Miami Heat: Was it the player or place with Derrick Jones Jr. and Josh Jackson?

Derrick Jones Jr. #5 of the Miami Heat reacts against the Chicago Bulls (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Derrick Jones Jr. #5 of the Miami Heat reacts against the Chicago Bulls (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

The Miami Heat are known for developing prospects. With Derrick Jones and 2017 NBA re-draftee Josh Jackson in mind, was it them or their initial host?

The Miami Heat have developed quite a few prospects. Like all franchises, they don’t always hit on the chances they take with prospects, disgruntled players, or players that haven’t lived up to their potential for one reason or another. However and unlike all franchises, they hit more often than not on the chances that they take.

This speaks towards the calculated approach of the franchise, but it also speaks towards something else. It means that they have the right people in place to make the decisions, decipher a player’s weaknesses, develop a regimen to improve, apply that regimen, and ultimately determine progress through interpreting what is, isn’t, has been, or hasn’t been effective.

They employ the right people to make decisions. That not only speaks to their developmental endeavors as a section of the organization but reflects on the organization as a whole, as that’s typically how they go about doing things.

When looking at a player like Derrick Jones Jr., that is exactly what happened there. The person in charge of making these decisions, Pat Riley, saw a player that piqued his curiosity, realized what he was good and not good at, brought him in, and worked on his weaknesses and flaws, helping him to become the steadily growing and serviceable NBA pro that he is today.

Heck, as we documented in a previous piece, they have even managed to strengthen his true superpower. He said it himself that he’s increased his maximum vertical leap since joining the Miami Heat.

When looking at a player such as the one that the Miami Heat landed in the FanSided NBA Network 2017 NBA Re-Draft in Josh Jackson, there is a similar dynamic at play, although he hasn’t ever really been in the Miami Heat’s system.

When watching him play during his brief stint with his originally drafted team, it seems as though they asked him to do too much. With a young player and especially one that talented, you want to put them in positions to succeed as much as possible early on to continue to build their confidence, or at least in order to not tear it down.

His original team seemed to put him in positions where he wasn’t adept or shouldn’t have been in yet at those early moments of his career. Instead of forcing a square peg into a round hole early on by having him sit along the wing or try to create for himself, they should have had him focusing on what he did well which was defending like a mad man, slashing, driving, and making his money in the cleanup area with second-chance opportunities.

With these things in mind though, specifically knowing what we know about both Derrick Jones Jr. and Josh Jackson, one has to ask themselves a question. Was it the player that caused things to not work out with their original NBA team, the same team for both, or was it the actual franchise?

While that is a question worth asking, it’s safe to assume the answer. That is why we would assume that if the Miami Heat had actually taken Jackson, it would be a much similar story to that of Jones Jr.’s and Jackson would be on his way to his projected potential already.

This isn’t to trash another franchise or call them out in any way or sorts, but it’s food for thought. If you haven’t considered this very situation, are you looking at things as critically as you can? That is why we had to ask whether it was it the player or place with Derrick Jones Jr. and Josh Jackson?

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