NBA Draft 2012: Biggest Needs for Miami Heat
The 2012 NBA draft is at the end of the month, and the Miami Heat will have options to increase their depth. There are issues at certain positions that the team in South Beach will need to address.
If the Heat don't bring another banner to South Beach, there's a chance the Big Three may not exist anymore. Chances are Bosh will be the first one to go.
Miami will need cheap talent. After their season is over, the Heat will look for free agents such as Steve Nash to hop on board, but what should they do in the draft?
Here's a look at what direction I think the Heat should go.
A Strong Center
Behind Joel Anthony, the Heat do not have a true inside presence.
Ronny Turiaf is good for some minutes, but he doesn't have an impact on the defensive side of things as Anthony does. He can't block shots, rebound and put in the same effort as Anthony.
The Heat put Bosh in the center position, but he's undersized.
A very key theme in these playoffs for the Heat has been being undersized. Udonis Haslem is as tough as they get, but he's also not fit for the position. With the Heat as undersized as they are, it's tough to rebound, and that's been very evident.
So, who could they draft?
My best guess would be Fab Melo. He could give solid minutes off the bench. After all, he's a very tall presence who could attack the glass. At Syracuse, he had his troubles academically, but on the court, he was as tough as they come.
The Heat are in desperate need of a center, and this guy could be a steal for the Heat. Melo is seven feet tall and a tough cover for centers.
A Stronger Bench
It's no surprise the Heat do not have a very deep bench.
Sure, they have guys that can provide some points but no impact players. Guys like Mike Miller, James Jones and Turiaf can only do so much. The one guy that could be a future starter with the Heat is Norris Cole.
On draft day, the Heat should look for some players that will provide a lift off the bench.
Some names that come to mind are Kevin Jones out of West Virginia and Kris Joseph/Dion Waiters out of Syracuse.
Jones was the best player in the Big East Conference in the 2011-2012 season. If the Heat have a chance to get this guy, they shouldn't hesitate. He's projected a late first-round or early-middle second-round pick.
At West Virginia, Jones was able to average around 20 points and 11 rebounds throughout the season. He has the ability to shoot threes, post up and give you a lift with offensive rebounding. He's a hard-working, dedicated player as well.
Jones proved his worth during his senior season at WVU. The Heat could definitely use his abilities off the bench.
Another Center Prospect: Festus Ezeli
Much like Fab Melo, Festus Ezeli is a true center who could benefit the Heat. He has a big build, he's versatile and he can provide points.
During his senior year, he averaged 5.9 rebounds per game at Vanderbilt. He's similar to Joel Anthony, with his defensive presence and shot-blocking ability.
He's a guy the Heat could work with off the bench. He has room to develop but could provide a boost.
The Nigerian is 6' 11" and 255 pounds. He's likely to be a late first-round pick in this draft.
Ezeli is a bit like Dikembe Mutombo in regards to offensive and defensive production. Just to have some more height, the Heat could use Ezeli.
Miami will have to jump on this guy or Fab Melo if either is available.
A Point Guard Isn't Necessary, but Could Be Beneficial
Mario Chalmers and Norris Cole do what they're supposed to do. Drafting a point guard wouldn't be necessary, but it could help.
If the Heat choose to draft a point guard, it would be to provide more scoring ability. Yes, there's a chance Miami will look for Steve Nash out of free agency, but there's a chance he will ask for too much.
Chalmers gives you a good 15-20 points from time to time, but who else could Miami land in the draft? Marquis Teague out of Kentucky is the answer.
On a NBA-caliber team in Kentucky, Teague only contributed 9.8 points per game. However, he fits the bill for the Heat.
Teague will only get better as a shooter, too. What he has is athleticism and speed. Imagine him with this type of team. I'd say it would be a good fit.
Another Small Forward
The Miami Heat could use another small forward to add to the depth. A guy that comes to mind is Baylor's Quincy Miller.
He's athletic, versatile and could provide baskets for Miami. He's billed at 6' 9" and 210 lbs. He has height for his position.
He's not a prolific scorer by any means. He can rebound and block shots, though. In the NCAA tournament, Miller scored only 10 points in his highest-scoring game, but he does provide sparks in other elements of the game.
Quincy Miller could be useful for the Heat in creating more depth and a stronger bench.