The Miami HEAT announced today that Norris Cole, Terrel Harris, Dexter Pittman and 2012 NBA draftee Justin Hamilton will represent the HEAT at the upcoming NBA Summer League in Las Vegas. Miami HEAT assistant David Fizdale will serve as the Head Coach during summer league play.
With the NBA draft in the rearview mirror and the draft grades out for teams around the league, I’ve decided to throw grades out to the agents. Now, the caveat here is that the argument can be made that the 2nd round of the draft was an exercise in cap resistance, but an agent’s job is to get their players the most money and placed in the best situations.
Agent: Rob Pelinka Players: (Dion Waiters, Andre Drummond)- Whether there was an actual promise or not doesn’t matter. Waiters was a mid-late 1st round pick at the end of the college season, then without really doing anything, moved up to 4th. Drummond got drafted in his range.
Agent: Jeff Schwartz Players: (Meyers Leonard, Jeremy Lamb, Tyler Zeller, Jared Cunningham, Khris Middleton, Garrett Stutz, Keith Wright)- Out of 7 players, he had 4 1st round picks, 1 2nd round pick and his two undrafted players were borderline in any case.
Agent: David Falk Players: (Austin Rivers, Jared Sullinger)- Didn’t do much but was 2 for 2 in round 1.
Agent: Aaron Goodwin Players: (Damian Lillard)- Had only one player who was borderline lottery and he got picked 6th overall.
Agent Bill Duffy/BDA Players: (John Jenkins, Festus Ezeli, Jeff Taylor, Perry Jones, Marcus Denmon, Orlando Johnson,Tony Mitchell)- Although Jones slipped in the draft, you can’t argue with having 6 out of 7 US players drafted. Great %.
Agent: CAA Players: (Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Kim English, Zach Rosen)- English went where he was supposed to go and Rosen was not supposed to be draft. MKG going #2 overall is higher than anticipated.
Agent: Jeff Wechsler Players: (Harrison Barnes)- Only 1 player and he went in the lottery. Even without an agent, he would have been selected there. But he didn’t move down.
Agent: Glenn Schwartzman Players: (Jae Crowder)- Only 1 player and he was selected a little bit ahead of where he was projected.
Agent: Lance Young/Octagon Players: (Kendall Marshall, Kevin Murphy, Wes Witherspoon)- 1 of 2 borderline guys got drafted and Marshall went lottery.
Agent: Priority Sports (Drew Nicholson, Myles Plumlee, Rob Hummel, Czyz, Shurna)- 2 1st round picks, including Plumlee, which was a surprise to many. Hummel, to me, was a surprise pick in round 2 as well.
Agent: Happy Walters Players: (Moe Harkless, Bernard James, Dominick Cheek, Gabriel, Cam Moore)- Bad % of players drafted but Harkless and James certainly went higher than projected.
Agent: Brian Elfus/Impact Players (Will Barton, Alex Young)- 2 Players, 1 drafted. And he was drafted a bit lower than was widely thought at least according to several mocks.
Agent: WMG Players: (Anthony Davis, Doron Lamb, Terrence Jones, Yancy Gates, Jorge Guttierez, Fab Melo, Dominique Sutton, Tony Wroten, Jordan Taylor)- Davis was #1 without an agent. Jones, Lamb and Wroten all saw their stock drop. Fab Melo was drafted right around his projection. All borderline guys went undrafted.
Agent: Andy Miller/ASM Players: (Royce White, Marquis Teague, Justin Hamilton, Tu Holloway, Ashton Gibbs, Xavier Gibson, Ramone Moore, Gerald Robinson, Maalik Wayns)- Would be an F except that White went higher than projected and he was a polarizing prospect. Teague and Hamilton went at the right spots. Out of the remaining 6 players, 3 of them were on draft boards and none of them got drafted.
Herb Rudoy Players: (Draymond Green, William Buford, Brad Burgess)- Green went lower than expected and the other 2 weren’t drafted.
Agent Dan Fegan: Players (Scott Machado)- Had 1 college player, who was borderline 1st round in April. Went undrafted.
Austin Walton (Bazemore, Truck Bryant, Reggie Hamilton, Idlet, Jarrod Jones, Anthony Jones, Leabeau)- Total failure of 0-7. That’s a lot of training and pre-draft costs to pick up for nobody drafted.
Agent: Todd Eley Players (Mitchell Watt, Henry Sims, Carlon Brown)- Nothing doing.
