NBA Draft 2011: Pat Riley's 5 Potential Targets for the Miami Heat
This is the draft not to have a first-round pick. The level of talent this year is absolutely atrocious and after the top five, it's nearly interchangeable until you hit in the No. 30-40 range.
It's not such a bad thing for the Miami Heat, who as it currently stands will have the first selection in the second round (No. 31 overall). Whether the pick gets moved or Pat Riley decides to acquire more picks is a wild uncertainty.
1. Reggie Jackson, Boston College
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Scouts rave about Jackson's absurd seven-foot wingspan. He was a very efficient shooter (50 FG%, 40 3P%, 80 FT%) last year at Boston College and has the potential to be a great defender with his length and basketball intelligence.
He also has the capability to play both guard spots on both ends of the court. My gut says he won't last until No. 31 and the Heat would have to trade up to get him.
2. Charles Jenkins, Hofstra
The 6'3" point guard out of Hofstra was one of the most efficient players in the nation last year, shooting 52 percent from the floor, 42 percent from three and 82 percent from the stripe.
It's also important to note he shot over 40 percent from three in each of the last two seasons. The knocks on him are he played for a small school and isn't one of those freak athletes at the point.
He's also a true gamer and has a resume full of clutch, last-second shots.
3. Jeremy Tyler, High School/Japan
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Tyler is the ultimate risk/reward pick in the draft. Physically, he has as much talent as anyone, and at a shade under 7'0" with a heavy dose of athleticism, figures to have a very high ceiling. However, he's also got baggage.
Tyler left high school a year early to go play professionally in Israel before quitting midway after averaging only 2.1 points and 1.9 rebounds in just 7.6 minutes. He then played in Japan for a year where he had some success, averaging 9.9 points and 6.4 rebounds in 15.4 minutes while shooting 52 percent from the field.
Is he immature? Sure. Does he have the talent to be a starting center one day and a beast on the defensive end? Yes. For what it's worth, he was projected by NBA scouts two years ago to be a top selection in this draft.
Riley loves his bigs and, if he's available, he may be too tantalizing to pass up. However, always remember this equation, as we learned from Mr. Mike Beasley.
Immaturity and lots of money plus South Beach equals potential disaster.
4. Nolan Smith, Duke
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Although he doesn't have the upside of some of these other players, he's a much safer pick to crack Miami's rotation from day one because of his ability to shoot and defend. Both skills happen to be of the utmost importance for Miami point guards.
A four-year Duke product, he already has the principles of true man defense ingrained in his head. On top of that, he's a kid who's won everywhere he's been, after playing at powerhouse Oak Hill in high school and then Duke.
The only knocks on him are he isn't elite in any particular facet of the game. He's also not one of those freak athletes or guys with super-long wingspans. Yet he is a smart, instinctive player with two important skills Miami covets.
5. Josh Selby, Kansas
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A massive underachiever in his one and only year at Kansas after coming out of high school as a big-time recruit. He averaged just 7.9 points in 20.4 minutes, while shooting a pitiful 37 percent from the field.
The NBA draft, where potential over skill happens.
He has some upside, and in the right system could develop into a serviceable pro.
Who Do They Pick?
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With the uncertainty at point guard in a summer where there isn't much quality in free agency, Miami should and likely will address the position in the draft.
I project the pick to be Charles Jenkins out of Hofstra. I don't think Jackson will be there at No. 31 and I'm not sure the Heat would want to trade up if they can get similar quality staying put.
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