Expect Myck Kabongo to be in Miami when the Heat raise their 2012-13 NBA Championship banner at the start of next season.
Will Myck Kabongo make the Heat roster?
Kabongo entered Thursday night’s draft as a prospect who would likely go in the early parts of the second round. Kabongo was one of the top players in the Big 12 the last two seasons, as he ran the point for the Texas Longhorns. Last season, Kabongo averaged 14.6 points, five rebounds and 5.5 assists per game.
But when commissioner David Stern stepped up to the podium 30 times in the first round, Kabongo’s name never got called. While that wasn’t a major surprise, it was rather shocking when deputy commissioner Adam Silver didn’t call the guard’s name either in the second—leaving him as an undrafted prospect.
Alex Kennedy of USA Today didn’t expect to see Kabongo go undrafted:
I'm still surprised that Myck Kabongo went undrafted. He has so much talent. In a few years, we might look back on that and laugh.— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) June 28, 2013
Kabongo was very professional despite not getting selected in the draft:
Congrats to the 2013 draft class salute !! I will continue to work , hold my head high and push forward! Definitely not the end of the road.— Myck Kabongo (@MyckK9) June 28, 2013
While Kabongo didn’t get picked on Thursday, he did on Friday. Kennedy reports that Kabongo will play for the Heat’s summer league team:
Undrafted free agent Myck Kabongo will play with the Miami Heat's summer league team. Huge addition for Miami. Very talented young man.— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) June 28, 2013
This is a fantastic move by the Heat, as Kabongo is bound to be a star in the NBA someday. While he won’t the biggest point guard in the league, he is a terrific floor general. He’s a leader off the floor and makes his teammates better when he’s on it. He’s also a solid shooter who takes smart shots.
While Texas wasn’t very good while Kabongo was enrolled, he made the most of his time there and proved that he deserves to at least get a shot at playing in the NBA. This summer, Kabongo is going to show the 29 other teams what they missed out on. The guard is the type of player who always makes the most of opportunities.
Kabongo has what it takes to make the Heat’s regular season roster.
This past season, the Heat really only used a pair of point guards: Mario Chalmers and Norris Cole. In actuality, there were only four guards in general that played for Miami during 2012-13. Chalmers, Cole, Dwayne Wade and Ray Allen will likely all be back for next season, but that doesn’t lessen the chances of Kabongo making the team.
There’s no reason why the Heat can't have five guards on their roster for 2013-14, Kabongo being the fifth. Kabongo would give Miami another versatile option on the court, which would surely make the team better. Kabongo is somewhat a combination of what Chalmers and Cole bring to the table.
Kabongo could be the point guard on the floor when Wade and LeBron James are bringing the ball up. He doesn’t have to be the leader of the offense to make an impact. He can help create open shots for the better shooters on the Heat while playing great defense against the opposition.
While Chalmers and Cole are both fairly accurate from the field on offense, neither brings a big defensive presence to the table. Sure, they might get a steal or two per night, but Kabongo also has what it takes to rack up some steals. Kabongo also is one who fights for rebounds, which can't be said about the other two point guards. Most college point guards don’t average five boards per night.
Kabongo is good on both sides of the court, and Miami will be a first-hand witness to that during the summer. After watching what he’s capable of against the top rookies and sophomores in the league, there’s no way the Heat will leave him off the 15-man roster. He’s too good of a player to not have in Miami each night.