The Miami Heat and Marquette share a storied history, and the Heat could turn back to Dwyane Wade’s alma matter with the 18th pick in Thursday’s NBA draft.
So, Marquette huh? Does it remind you of anyone? This century Miami Heat’s success has direct ties to Marquette, but it started in the 90s with Tony Smith. Since then, Dwyane Wade, and most recently Jimmy Butler, Jae Crowder and Jamal Cain have all been part of the Heat after playing for the Golden Eagles.
With that in mind, I want to present you to Olivier-Maxence Prosper – or O-Max – one of the players the Miami Heat will be eyeing with the 18th pick this Thursday. Prosper was born on July 3rd, 2002 and is from Montreal, Canada.
At 6’8 with a 7’1 wingspan, Prosper’s size and length will be enticing for the Heat, as they look to expand their forward rotation. Has long legs and uses them to get to the rim with long strides. Is not an extremely high leaper, but measured above expected at the Combine. Moves fluidly and absorbs contact really well, with developed upper and lower body.
Can space the floor and not only by being a shooter. Attacks closeouts well and cuts behind defenses with purpose and good timing. His body allows him to get to the rim in quick time and finish against contact or over defenders. Has a tendency to go to pump fakes and has a really good footwork to get to the best possible shot. Despite his long strides, his lack of burst and quick first step and a bit of a messy handle has him struggling to beat his man when getting to the rim. But the Marquette offense didn’t provide him with much space to work with and the NBA spacing should give him more space to attack and less bodies in his way.
He’s not a knockdown shooter, but can definitely score from outside if given the space and will not hesitate to let it fly. His 33% efficiency on catch-and-shoot 3s is not amazing and there’s some work to be done there, but as something that is not his main offensive skill going into the NBA, it should be one hell of a plus. Doesn’t look ready at times to receive the ball and go immediately into his shot, having to prepare a bit.
Great tools and great processing as a defender. Can defend some guards and slow down scoring wings and the Heat will love that in him. His long legs and long arms allow him to cover a lot of space and be able to give a bit more space and still contes shots, especially in closeouts. Really good rotator as a defender, seems to be everywhere and strives in that, with a ton of willingness to help. Shows great lateral mobility and is not easily beaten off the dribble. As an off-ball defender, O-Max stays in the passing lanes, is always ready to come help on drives and has the switchability Erik Spoelstra looks for in a wing player.
I’d say he can be a 2-4 defender with no problem, but within the Heat scheme, you know he will be tasked with defending 1s and 5s on many different times. Prosper is not a rim protector, can defend some bigger guys by using his length and strong base, but will not be able to deter shots at the rim.
Stats (per 36): 15.5 PTS | 62.4% 2FG (6.1 ATT) | 33.9% 3FG (4.0 ATT) | 73.5% FT (5.2 ATT) | 5.8 REB | 0.9 AST | 1.1 STL | 1.8 TOV | 0.2 BLK | 20.3% USG
It’s not only the Marquette roots that tie him to the Heat. Olivier-Maxence Prosper is as gritty and aggressive as he is long as a wing. The Heat would be enticed by his do-it-all demeanor and his prowess as an on-ball defender. His shot would need work from day one, both in terms of preparation and release point. His ball handling also needs some tightening as he was at times a bit turnover and an easy target for defenders off the ball to swipe at the ball.
But, Prosper’s game screams Miami Heat and the ECF champions will be looking at him with special attention