The Knicks have scheduled a last-minute workout with Darius Garland of Vanderbilt. It should be a reason for Miami Heat fans to get excited.
With the NBA Draft just two days away, the Miami Heat should already have a pretty firm grasp on exactly what it is they want to achieve during the draft. As that was believed to be the case with most teams at this point in the process, the New York Knicks are seemingly a bit uncertain. According to ESPN Draft Analyst and Reporter Jonathan Givony, the New York Knickerbockers have an apparent affinity for Vanderbilt guard, Darius Garland.
Listed at 6’2″ and 175 lbs according to sports-reference.com, Garland only managed to play in five games for the Vanderbilt Commodores before going down with a knee injury. For what it’s worth though, through those five games Garland averaged 16.2 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 2.6 assists. He did so on an overall shooting percentage of 53.7 percent, but shot a darn good 47.8 percent from distance, hitting 11 of the 23 3-pointers he attempted across those five games.
The assists numbers are a bit low for a point guard, however, his scouting profile says that he should be able to distribute the ball effectively at the next level. Scouts say he is lightning quick and agile, a really good iso player with a silky smooth jump shot, which is evident based on his percentages from deep. Here is a specific scouting take from Kailey Jackson of NBADraft.net.
A 6’2’’ultra quick and shifty point guard … Possesses some of the best ball handling skills in the 2019 draft class … Has an adept ability to create his own shot … A “slick” ISO player with refined pull up abilities off the dribble. Very crafty at setting up shots and using change of speed and pump fakes to get defenders biting and off balance … Excellent at using the dribble to create passing angles … Extreme quickness, keeping defenders off balance … Deadly three point shooter … His silky smooth release and dribbling abilities make him difficult for opponents to defend … Before suffering a season-ending knee injury, he averaged 16.2 points and 3.8 rebounds in his five games with Vanderbilt … He is extremely challenging to stay in front of when he is in a scoring rhythm … Catches opponents off guard with his open court speed … Knows when to use his soft floater and gets to the basket with ease … Has quick hands and is a scrappy defender
Now, let us get to the real reason we all are here. This should be very exciting news for teams that pick later in the lottery like the Miami Heat.
The Heat probably have their eye on quite a few players, as approaching the draft without any of these late process zingers is already somewhat tricky terrain to navigate. This without a doubt throws a wrench into everyone’s plans that pick beyond the Knicks, and that could be good or bad for the Miami Heat.
What this most likely means for a team like the Heat is that a player or even multiple players that they thought would be gone by the time they select may be available. Up until today, Garland was projected by many to be a lottery pick, and perhaps even in the top ten, but not the number three or four selection that many have bumped him up to being after this news broke. We had him going at number seven to the Bulls when we here at AUCH mocked this upcoming draft.
What this means is that someone has to fall, and although this doesn’t mean that the Miami Heat will have a chance to land someone like the heavily projected third pick in R.J. Barrett of Duke, it does give them hope that may be able to land a more highly rated and coveted player than they thought. We also had the Miami Heat having a chance to land Cameron Reddish of Duke at 13, due to prior team needs and best fit, and this Garland/Knicks news tends to lend more to that situation actually having a chance to occur.
Professional sports leagues drafts are often a wild ride, no matter which one you choose to analyze. This one hasn’t even started yet, yet we are already experiencing some roller coaster-like thrills with the potential happenings and occurrences. Let’s just say Thursday can’t get here fast enough, because if this is the precursor of things to come, it will be a crazy one and we can’t wait for it.