The Miami Heat enter the 2021 NBA Draft with no draft picks due to previous trades. However, that doesn’t mean they can’t purchase a pick in the second round, which has been touted as a deep draft class.
Will the Heat make a pick in Thursday night’s NBA Draft or will they stay put and watch their guys fall into the undrafted free agent market?
How can the Miami Heat acquire a pick?
The Heat have a few avenues to acquire a pick in a draft-day trade. One of the main ways will be purchasing a selection, which has been a common theme in recent years.
For example, the New Orleans Pelicans traded the No. 53 pick in the NBA Draft to the Philadelphia 76ers for $2 million. It shows the Heat can jump into the draft whenever they want.
The Heat can send up to $5.6 million to acquire a second-round pick if they have the desire. Miami has plenty of money to make it happen, but it’s about whether a player the organization likes is available.
Starting the night with no draft picks doesn’t mean they won’t end up with one eventually. If they do jump into the draft, what are some names to watch?
Draft prospects to watch for the Miami Heat
Brandon Boston, Jr., wing, Kentucky
It would be a steal if Miami acquired a second-round pick and selected Brandon Boston, Jr.
Boston, 6-foot-7, averaged 11.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 1.3 assists while shooting 35.5% from the floor for the Kentucky Wildcats during the 2020 season.
Once projected as a lottery pick, the 19-year-old struggled more than expected at Kentucky. Boston is similar to Brandon Ingram, but he’s not as far along in his development and needs to grow into his frame.
His offense wasn’t the greatest, but the numbers he put up at Kentucky could have been much better. Boston can also hold his own on defense, but it’s unlikely that he will turn into a lockdown defender.
Boston is projected to go in the late-first to mid-second round, which could present a possibility for Miami to purchase a pick to draft him.
Matthew Hurt, forward, Duke
Matthew Hurt is a 6-foot-9 stretch forward from Duke University. He spent two seasons with the Blue Devils and averaged 18.3 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 1.4 assists in his sophomore season.
Hurt has an excellent shot that should translate really well from college to the NBA. The 21-year-old forward is an excellent free-throw shooter and shoots well from the three-point line.
However, he is going to have some issues defensively. Hurt does not project to be a great paint defender and switching on pick and rolls is not his forte.
There are issues on the defensive end of the floor, but his offense is very good and should make up for his defense in the right role. If he can become an average defender in the NBA, he could be a starting four or good rotation player.
Hurt is projected to go in the late-first to mid-second round, but unlike Boston, he has been lower in mock drafts.
Isaiah Todd, forward, NBA G-League
Isaiah Todd is an interesting prospect due to the route he took after high school. Todd joined the G-League in hopes to prepare for the NBA Draft but hurt his stock in the process.
The 19-year-old stands as a 6-foot-10 big who took a risk by playing in the NBA G-League. He was originally supposed to play at Michigan for Juwan Howard last season until he decommitted.
He averaged 12.3 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 0.8 assists in 15 games with the G-League Ignite during the 2020 season. Todd doesn’t have many glaring weaknesses, but there is room for improvement.
Todd has a nice three-point shot for a big man after shooting 36.2% from beyond the arc. He has great length and has the potential to be a decent perimeter defender at the next level.
Todd is projected to be a late-first to mid-second round pick.
Isaiah Livers, forward, Michigan
Isaiah Livers is a prospect that bleeds Heat Culture. Livers is 23-years-old and played under Juwan Howard with the Michigan Wolverines during the 2020 season.
Livers averaged 13.1 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 2.0 assists while shooting 45.7% from the field in his senior season at Michigan. Standing at 6-foot-7, Livers plays hard and has great decision-making skills.
He is an excellent free-throw and three-point shooter. Livers shot 41.2% from the three-point line and 85.6% from the free-throw line in his four-year college career. Livers has the potential to shoot 50-40-90 throughout an entire season.
There are not many weaknesses to his game, which makes him NBA-ready right off the bat. Livers could produce with the Heat coming off the bench next season, which makes him one of the best picks.
Livers is projected to be a mid-second round pick but has also been undrafted in some mock drafts.
Sam Hauser, wing, Virginia
Sam Hauser is one of the best shooters in this year’s draft class and someone that the Heat would like to have in their organization. Hauser spent three years at Marquette and one year at Virginia as one of the best shooters in the country.
Hauser averaged 16.0 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 1.8 assists while shooting 50.3% from the field in his final college season at Virginia. At 6-foot-8, the 23-year-old could be another Duncan Robinson-type player.
Hauser shot 43.9% from the three-point line throughout his entire college career. His defense is below average, but he is arguably the second-best shooter in the draft behind Corey Kispert.
His athleticism isn’t there yet, but he’ll be able to improve once he makes it to the NBA. If the Miami Heat trade into the second round, Hauser is one the likeliest players, alongside Livers, to be drafted.
Hauser is projected to be drafted in the mid-second round but has also been undrafted in some mock drafts.