KZ Okpala to Heat: Miami's Current Roster After 2019 NBA Draft

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJune 21, 2019

PALO ALTO, CA - FEBRUARY 28: KZ Okpala #0 of the Stanford Cardinal scores an open three against the Washington State Cougars during their game at Maples Pavilion on February 28, 2019 in Palo Alto, California. (Photo by Cody Glenn/Getty Images). (Photo by Cody Glenn/Getty Images)
Cody Glenn/Getty Images

The Phoenix Suns used the No. 32 overall pick in the 2019 NBA draft to select versatile forward KZ Okpala out of Stanford. 


The Suns select KZ Okpala with the No. 32 pick in the 2019 #NBADraft! He will reportedly be headed to the @MiamiHEAT via trade. https://t.co/90TGaQZTyS

Okpala will be on his way to the Miami Heat via the Indiana Pacers in short order. ESPN.com's Adrian Wojnarowski reported the Pacers acquired this selection from the Suns in a trade involving T.J. Warren. Indiana turned around and traded the pick to Miami, per Wojnarowski.

Here's how Okpala looks with the rest of the Heat's roster, which also added Tyler Herro with the 13th pick.

Check out B/R NBA draft expert Jonathan Wasserman’s scouting profile on Okpala.  


Heat Active Roster and Average Salary (Expiration Year)

Derrick Jones Jr., SF: $1.6M (2020)

Dion Waiters, SG: $13M (2021)

Duncan Robinson, F: $1M (2021)

Edrice Adebayo, C: $3M (2021)

Goran Dragic, PG: $17M (2020)

Hassan Whiteside, C: $24.6M (2020)

James Johnson, PF: $14.4M (2021)

Josh Richardson, SF: $10.5M (2022)

Justise Winslow, SF: $13M (2022)

Kelly Olynyk, C: $12.5M (2021)

Kendrick Nunn, SG: $1M (2021)

KZ Okpala, SF

Ryan Anderson, PF: $20M (2020)

Tyler Herro, SG: $3.2M (2023)

Yante Maten, PF: $1M (2021)


Free Agents

Duncan Robinson, F: RFA

Emanuel Terry, F: UFA

Goran Dragic, PG: Player, reportedly opted in.

Hassan Whiteside, C: Player

Udonis Haslem, PF: UFA


Okpala is considered a high-upside prospect who is still growing as a player.

The 6'9½" forward is coming off an impressive sophomore season where he averaged 16.8 points and 5.7 rebounds per game, hitting 36.8 percent from three-point range.

During this time, he showcased an impressive ability to create off the dribble and slash to the basket where he can finish inside. His length and athleticism make him difficult to defend in the paint, while his handle gives him an opportunity to get there almost at will.

His outside shooting is a bit inconsistent—he made 45.0 percent of three-point attempts in 14 wins but only 29.8 percent in 15 losses—but that could improve with more time.

An average of one steal per game also showed the type of impact he could make on the defensive end, especially with his huge wingspan. With added strength and more focus, he could be a difference-maker on that side of the court, matching up against multiple spots.

"He's a really good player who can be really good in the future," one NBA scout told Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated in March. "He has all the measurables: height, wingspan, athleticism. He can shoot, pass and dribble. He can defend multiple positions, whether it's a point guard or a forward. Once he gets his shot ready out to 3, he is more valuable on this level."

Although Okpala could take some time before he is ready to contribute for his new team, he has the talent to be one of the top players in the class once he reaches his potential.