Now the job of each agent is to make sure that if their players did go undrafted that they find the right spot on a summer league roster. Not an easy task, but a critical one to the player nevertheless.
Instead of keeping the 6’11″ big man, Miami traded Moultrie to the Philadelphia 76ers for a future first-round pick and the rights to LSU center Justin Hamilton, whom the Sixers drafted with the No. 45 overall pick, per NBA Blogger Ben Golliver of CBS Sports.
It is understandable that Miami traded this pick; it wants to conserve salary cap, and getting a future first-rounder is always a positive.
Yet, Moultrie seems to fit into Miami’s game plan, considering that he dominated the SEC as a scorer and rebounder. He averaged 16.4 points and 10.5 rebounds per game and was the focal point of Mississippi State’s offense all year.
You would think that the Heat could use an athletic big man, considering that Udonis Haslem is not getting any younger, and he is better than any of the Heat’s mediocre centers.
For this reason, Miami made a mistake by trading Moultrie.
Miami should not be planning for the future, but instead trying to actively improve its current situation.
With young teams like the Pacers and Thunder improving exponentially, the Heat need to seize the next few years and win as many championships as possible.
Moultrie would have given Miami a solid rotation player who could sub in for Haslem when the Heat needed more offense on the floor.
In addition, the Mississippi State forward definitely would have benefited from veteran leaders like Chris Bosh, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, all three of whom would have brought out the best in him.
At the end of the day, this deal might not be considered a major mistake, just because the Heat are so talented anyways and will head into next season as the league’s best team.
Come playoff time, though, Miami might realize that they could have used Moultrie.
His big body and strong offensive game would have given Miami yet another option as it tries to take down everybody again next season.
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While the Oklahoma City Thunder came up short in the NBA Finals, they showed they can be a threat for many years to come. They have a young, talented team that was close to the Heat but obviously not quite at their level.
The 2012 NBA Draft tilted the balance toward the Thunder.
The Miami Heat did very little to improve their team in the draft, at least for now. They did manage to secure a future first-round pick from the Philadelphia 76ers, a move that should help in the future.
The draft pick is lottery-protected through 2015, but that point should be moot. Philadelphia is expected to be in the playoffs next season.
Miami had the opportunity to solidify their lineup by drafting big man Arnett Moultrie. Instead, they moved to pick 45 and drafted Justin Hamilton, a 7′ center from LSU.
Hamilton fills a need, but not nearly as well as Moultrie would have.
The Heat appear comfortable with their team as it stands. They are also likely leery of adding another guaranteed contract to a roster that is already deep into the NBA’s luxury tax.
Perhaps the biggest concern the Heat have is how they match up against a team that has a dominant big man. That isn’t a threat they’ll likely face next year, though, when they launch their effort to repeat as champions.
The Thunder’s lineup is also fairly well set for the next few seasons. They needed some help up front and had one of the best picks in the draft by selecting Baylor’s Perry Jones III.
If Jones’ knee concerns don’t become an issue, he has lottery-pick value and will be a great addition to the team. Playing a reserve role should help keep him healthy.
Oklahoma City certainly has their sights set on what they need to do to battle the Heat, and Jones should be a threat to do just that.
The draft may not be enough to put the Thunder over the Heat, but if the NBA has a repeat of the 2012 finals matchup, the series will be much closer.
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With Justin Hamilton, the Miami Heat get a useful role player who will provide sneaky offense and, more importantly, big-man depth.
In Hamilton, the Heat are strictly getting a big body to help depth. Joel Anthony and Udonis Haslem are far from sure things, so getting the seven-footer makes sense here.
Besides, seven-footers in the NBA are always a commodity.
Let’s take a closer look at the big man.
What Justin Hamilton Brings to the Team
As I mentioned, first and foremost, he brings depth. He doesn’t have much athleticism, but he provides a legit NBA body who can take up some room in the paint.
Hamilton is 7’0″, 260 pounds and he’s strong, so it will be tough to move him out out of the way. In that aspect, even though he’s not a great defender, he will never be a liability, even though he’s not a great athlete.
On offense, Hamilton actually has plenty of skill. He has a nice touch from the post, so if you combine that with his elite size and effective jump hook, he can be a good scorer from the inside.
What’s more, Hamilton has a fantastic mid-range jumper for a man of his size. He could be a sneaky weapon in the pick-and-pop when Miami’s second unit is in.
