Could the Miami Heat use their third consecutive first round pick on another Kentucky talent?
“I think we respect what their staff does,” longtime Heat executive Chet Kammerer said to the Miami Herald when asked about the common thread between Kentucky draft prospects. “I think they are coached hard. I think they drill, they work those guys. Even with one year in that system, I think they improve. I think they’re already put in tough situations and they play great competition, and expectations are high. I think they’re in a system, you know they’re talented and yet they’ve been coached hard and well for a year.”
The Heat drafted their first player out of Kentucky with Bam Adebayo in 2017, then followed up in 2019 with Tyler Herro. One turned into an NBA All-star and the other had an All-Rookie year that helped lead his team to the NBA Finals.
This year the Heat have the 20th pick in draft, and there's been some buzz they might select Tyrese Maxey if he's still available.
“I said the same thing about Jamal Murray,” Calipari said to the Miami Herald. “He had a bunch of people pass on him. I said, ‘You’re all crazy.’ I’m going to tell the guys this about Tyrese Maxey this year. Like you’re going to have people pass on him and I’m going to say, ‘Tell me what you’re thinking here.’ He didn’t play in enough pick and rolls? Well, you put him in pick and rolls. He’s a basketball player. He’ll be fine.”
It's unknown if the Miami Heat used one of their 10 visits on Maxey, but it is known that they did use one of them on Immanuel Quickley. The Heat interviewed with Quickley twice this summer.
“When you see all these players from Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Nerlens [Noel], when you’re talking Devin Booker and I can go down the line,” Calipari said. “How do you not give a Kentucky guy a second, third or fourth look? We have a couple that are going to be in the draft and available for Miami, I think. One or two will be there, and my hope is that they’ll look at them and give them a second and third look. It may not be Miami, they may be gone before then. But I would just hope that because of what Tyler, Bam, Jamal, Shai, Anthony [Davis], what they’ve proven and I can go back. You can go John Wall, DeMarcus [Cousins] and all those guys. But how about you get that second or third look.”
The NBA Draft is on November 18th, which is one week away. Kentucky has 6 players entering the NBA Draft, including Kahlil Whitney. The 'Miami Wildcats' could be doubling down on some Lexington talent.