Clarke, and Kentucky guard Tyler Herro.
Other prospects considered potential choices for Miami are University of Southern California guard Kevin Porter Jr. and Gonzaga’s Japanese forward Rui Hachimura.
However, the Heat can also look into trading their picks.
Miami currently sits strapped of any spending money in free agency, but a trade package involving some of the team’s more expensive contracts and their 2019 draft picks could help open up cap space or even bring in a go-to star, something Miami lacks right now.
Heat guard Goran Dragic recently told the team he will be exercising his $19.2 million option for next season and center Hassan Whiteside is expected to accept his player option with Miami, which would pay him a little over $27 million.
Both players have reportedly been mentioned in trade rumors.
Dion Waiters and James Johnson, guaranteed over $12 million and $15 million for the 2019-20 season, are also reportedly available.
The tricky part is getting other teams around the league to take in these expensive deals, without them asking for Miami’s younger players in return, like Josh Richardson, Bam Adebayo and Justise Winslow.
Whatever the Heat decide to do, they head into this offseason with little flexibility and more questions than answers.
Thursday’s draft starts at 7 p.m. inside the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Here’s the complete draft order:
Draft lottery (First 14 Picks):
1. New Orleans
3. New York
4. Los Angeles Lakers
10. Atlanta (from Dallas)
14. Boston (from Sacramento via Philadelphia)
Below is the order for the remainder of the first round:
19. San Antonio
20. Boston (from LA Clippers via Memphis)
21. Oklahoma City
26. Cleveland (from Houston)
27. Brooklyn (from Denver)
28. Golden State
29. San Antonio (from Toronto)
2019 SECOND ROUND DRAFT CHOICE ORDER
31. Brooklyn (from New York via Philadelphia)
33. Philadelphia (from Cleveland via Orlando and New York)
34. Philadelphia (from Chicago via Los Angeles Lakers)
36. Charlotte (from Washington via Orlando, Denver and Atlanta)
38. Chicago (from Memphis)
39. New Orleans
40. Sacramento (from Minnesota via Portland and Cleveland)
41. Atlanta (from Los Angeles Lakers via Cleveland and Indiana)
42. Philadelphia (from Sacramento via Brooklyn and Milwaukee)
43. Minnesota (from Miami via Charlotte)
44. Miami (from Atlanta)
46. Orlando (from Brooklyn via Memphis and Charlotte)
47. Sacramento (from Orlando via New York)
48. LA Clippers
49. San Antonio
52. Charlotte (from Oklahoma City)
55. New York (from Houston)
56. LA Clippers (from Portland via Detroit and Orlando)
57. New Orleans (from Denver via Milwaukee)
58. Golden State
60. Sacramento (from Milwaukee)