The Miami Heat had an impressive season in 2022. They exceeded almost all expectations and fell short of the NBA Finals by just one win. The franchise remains in win-win mode and will look for the missing elements to succeed this offseason. One way they will use to do this is through the NBA draft.
The Heat currently hold the 27th pick in the upcoming draft. It’s worth noting that they forfeited their second round pick as a result of the narrowing that occurred with the acquisition of Kyle Lowry. While this slap probably won’t stop teams from breaking the rules, it is a sign that the NBA is starting to crack down. Given that they only have one choice, it becomes even more important for the Heat to capitalize on that choice. There are a few solid options on the board, but here are three that the Heat should avoid.
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Heat 2022 NBA draft prospects they should avoid
Ryan Rollins as Toledo security guard
Ryan Rollins, who spent two years in Toledo, made an impression during his college years. Rollins took a huge step forward in his second season and averaged 18.9 points, 6.0 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.7 steals per game. He hits the basket hard and deals most of the resulting damage around the ring. Rollins is about 6’3″ tall and can play with or without the ball. He has an intriguing pull-up game and an impressive 6-10 inch wingspan that helps in defense.
While he is an interesting player to watch, there are some legitimate questions about his ability to make the jump to the NBA. Ryan Rollins couldn’t take on some very impressive opponents in Toledo and the NBA is going to have a big jump. It’s also about how driving his game is, given that he’s a guard on the shallow side of things. Rollins was only shooting 31.1% of three-pointers, slightly lower than a freshman. He also lacks athleticism and there are some concerns about who he can guard at the NBA level. Ryan Rollins is an interesting player to root for, but too much of a risk to invest in as the 27th pick.
Patrick Baldwin Jr – Wing Milwaukee
Patrick Baldwin Jr.’s path to the pros, previously ranked #5 in the 2021 High School Recruiters rankings, has not been a smooth one. He turned down offers from several major schools to go to Milwaukee, where his father coaches. Baldwin is a talented 6’9″ winger with plenty of headroom. However, he has yet to put them together. He only played 11 college games before being ruled out with an ankle injury. In these 11 games, Baldwin averaged 12.1 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.5 assists. He also shot just 34.4% from the field and 26.6% from threes.
The idea of Patrick Baldwin Jr is much more attractive than the player he is now. He lacks the necessary foot speed and gap to separate at the NBA level. Baldwin has a mature game and displays moments of high IQ decision making on the court, but can be too passive at times. The level of his efforts in defense was also not always good enough. Some team will probably take the risk, but it doesn’t have to be the Miami Heat.
Walker Kessler – Auburn Center
There are few people in the world who have the monstrous size of Walker Kessler. The Auburn product is 7’1″ tall and weighs 255 pounds. He is an impressive shot blocker and has averaged 4.6 blocks per game this season. Kessler changed more shots than his stats showed due to his presence at the rim. He also added 11.4 points, 8.1 rebounds and 1.1 steals in 25.6 minutes of play. His ability to influence offensive play is intriguing, and he also added 2.6 offensive rebounds per game. The Big Man moved from UNC after the first season and had more success with Auburn.
While he’s more flippant than one might expect, there are still concerns about how Walker Kessler will hold his own at the NBA level. It’s hard for him to switch to perimeter players, and he will be a target for this in the NBA. The 7-footer can also sometimes do too much with a basketball in their hands. He has some shooting potential as he has shown willingness on the outside but has not eclipsed 60% of his free throws in any season. Adding another big man should be a priority for the Heat, but Walker Kessler isn’t a perfect fit.