NBA Mock Draft: Ranking top 15 realistic prospects for the Miami Heat

NBA Draft prospect Jordan Hawkins (Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports)
NBA Draft prospect Jordan Hawkins (Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) /
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NBA Draft
NBA Draft prospect Dereck Lively (Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports) /

13. Dereck Lively II, C, Duke

With Bam Adebayo, Omer Yurtseven, and Nikola Jovic, I’d actually be surprised if the Miami Heat burned their projected top-20 draft pick on a more traditional center but we’ve seen this franchise do stranger things. And because of that, I’m not exactly throwing out the possibility that the Heat could draft Dereck Lively II out of Duke. He improved as the season went on and is likely going to be a first-round pick.

Standing at 7-foot-1, Lively averaged five points, five rebounds, and 2.4 blocks per game on 66 percent shooting from the field during his freshman season at Duke. He’s a player that will help immediately on the defensive end with blocks and rebounds. After that, any team is really rolling the dice on being able to develop his offensive game.

For Miami, a team that is likely not going to move from its current position to win now, it would be extremely surprising if they took Lively. Then again, the Heat did take somewhat of a developmental project last season in Jovic.

Lively has some strong potential but with the NBA quickly moving away from the more traditional center position, I would not expect the Heat to consider Lively all that much in the first round.