The Miami Heat, whether they would like to admit it to their fan base or not, are about to completely blow up the team after this coming year. They have no hope of winning a championship next year and should very much look to the future with this pick. The only players on this team with contracts beyond the 2015-16 season are Chris Bosh, Josh McRoberts, James Ennis and Shabazz Napier (two team options). The only position that is not a major need in 2016-17 and beyond is the power forward position with both Chris Bosh and Josh McRoberts having long term contracts. The Heat fans very much want to find Dwayne Wade's replacement in this draft, but I think the front office is going to be looking for the best player available.
Though I don't think there's any way he realistically falls this far, the best player available in this mock draft would be Mr. Willie (Trill) Cauley-Stein. This would not immediately be a very popular pick with the fans since both Hassan Whiteside and Chris "Birdman" Anderson are both fan favorites. The fact of the matter is, Bird is getting old and probably won't be in the league much longer. Hassan is making the league minimum and after next year is going to get a lot of offers from a lot of teams, so there's no guarantee that the Heat attempt to bring him back for the amount of money he will be offered. Willie may not be the best option for them to make the playoffs next year, but he is their best option moving toward their complete overhaul of the team. After next year they would have a defensive anchor in WCS and two stretch/play-making fours in Bosh and McBoberts. The only other two players under contract would be Shabazz if they want to pick up his option(s) and James Ennis.
The Heat will have a lot of money and a lot of options going into the 2016-17 draft and free agency period. Willie Cauley-Stein, Bosh, and McRoberts would give them something to try to sell any and all back court free agents on next year. Regardless of who they actually pick this year, they are going to have a lot of work to do next year when the free agency class is huge and the salary cap rises significantly.
There's even a chance LeBron James comes back and creates another super team. If this happened to be the case, Willie would offer the heat the one thing they never had in LeBron's first stint there... a true defensive center. I'm not making this pick in the hopes that King James returns, I'm just pointing out that it could have been one of the major reasons he left in the first place. Willie would also be relatively cheap and his contract would last as long as Chris Bosh's, so it could be a huge selling point to free agents this year and next.
I'm not going to get a lot into what his strengths and weaknesses are, because they really didn't factor into team need this year very much. He just happens to be by far the best player available and the Heat are in a very unusual position because Pat Riley set them up to be able to blow it up at the perfect time. The fans would like to think that making a playoff push this year would be a good thing, but I believe they should just be willing to be terrible one more year, get another chance at the lottery, and then completely revamp their team at the end of the upcoming season. The Heat only have about $35 million on their books in 2016-17 including the money from this pick, and Pat Riley is going to try hard to make some serious moves in free agency.
Good centers are hard to come by in free agency and usually cost more than they're worth, so I believe this would be their best option in this particular situation. There's going to be a plethora of PG, SG and SF's a year from now and I believe Pat is smart enough to understand that they will be much more affordable than centers. Why overpay to keep Hassan Whiteside when you can get Willie for cheap?
Ultimately I believe the Heat won't have WCS available and will probably end up with Johnson, Booker, Oubre, or Frank Kaminsky. If Trill is available they will undoubtedly pick him, but realistically he probably won't be. I very much believe it's in the Heat's best interest to take who they feel is the best player available. There's no guarantees on who will be here beyond next year, and they will need something to sell the free agents of 2016-17 on.
I believe Pat Riley set himself up for future success long before LeBron even made his decision to leave. The Heat have a lot of work to do in the next couple of years and a lot of major personnel decisions (potentially including head coach). It's not an enviable position to be in, but one that could turn out very well if done correctly.
I'm not really sure how to end this, so... GO NUGGETS!!!
*When teenasty uttered that last sentence, "I'm not really sure how to end this, so... GO NUGGETS!!!", he was fired by Pat Riley. Ironically, these were General Custer's last words as well.*
Here is a breakdown of the draft so far:
|1||T-wolves||Russscot||Karl Anthony Towns|
|2||Lakers||Rocky Mountain Way||D'Angelo Russell|
|9||Hornets||It's the LAW SON||Devin Booker|
|10||Heat||teenasty||Willie Cauley Stein|
cubobafett56 and the Indiana Pacers are on the clock.