Roundtable: Will Kel'el Ware make an immediate impact for the Heat?

And what else do the Heat need to do this offseason?
Nebraska v Indiana
Nebraska v Indiana / David Berding/GettyImages

The NBA draft is over and was full of surprises. What did we think of the Miami Heat’s two selections, and how does it set the stage for what could be an eventful offseason? The All U Can Heat staff got together to discuss the draft and what comes next.

1. Were you surprised by either of the Heat’s picks?

Joshua Gitman: Yes, by Kel’el Ware. All signs were pointing to Miami drafting a guard but the Heat went the other way and drafted a big man. It’s an interesting move considering Kel'el was a late first in most mock drafts, but hey in Pat Riley we trust. 

Alex Villasis: Seeing how the postseason played out, I am not shocked. With a majority of the teams that made it to the second round or further such as the Dallas Mavericks and the defending champion Boston Celtics, it’s becoming vital to have multiple big men that can make an impact. Kel’el Ware has the tools to be a quality backup big and potentially a starter next to Bam Adebayo in the future, which would give Erik Spoelstra different options with lineups. As for the Pelle Larsson pick, it never hurts to add more shooting to the roster. And with Miami’s track record of player development with players that can shoot, this pick screams Miami Heat. 

Max Marshall: No. Miami needed more size next to Bam Adebayo and Kel’el Ware brings that to the lineup. Miami hasn’t had an athletic big like this since Hassan Whiteside. Ware could be Miami’s X factor if he unlocks more parts of his game. Pelle Larsson is good shooter Miami can develop this into a rotational player down the road. 

2. Do you think Kel’el Ware will make an impact as a rookie the same way Jaime Jaquez Jr. did? Or will he need a year of seasoning like Nikola Jovic?

Gitman: Ware will make a Jaime Jaquez Jr. impact. Ware reminds me of what Dallas got from Derrick Livley II. Ware can play on both sides of the ball and will finally be the backup center Miami has desperately been looking for. 

Villasis: It depends on how the roster is filled out and if Kevin Love returns. If Love decides to retire or go to another destination, then I can see Ware having a Jacquez-type season and immediately playing. It’s hard to say that Ware will make the All-Rookie first team, but Ware can definitely see the court if no backup five option is filled in the offseason and the Heat staff have full confidence that Ware can play immediately.

Marshall: It will be a bit of both. I think Miami will ease Ware into things at the beginning of the season and if he does the things that Miami is looking for he will get playing time. Regardless, I think Miami will give him minutes but not consistent playing time. 

3. Was someone else on the board when the Heat were on the clock that you wish they would have taken instead (first or second round)?

Gitman: I would’ve liked Miami to take Dalton Knecht. There’s a reason why he dropped but Knecht would've come in right away off the bench and provided scoring at all three levels for a team that struggles putting the ball in the hoop.

Villasis: I was hoping Miami would take the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year Jamal Shead in the second round as Miami does not have many guards who are defenders on the roster.

Marshall: I was hoping for Dalton Knecht in the first round, but other than that I really have no issues with Miami’s draft.

4. Which current Heat player or free agent is most impacted by the Heat’s draft?

Gitman: Kevin Love. It hurts to say this because Miami has gotten good production from Love in the last two seasons considering his age, but with Ware most likely coming off the bench to start his career Love will most likely lose playing time.

Villasis: Thomas Bryant. With Miami selecting Ware while already having Orlando Robinson on the roster and possibly Love, I don’t see a spot for Bryant on the roster. I am of the mindset that Miami would prefer to have Love over Bryant, and in the scenario Love comes back, it would be highly likely that Bryant would opt out of his player option and look for possible playing time elsewhere.

Marshall: Thomas Bryant or Orlando Robinson. The Heat tried to develop both this past season. Robinson has been in Miami’s pipeline for the past couple of years, and he hasn’t taken the leap the team might have expected. By drafting Ware, all of Miami’s attention will go towards its first-round pick. I don’t see either Bryant or Robinson playing in Miami this upcoming season.

5. What is the Heat’s biggest team need after the draft as we head into free agency?

Gitman: Star power. If the Heat want to compete in the East then they have to get a third star around Bam and Jimmy. The Knicks just got Bridges, the 76ers have cap space to get a star in free agency, and the Celtics aren’t going away anytime soon. If the Heat want to get back to the Finals they need a star.

Villasis: An elite scorer. As Joshua stated, the East is getting better and is also loading up with size. And with Jimmy Butler getting older and acknowledging the impact of Father Time, it’s vital for Miami to acquire a high-level scoring threat to help an offense that has struggled over the last few years.

Marshall: Miami still needs a consistent scorer, a No. 1 who can take a load off of Butler in the regular season and postseason.

Next. Next. 2 Best-Case, 1 worst-case scenario for Heat draft pick Pelle Larsson. dark