Heat 2024 NBA Draft Big Board 1.0: Who could Miami draft at no. 15?

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Later this month, the Miami Heat will be on the clock with the 15th pick in the NBA draft. It’s the highest pick they’ve had since 2019, when they made Tyler Herro the draft’s 13th selection.

Most draft analysts have labeled this class as “weak” or “underwhelming,” but that’s mostly a reflection of the prospects at the top. There is no bluechip, Wemby or Zion-esque prize in this draft. Instead, this class is mostly made up of helpful if not extraordinary players. In other words, most expect a bunch of ordinary role players to come out of this class.

But hey, ordinary role players can be really helpful! Especially to teams like the Miami Heat who could use a few more. 

“I think the draft is deep with a lot of good players,” Heat GM Adam Simon told the Miami Herald. “We’re hoping to find the right players that eventually when developed and are with us can become good players for us.”

Simon and Miami’s scouting department have been busy analyzing the draft with trips to the NBA combine in Chicago, the Portsmouth Invitational and to California for various workouts, as well as holding several workouts in Miami over the last couple of weeks. 

Judging by their recent selections, the Heat are generally looking for three things when it comes to making a draft pick: Size, ball skills and character. Players like Nikola Jovic and Jaime Jaquez Jr. checked all three boxes. I’d wager that whoever they take at 15 on June 26 will do the same.

(One thing you’ll notice not on the list: Shooting. The Heat obviously value shooting but they believe they, more than most teams, can teach and develop players into serviceable shooters. They are more interested in the other, less teachable traits.)

After doing my own scouting work – pouring over film, stats and interviews – here’s my best guess as to what the Heat’s big board currently looks like.

But first, we’re going to eliminate a few players who don’t project to be available by the time the Heat are on the clock. Zaccharie Risacher, Alex Sarr, Donovan Clingan, Reed Sheppard, Matas Buzelis, Stephon Castle, Rob Dillingham, Dalton Knecht. Tidjane Salaün and Nikola Topić won’t be included in our big board. 

Next, we’re going to eliminate a few players who are fine prospects in Miami’s range but aren’t a good fit: Carlton Carrington (the Heat don’t need another mid-range gunner), Isaiah Collier (effort concerns) and Johnny Furphy (lack of ball skills).

With all of that done, here’s my best guess at Miami’s big board: