The Miami Heat flopped miserably on draft night. Then again, the Heat weren’t built by drafting. They were built by Pat Riley’s ability to orchestrate one of the biggest wins in NBA free agency history.
When you have three superstars and an adequate supporting cast you don’t need to draft well.
Unfortunately for the Heat, the time will come when aging veterans won’t be willing to accept league minimum deals to come to Miami to play supporting roles. The older Dwyane Wade gets, the more his durability becomes a concern.
This poor draft may not be a huge deal because the Heat are built to succeed again in 2012-13. It’s still a little alarming how content they seem to be with their frontcourt. Chris Bosh has injury problems and there isn’t a true scoring big man other than him on the roster.
In trading their initial pick Arnett Moultrie to the Philadelphia 76ers, the Heat sacrificed a potential rotational big in order to acquire a project player in the late second round and a future first rounder from the Sixers.
The Sixers are a good, young up-and-coming team that will not likely be drafting in the lottery any time soon.
For the Heat, they didn’t get any better in this draft. Hopefully, they can sustain their superiority throughout next season, a complete 88-game season unlike the season they won the championship.
The Magic are seemingly on the verge of a total collapse. The continual uncertainty in the locker room through frequent trading, firing of head coach Stan Van Gundy and Dwight Howard’s recent request for a trade to the Brooklyn Nets have all but annihilated this once promising franchise’s hopes of winning a championship.
One thing is for sure, they did it to themselves in trying to appease Howard’s selfish motivations.
So what did they do on draft day? What they should have done was trade Howard for as many picks and players they could have attained. Instead, they kept Howard and did nothing with the picks they did had.
Instead of adding a scoring wing to enhance Howard’s game, or for Howard’s game to enhance, the Magic went and drafted a Ryan Anderson look-alike and a rotational center to play behind Howard.
I know what you’re thinking.
The players they picked aren’t as awful as I’m suggesting. That may very well be true, but the immediate needs of this team and the behind-the-scenes happenings suggest it is do-or-die time for new general manager Rob Hennigan. Hennigan didn’t do anything to secure the future and success of the Magic.
Instead, if anything, it looks like he’s added some rotational frontcourt depth with the assumed likelihood that the Magic’s franchise player Dwight Howard will be on the move in the near future.
If Howard stays, or if he goes, the immediate future is looking bleak in Orlando.
The Houston Rockets positioned themselves perfectly for a chance to move up to the No. 5 pick to get their guy, Andre Drummond. They added draft picks. They wheeled, dealed and came up empty on draft night. The Sacramento Kings wanted Kansas power forward Thomas Robinson badly.
Unfortunately for the Rockets, he was still there when the Kings picked at No. 5.
They also reportedly had been trying to acquire multiple lottery draft picks in order to entice new Magic GM Rob Hennigan in trading Dwight Howard.
They failed on that front as well. There are two losers in the Dwight Howard drama and the Rockets are in just as bad of shape as the Magic.
After Yao Ming’s retirement, the Rockets have desperately needed a competent center to anchor their explosive young offense. Ming could have been their Tim Duncan. The Rockets were forced to settle for alternatives at positions that weren’t necessarily of need.
Jeremy Lamb has a very high chance of failing in the NBA. Concerns about his ability to create at the NBA level is what pushed him out of the top 10 and into the mid-first round. At best, the Rockets added a rotational player to complement Kevin Martin. Martin is a solid shooting guard.
The Rockets had no need to draft a complimentary player that high in the draft when they had more pressing needs elsewhere.
With their second and third first-round picks, the Rockets took very similar players in Terrence Jones and Royce White. White’s off-court issues, including a fear of flying, made him a very big question mark. His ceiling is certainly high and near that of Lamar Odom. However, his athleticism is lacking and he will struggle to develop into the high-caliber point forward that Odom has turned into.
Terrence Jones has the ability to play the 3 or 4 at the NBA level because of his excellent athleticism. Of all three of the Rockets’ picks, he looks to have the most promise. However, his basketball IQ and consistency are definitely question marks that could translate to struggles at the NBA level.
Overall, the Rockets did not get significantly better and whiffed on two scenarios that would have drastically improved their team.
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