Friday, June 25, 2010

Heat Draft 2010: Pick-by-Pick Breakdown

June 25, 2010

On Thursday night there was no first round hype for the Miami Heat as they traded away their 18th overall pick (along with Daequan Cook) to the Oklahoma City Thunder just a night before the draft. However, they had plenty of second rounders to stock up with (four to be exact), and they are as follows:

32nd Overall Pick: Dexter Pittman, C, Texas

Length, height and girth are the attributes that pop put when analyzing this four-year center out of Texas. The Heat went big and that's exactly what they get with Dexter Pittman. Despite having weight issues (holding 20.8% body fat entering the draft combine), Pittman has shown resolve in the past as he dropped nearly 100 pounds from high school to college and has proven that he is ready to commit to improving his game, both physically and mentally. As a senior, Pittman posted 10.4 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.9 blocks on average, coupled with a whopping .654 field goal percentage. His offensive game is still a work in progress as he has very little range, but can produce points off put-backs and offensive rebounds near the rim. In essence, Pittman is a Pat Riley kind of player just by the mere fact that he fits Riley's mold of a large, defensive-minded center. Whether he contributes immediately or is shipped off to Europe for further development is unknown. What is known is that Pittman fits the pedigree of the prototypical tenacious Heat player, akin to Udonis Haslem and Brian Grant.

Height - 6'11
Weight - 303 lbs.
Wingspan - 7'6
41st Overall Pick: Jarvis Varnado, PF, Mississippi State

When you think Jarvis Varnado, you think freakish athleticism. This kid averaged a double-double in his senior season and served up 4.7 blocks per game in the process. Another defensive-minded player to fit Miami's style of play, Varnado can take the role of Joel Anthony with an added bonus of increased offensive production. The Heat clearly wanted to sure up their front court with the selections of Pittman and Varnado, potentially giving them their own version of Boston's Kendrick Perkins-Glen Davis combination. Varnado has been criticized for being underweight given his height, especially for the NBA, but that's something the Heat trainers can easily work on during this offseason. His role on the team is still in the air as free agency will determine virtually all of Miami's roster make-up for the 2010-11 season. Expect him to see the court no later than next season if he pans out in the Heat system.

Height - 6'10
Weight - 210 lbs.
Wingspan - 7'3

42nd Overall Pick: Da'Sean Butler, SF, West Virginia

This may just be Miami's sleeper pick of the entire draft. Coming off a horrid ACL injury to his knee, Butler is rehabbing to meet and exceed the physical shape he was in during his senior year at West Virginia. Voted Big East Championship Most Outstanding Player, Butler was projected to be a first-rounder prior to his injury during the NCAA Championship Semi-Finals. Assuming that he does recover fully, Miami will have acquired a smart, play-making forward that exudes the toughness of a Bob Huggins system. In his final season at WVU, Butler averaged 17.2 points, 6.2 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1 steal (and don't count out his 35.4% 3-point field goal percentage). This kid is an all-around solid basketball player that could make the Heat roster with continued progression in his recovery process.

Height - 6'7
Weight - 230 lbs.
Wingspan - N/A

Final Notes
  • All three Heat draftees played in their respective colleges for the entire four-year limit, hinting at a common strand of experience and maturity amongst Miami's newest rookies.
  • In general, Miami went after size and athleticism with their draft picks, something that can help their team regardless of the other moves they make this offseason.
  • The primary offseason goal of the Heat, which was to maximize cap space and avoid adding guaranteed contracts, was preserved in this draft. Currently, Miami has $43 million worth of free cap space, which is the highest among all NBA teams. That number could increase if they dump anymore contracts this offseason (e.g. Michael Beasley and James Jones).

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