Why the Miami Heat should look to trade down from any pick outside of top 5

Pat Riley listens to Shaquille O'Neal of the Miami Heat during a press conference to offically announce his arrival to the Miami Heat (Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/Getty Images)
Pat Riley listens to Shaquille O'Neal of the Miami Heat during a press conference to offically announce his arrival to the Miami Heat (Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/Getty Images) /

The NBA draft lottery takes place on Tuesday, May 14 in Chicago. If it isn’t top 5 or higher for the Miami Heat, they should look to trade back.

The best franchises and teams in any league are often those that take full advantage of the Draft. The Miami Heat should be no different. If you take a look at some of the most successful franchises in all of the professional sports leagues, their respective drafts have been very big parts of their success.

In the NFL, the New England Patriots are masters at unearthing talent. It may not always be there top picks, but the way they mine value from the entire draft is a wonder to behold. If you look at the MLB and although the Houston Astros bottomed out to do so, they were able to snatch three of their core guys in the draft in Alex Bregman, Carlos Correa, and George Springer.

Look at the NBA, and you have to go no further than the defending champion Golden State Warriors. They were able to draft Steph Curry with the seventh overall pick in 2009, Klay Thompson with the 11th overall pick in 2011, and Draymond Green in the second round at the overall 35th pick in 2012. They secured most of their entire core through the draft, which more than illustrates the importance of manipulating and correctly navigating the draft in pofessional sports.

It is with this evidence that this case is presented, if the Miami Heat aren’t able to secure the 5th pick or higher in Tuesday’s draft lottery, they should look to trade back and acquire more assets. Here is exactly why this is the case.

According to ESPN, the top 5 prospects in the NBA Draft in order are Zion Williamson of Duke, Ja Morant of Murray State, RJ Barrett of Duke, Darius Garland of Vanderbilt, and De’Andre Hunter of Virginia. Although there aren’t really ever any surefire prospects in any draft, there are definitely none in this draft, and that’s even when you include the phenom out of Duke in Zion WIlliamson.

Williamson is a can’t miss prospect in most eyes, but he has holes and questions in his game as well, such as his lack of a true jump-shot or his questionable height at maybe 6’6. After he and Ja Morant, the uber-athletic point man who needs to improve his jumper at the next level, the chances to draft a generational talent are close to even. The fact that the chances aren’t any higher of drafting a game-changing player at pick number 3 as it is at 23, is one reason they should trade back.

The Miami Heat have also managed to ship off a ton of their own draft picks over the years as well. If you take a look at the next three NBA Drafts alone, they have no second round picks as of now in the next two drafts, and have currently managed to leave themselves without a pick at all in the 2021 draft. Trading back from a top 6-13 pick would definitely help to recuperate lost draft capital.

On top of gaining back some of the lost draft capital, the Miami Heat are in definite need of scorers and shooting. The best way to do that is to go get a proven player to fill the need, or audition as many guys for cheap as you can. To acquire more assets would give the Heat a better chance to either of the aforementioned strategies.

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Due to a tight pay-roll, the Heat would need help from current players opting out, or the front office of the team or teams they were looking to deal with in acquiring a particular player. Draft picks certainly go a long way when attempting to complete those kinds of deals. It is for the reasons mentioned above, that unless the Miami Heat completely luck up and land a top-5 pick in this year’s NBA draft, they shouldn’t even make the pick.