Latest NBA mock drafts agree on Miami Heat's biggest need

Duke v NC State
Duke v NC State / Greg Fiume/GettyImages

The Miami Heat may have selected the steal of the draft when they took Jaime Jaquez Jr. with the 18th pick last June and, this summer, they’ll likely be in a position to select another impact player.

Even though the Heat made the NBA Finals last season, because they entered the playoffs as the no. 8 seed, it meant that they would be picking in the teens, rather than the end of the draft. 

Well, the 37-31 Heat are on pace to pick in the middle of the first round again. While I realize that’s putting a positive spin on what has been a disappointing regular season, well, it’s still something.

Two high-profile mock drafts by The Ringer and The Athletic have the Miami Heat taking 7-footers who can play with Bam Adebayo.

The Heat are currently slotted to pick at no. 15 and, with the NCAA tournament beginning this week, the mock drafts are beginning to roll out. Two high-profile mock drafts by The Ringer and The Athletic have the Heat taking 7-footers who can play with Bam Adebayo.

The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor has the Heat taking Indiana big man Kel'el Ware, who he compares to Myles Turner.

Here’s what O’Connor wrote about Ware:

“Ware is an explosive big man who has hit over 40 percent of his 3s this season. But throughout high school and his freshman season at Oregon, there were questions about his motor and work ethic. With Indiana, he put in far greater effort and excelled, even as the Hoosiers fell out of tournament consideration. Landing with an organization like the Heat would be a best-case scenario to keep him on this positive trajectory.”

Meanwhile, The Athletic’s Sam Vecenie pencils in Duke’s Kyle Filipowski as the pick. Here’s what Vecenie wrote

“Filipowski can shoot from the perimeter, attack heavy closeouts and bring the ball up the court in grab-and-go situations. His passing has taken a nice leap this season, and he’s more comfortable reading the court. I also think Filipowski’s defense is better than its reputation. The Blue Devils have a top-25 defense, and he usually positions himself well, contests enough shots and can slide his feet a couple of times on an island to stay with wings and even some guards.

“Filipowski is a really interesting player for the Heat because he can play next to another big, as he did last season with Dereck Lively II, or operate as a center himself, as he has this season. With Bam Adebayo locked in place, Filipowski would make for an interesting frontcourt complement.”

Both are interesting picks for the Heat, who have been experimenting with Nikola Jovic next to Adebayo for the last several games. Jovic offers an intriguing combination of size and shooting, but he might not be a natural big man. Drafting a 7-footer who can space the floor – like Ware and Filipowski – would allow Adebayo to slide over to the 4 and give the Heat more size in the starting lineup.

Or, of course, either would be a potential long-term answer for Miami’s constant shuffle of backup centers.

The mock drafts will change a lot between now and June, but that both draft analysts suggested that the Heat could use a floor-spacing 7-footer is worth noting.

Next. Next. 5 Players Heat fans should watch in the NCAA Tournament. dark