This summer, the Miami Heat are looking to turn minimal options into successful moves.
Success, like anything else in life, comes with sacrifice. A philosophy that team president Pat Riley has not been afraid to broach in the Miami Heat past or future.
With this summer being no different.
To get mentioned in the race for any potential superstars—DeMarcus Cousins, Kawhi Leonard or LeBron James—the Heat would surely have to move any combination of players from their young core. And in some permutations, even point guard Goran Dragic is involved.
The same Dragic who the Heat owe their first-round picks to the Phoenix Suns for, in the upcoming 2018 NBA Draft, as well as an unprotected selection in 2021. A scenario whose outcome could equate to Miami missing out on potential one-and-done prospects, providing that the league follows through on their recent memo.
Those are two situations where sacrificing for instant gratification has the ability to hurt the team’s future; in a way, similar to the way four years of Big Three dominance lead to a mediocre team thereafter.
But even though the Heat seem boxed in, at the moment, it was all worth it.
And there is a glimmer of hope.
Thanks to the scouting staff and vice president Chet Kammerer, Miami has been able to successfully find quality exiled players—such as Hassan Whiteside and Tyler Johnson—and productive second rounders like Josh Richardson. All three of which clocked the majority of starters minutes this past season.
At first glance, the Richardson part would not seem to matter much, since the Heat lack picks in both halves of the draft. However, the word is that they have been exploring ways to buy into the second round.
The truth though is that Miami does not have the cash to send, aside from $5.2 million which only becomes available July 6. In other words, the Heat can work out a pre-arranged draft for cash deal, where another team picks for them and the transaction is completed at the later date.
The second thirty picks in Thursday’s draft will feature options like Maryland’s 3-point shooting combo forward Justin Jackson, Virginia’s 3-and-D wing Devon Hall and IMG Academy’s instant offense, project of a high school shooting guard Anfernee Simons.
The Heat have options. Onlookers will just have to wait and see what happens this summer, starting with the June 21 draft.