President Pat Riley of the Miami Heat addresses the media during the introductory press conference for Jimmy Butler at American Airlines Arena (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
It has been well-documented that the Miami Heat do not have any picks in this year’s NBA Draft. Despite this, Pat Riley is expecting to add some new young talent to the roster this offseason.
The Miami Heat have been one of the best teams in the NBA when it comes to locating and developing undrafted prospects. The GM expects that same success when it comes to this year’s draft.
Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported on a statement made by Riley at the end of Miami’s season last year. He not only challenged his scouting staff to find more undrafted talent but expects them to.
“We don’t have any picks, but I can guarantee you we’ll probably get a couple of good players out of this year’s draft, somehow.”
While this could mean the Miami Heat are looking to trade into the draft, the more likely scenario is that they’ll attempt to sign some solid undrafted free agents after the draft.
Finding undrafted talent is no easy task, just as making the right draft picks is not easy. Despite this, the Miami Heat have been extremely successful in pinpointing the right young players who can help their team.
If there were to be a year for Riley’s statement to come true, it would be this year. This is expected to be one of the best draft classes in a long time.
There should be plenty of great undrafted players for the Heat to take a chance on. With the Summer League back up and running, too, they should have plenty of time to identify some worthwhile talent.
Miami’s scouting team, led in part by vice president of player personnel Adam Simon, responded to Riley’s statement with great appreciation. Simon spoke about why Riley’s faith in them is so important.
“It makes our scouting staff feel good,” he said. “Our boss believes in us, that we’re good at identifying talent and trying to get them and recruit them, and then our coaching staff can develop them.”
“That’s the whole part of trying to find those types of players. It’s an organizational thing. The agents out there know that we do a really good job developing, our coaching staff. So I think Pat wants us to find a couple of good, young players. And that’s the job at hand.”
It wasn’t too long ago that Simon and his staff decided to road trip around the country in order to scout players. Some players were unable to travel to Miami for workouts, so the Miami Heat went to them.
Their team attended the NBA combine, G-League combine, and even sent scouts to Minnesota, where the Timberwolves and Jazz co-hosted a massive pre-draft workout. It’s this sort of dedication that aids the Miami Heat in finding such great young talent.
Winderman reported on this scouting approach a few days ago. Simon talked about the scouting trip and the reasoning behind it.
“The approach that we took was, ‘Let’s go look at players in all these settings,’ ” Simon said. “We saw 39 players at the G League combine. We saw 39 players at the NBA combine. We saw 118 players over five days of agent-run workouts. And . . . another 46 to 48 players in Minnesota.”
With all the players they have scouted, the Miami Heat will have the chance to add some serious talent this offseason. According to ESPN’s big board, there could be some great players that go undrafted.
Players such as Sandro Mamukelashvili, Duane Washington Jr., and Sam Hauser are all ranked outside of the top 60. All three of them have the potential to be quality players in the NBA.
No matter what happens at the draft, expect the Miami Heat scouting staff to be at the top of their game. It should be super interesting to see what rookies they bring on board for next season.