Miami Heat: Why they have to have plans for KZ Okpala this season

KZ Okpala of the Miami Heat poses for a portrait during the 2019 NBA Rookie Photo Shoot(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
KZ Okpala of the Miami Heat poses for a portrait during the 2019 NBA Rookie Photo Shoot(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

The Miami Heat might have gotten another steal in last season’s draft, as they took KZ Okpala at the top of the second round. When will they unleash him?

The Miami Heat are the masters at finding talent. They are also the masters at acquiring it on the cheap.

Let’s be honest, Pat Riley and the crew over there in the front office are among the most thrifty and efficient front offices in the league. While cheap can come off with a few negative connotations attached to it, you use thrifty or efficient because they typically don’t sacrifice quality or lofty expectations in operating the way that they do.

In last year’s NBA Draft, this point was proven again. After taking Tyler Herro earlier in the lottery of the NBA Draft, they were able to land another player who had been ranked as high as between the lottery to the mid-20s at pick number 32.

This player was KZ Okpala. Okpala didn’t get a ton of time with the big club last season but this season could be different and here’s why we think so.

When you look at the Miami Heat’s roster at the moment, while thinking about it and the rotations relative to last season, there are some gaps and holes that need to be filled. You also take into account which players it is that aren’t coming back.

Jae Crowder took over the starting job from Meyers Leonard later in the season, but even when Jae wasn’t there, Leonard still gave up minutes to someone else on the bench, such as Derrick Jones Jr.  Ok, then you have the fact that even when Jae was starting, Leonard and Jones Jr. saw time there too.

Well, without Jae Crowder or Derrick Jones Jr. on the team, you have those minutes to account for. While he wasn’t a regular rotational guy by any means, Solomon Hill also came in to give spot minutes at times.

Yes, they brought in Moe Harkless to take on some of those minutes, which he will and they still have Andre Iguodala in tow, so there is a good part of those minutes right there. However, without as much depth along the wing and specifically, depth with those particular qualities, it opens up a window to see quite a bit more of Okpala than we did last season.

Even if it isn’t a ton of time, the Miami Heat’s moves as far as who they let walk and brought back tell you something about what they have planned for him. Even if it’s only 10-15 minutes a night, the DJJ role down the stretch, they seem to have him pegged in there.

Now, you could probably say that Precious Achiuwa might throw a wrench into that plan and you might be right. However, I would argue that simply by nature of being in the system for a year longer than Achiuwa has, Okpala has the leg up there.

Next. Miami Heat may have their next Derrick Jones Jr. type. dark

It’ll all be interesting to watch play out and we shall get the chance very soon, as the season starts in less than a month. However, all of that mentioned above is why I believe that the Miami Heat have plans for KZ Okpala this season.