Navigating the uncertain waters of the NBA Draft has been a special kind of hell for Pat Riley over his years with the Heat organization. Outside of Detroit’s gift to Miami that was Dwyane Wade in 2003, Riley’s draft record reads more like a comedy of errors. The upcoming draft figures to be equally challenging.
In sports, people generally prefer the predictability of the black and white. The obvious. Thursday’s draft figures to be anything but. One expert’s eighth pick is another’s twentieth. And if your team is picking somewhere in the middle of the first round — as the Heat are, at No. 18 — well, it is very difficult to zero in on someone.
What is damaging everyone’s quest to narrow down their searches is the lack of separation beyond the select few at the top. Kentucky’s John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins, Ohio State’s Evan Turner, Georgia Tech’s Derrick Favors, and Syracuse’s Wes Johnson figure to go first.
After that, everything is tenuous. And even they don’t seem all that elite.
While there don’t appear to be any surefire superstars in this draft, this appears to be a relatively deep draft class with intriguing prospects expected to be on the board all the way through the first round and perhaps beyond.
So the rumors are starting to soar, with every team outside of the Top 2 (Wizards and Sixers) potentially interested and open to trading up, down or both (with the Pacers and Bulls open to trading out of the draft completely), which means picks 3 through 30 are potentially up for grabs if the team that’s trying to trade up has enough assets (cap space, players, picks, etc.) to get a deal done. Read more…