Heat make Kentucky forward Bam Adebayo the 14th pick in 1st round of NBA Draft! What do you think? New poll. Vote now!; plus my column on pick, your choice going into draft, Hot Button Daily (Fri/Sat) & more
GREG COTE'S RANDOM EVIDENCE BLOG: MIAMI. SPORTS. AND BEYOND.
1) FRIDAY/SATURDAY, JUNE 23-24. Miss our latest Back In My Day? Click on Privileged Pets for the LeBatard Show podcast and scroll to around 51:30 mark. 2) Know any Dolfans? Surprise them with our book on club's first half-century. Learn more or order at Fins At 50. 3) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Heat draft preview with my pick and poll, Panthers lose big gamble, Grenfell Tower charity video & more. 4) Join us on Twitter @gregcote. Also Facebook, Instagram, Periscope and Snapchat.
My column on Heat drafting Adebayo: Click on Bam Is Due Benefit Of Doubt for my column on the Miami Heat drafting Kentucky power forward Bam Adebayo Thursday night. Most mock drafts and media experts see it as a "reach." John Calipari and Pat Riley disagree. I know where my benefit if doubt goes.
IT'S BAM ADEBAYO! HEAT SELECT KENTUCKY FORWARD WITH 14TH PICK IN NBA DRAFT. YOUR THOUGHTS?: Call Adebayo a "reach" if you wish, based on most mock-draft projections that had him going lower in the first round. But you know what I call him? A 6-10, 245-pound kid promising enough to be recruited by John Calipari, and then promising enough again to be drafted by Pat Riley. That earns a little benefit of doubt. Make that a lot. I like that Miami targeted a replacement for Chris Bosh in the first round, a front-court guy to pair with Hassan Whiteside. That was the big need. Once Gonzaga's Zach Collins went 10th overall, I thought the Heat might look to Wake Forest's John Collins or UCLA's T.J. Leaf or even Harry Giles. But it was Adebayo. (And it will be interesting to track his career vs. Giles in particular). But no matter who it was, at whatever position, this was an especially important Heat draft. Why? Two reasons: 1) This was Miami's third-highest pick since it struck gold with Dwyane Wade in 2003. Since then the only selections higher than 14th have been Michael Beasley (2nd in 2008, and largely a flop) and Justise Winslow (10th in 2015, with the jury on him still out). Miami seldom picking this high owes to the team's success and also to Riley traditionally not caring that much about the draft as a roster-building tool. But players drafted 14th in the NBA Draft have included Clyde Drexler and Tim Hardaway, and this was a fairly deep draft. 2) Golden State. Every other team including Miami that hopes to make up ground on the dominant, champion Warriors will need kisses of good fortune from all directions. One is the draft. Riley needs to hit big with this pick. Adebayo must be an immediate rotation player who develops into a starter and (dare Heat fans dream) a star. That isn't a level you'd expect from a No. 14, but it happens. So let's see if Riley has saved all of his magic for free agency, or if he spared a sprinkle for this draft. Much luck is involved, of course, beyond the top-tier picks. The crazy youth of modern NBA Drafts has become an added uncertainty. Freshman (like Adebayo) reign. Teenagers. As a parent, I didn't entirely trust my 18- or 19-year-old to remember to feed the cat; now they're being trusted with the futures of franchises. If you're a sophomore or a junior, you're a graybeard. Seniors who get drafted -- they're more rare than aberrant spasms of humility from LaVar Ball. As for Adebayo, he averaged 13 points and eight rebounds for a pedigreed program. He shot 60 percent. He is extremely athletic. He is not a big who will be a 3-point threat, but he'll join Whiteside in giving Miami what could be an awesome defensive presence. Riley's summer has just begun, the draft just the appetizer. In trades or via free agency, he must find a way to make Miami a force in the Eastern Conference again. Was Bam Adebayo a good start? Calipari and Riley say so. That's enough for me ... for now. Your initial thoughts on this pick follow in this poll:
POLL RESULT: ZACH COLLINS WAS YOUR PREFERRED PICK GOING IN: We asked who you would be most pleased to see the Heat draft Thursday night from among top candidates in the range of the 14th overall pick, and, closing off the voting as the draft began at 7 p.m., your choice from among nine options was Gonzaga center Zach Collins with 28.9 percent. Others with sizable support were Kentucky guard Malik Monk with 14.4%, Duke guard Luke Kennard with 13.5%, and Wake Forest forward John Collins and Louisville guard Donovan Mitchell both with 12.5%. Then came Duke forward Harry Giles with 7.7%.
HOT BUTTON DAILY: FRI/SAT 6-23/24-17: Today's sports events of most interest to SoFla fans:
1. Chicago Cubs at Marlins: Second & 3rd of 4 vs. reigning champions.
2. NHL Draft: Panthers with 10th overall pick Friday night in Chicago.
3. College World Series: Gators still alive to reach best-of-3 finals.
Select other recent columns: Random Evidence: The Shame of Margaret Court , return of The Notes Column! Make Fun of the Farce, But You'll Watch, on Mayweather vs. McGregor. No Parade In Sight: None of our Big 5 teams seems close to a championship. A Fall From Greatness And From Grace: Latest in Tiger Woods saga. Harris Vs. Fins' Draft Drought: High hopes for top pick Charles Harris. What's Next, Marlins?: Easy to say blow up the Fish, but harder (and not smart) to do. Big Risk For Big Upside: On chance Heat could land Harry Giles in NBA Draft. NFL's Moral Obligation: League must do more for brain-injury sufferers like Buoniconti and Kiick. The Dolphins' Eight Ifs: Explaining dichotomy of opinion on Fins. On The Team's Terms, Not His: What it would take for Heat/Dwyane Wade reunion. The Kid From Pampa: Why Dolphin draft's late rounds matter. Home Run For Miami: Bush/Jeter group as frontrunner to buy Marlins. The Jose Statue's Positive Purpose: Controversy over Marlins' planned Fernandez memorial. An American Tragedy: Suicide of Aaron Hernandez. Also: History Breathes at UM Sports Hall, Is There A Team Brave Enough for Kaepernick?, Thank You, Mae Riback, A Ghost Tour of Miami's Sports Past, The Miracle of Liberty City, Thank You, Edwin Pope.
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