What Experts are Saying
ESPN’s Chad Ford, who ranked Hamilton a mere 76th among this year’s NBA prospects, had this to say about this kid:
He’s not an explosive athlete, but he moves pretty well and showed some nice moves around the basket. He caught the eye of a number of scouts at the New Jersey workout and should see plenty of workouts from teams leading up to the draft.
Hamilton is sort of like an unathletic Meyers Leonard, so you can process that however you want.
The great size will help him see a few minutes in the NBA during his rookie season, but it will likely only be in garbage time or when Miami’s big men get in foul trouble and they can’t go small.
Nonetheless, he’s someone who has the skill to score a few points per game whenever he gets the chance.
While no one was really expecting Hamilton to be the pick here, especially in the middle of the second round, he serves a purpose for the Heat.
We saw how desperately Miami needed a big man who could score when Chris Bosh was injured during the playoffs, so Hamilton gives them good insurance in that aspect.
He’s not going to light up the scoreboard, but with talented options around him, he can certainly hold his own when called upon.
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The Miami Heat traded 6-11 Arnett Moultrie, the 27th pick in the first round, to the Philadelphia 76ers for the 45th pick in Thursday’s draft (which turned out to be Justin Hamilton) and a future first-round pick, ESPN reported. All trades are proposed trades as of Thursday and cannot be made offical until after the draft.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The 76ers have selected LSU center Justin Hamilton with the 45th pick in the NBA draft Thursday night.
While it’s a no-brainer for certain players to forgo their final years of college eligibility and enter the NBA Draft, there are others who seem to have gotten bad advice. In a way they’re hedging their bets since they’re going to get their money, but spurning important years of development could prove quite costly.
Entering the NBA without being sufficiently prepared can really put a player behind the eight ball and can even ruin their respective careers. There have been countless examples of players entering the league too early and fizzling in the past, and there figure to be several more such cases this year.
Here are three players who should have gone back to school rather than declaring for the NBA Draft.
Austin Rivers, G, Duke
Guard Austin Rivers entered his freshman season at Duke to much fanfare as the son of Boston Celtics head coach Doc Rivers, and he was immediately the Blue Devils’ go-to player.
Rivers led Duke with over 15 points per game, but it was quite obvious that he could have used more seasoning before entering the NBA Draft. Rivers is very likely to be selected somewhere in the top 10, but with such a high draft stock, he may be expected to be a top-flight player right away.
Rivers isn’t the greatest shooter as he hit just 43 percent of his field-goal attempts and 66 percent of his free throws this past season, which is obviously something he could have refined with another year at Duke. Also, Rivers enters the NBA on a very sour note as the Blue Devils were monumentally upset by 15th-seeded Lehigh in the NCAA Tournament’s second round.
Rivers is ultimately going to get a nice payday, but he would have been far more prepared to make an instant impact had he spent another year at Duke.
Justin Hamilton, C, LSU
In one of the more surprising declarations, LSU junior center Justin Hamilton decided to declare early for the NBA Draft. In one respect, it was a decent move since teams are desperate to find a seven-footer with even a little bit of skill, but at the same time Hamilton doesn’t seem ready.
He averaged 13 points, seven rebounds and over a block per game in the competitive SEC this past season, but Hamilton still has a lot of maturing to do in every facet of his game.
That is especially true on the defensive end as some of the NBA’s stronger interior players will likely be able to have their way with him in the paint. LSU was on the ascent and looked to be a possible tournament team in 2013, so Hamilton would have been able to improve his all-around game while gaining some big-game experience in the process.
Without Hamilton, though, the Tigers will have a hard time getting to the next level. More importantly for Hamilton, he is going to be put in a position to fail and he may not even be taken in the first round.
Fab Melo, C, Syracuse
Syracuse sophomore center Fab Melo was in a tough spot as academic eligibility issues prevented him from playing in the NCAA Tournament, so he decided to take the low road and enter the NBA Draft.
While that was the easiest and most lucrative way out, it wasn’t the smartest. The big man has a ton of potential and was already one of the better defensive centers in the nation, but he is still very immature as a player and a person, and he simply isn’t ready for the NBA.
Melo figures to be a late first-rounder, but he has Hasheem Thabeet written all over him. Thabeet was highly touted as a defender coming out of UConn, but his offensive game was still incredibly raw, so he never developed. The same can be said for Melo, although his defense isn’t even as good as Thabeet’s was.
Going back to Syracuse and regaining eligibility may have been tough, but it would have built character and he would have been a better player for it in the long run.
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