Not many players in this draft fit Miami Heat Culture and what it represents, while taking care of some of their needs the way Sidy Cissoko does
Sidy Cissoko, a 19-year-old from France, became the first European player to represent the G-League Ignite this past season. Really impressed in his first season in the U.S. as a wing defender with some capabilities as a ball-handler. Fits a lot of what goes into being a Miami Heat player and that is the main reason why I have him as a possibility for the Heat, even if he’s projected to be picked in the late-first, early-second round.
Has great frame, being 6’6 with a 6’10 wingspan. Really strong core and lower body strength, cannot only withstand contact but impose his physicality on every play. Can play both forward positions, moves his feet very well and shows coordination and leaping ability. May seem a bit robotic at times with his movement and doesn’t have elite hip flexibility.
Should be a slasher, at least to start off his career in the NBA. Takes long strides when driving to the rim and can adapt and react to defenders getting in his way. Strong build helps him with keeping defenders away from him. Goes way up off one foot to finish and can take on contact. Smart passer who can receive at the top, wing or low post and have cutters and shooters looking to get open. Patient with the ball, will look for the more efficient look, but is not afraid to get creative. More of a stationary passer, needs to become better at controlling and finding teammates on the move, especially with his slashing. Struggles a bit more when he has to initiate the offense while being pressured, stopping his dribble at times.
Can go to his low post game against smaller or weaker defenders. Gets pushed a bit while establishing position but once he gets it, will back up defenders into the paint and below the basket for easy finishes, with good footwork as well.
Doesn’t shoot the same way every time, leaving his auxiliary hand too soon, with his shot losing direction. Gets his legs into the shot and has been evolving. Can get into some pull ups and step back 3s as well, winning really good space. It will be his swing skill in the NBA, to be able to find consistent minutes and even a spot as a starter.
Pressures the ball and bothers ball handlers, can even follow guys full court. Can navigate and fight through screens at a high level, with his great physical tools and advanced readings. Not easy to go by him and even harder to go through him.
Wins his bread as an off-ball defender, offering many different options to his team. Covers a lot of ground and tricks attackers into making bad passes, looking for mistakes. Really good at coming from the help side to check rollers and fight with them down low. Cissoko is physical and reads plays before they happen. Usually really good on closeouts, as he’s doing a lot of off-ball helping. Recovers quickly in a really low stance and points attackers to where he wants them to go and has good lateral movement.
Despite being projected as a early-first/lare-second rounder, Cissoko fits a lot of what the Heat try to do. Versatile on both ends, can defend guards, wing players and switch onto bigs and reads the game really well off the ball. Can be a ball handler and attack the rim and has been developing his shot. Although a dark horse for the Heat, Cissoko would be a perfect fit.