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Miami Heat ‘in the conversation’ for star center in 2024 NBA Draft

The Miami Heat are casting a wide net when it comes to who they will draft with the 15th pick in the NBA draft later this month. According to ESPN’s Jonathan Givoney, Purdue’s Zach Edey is “in the conversation” for the Miami Heat at the 15th pick.

“Teams say Edey’s range appears to be in the Nos. 9-19 range based on the workouts he has conducted and scheduled. He was with the Toronto Raptors this past week, will visit the Los Angeles Lakers, and is in the conversation at Memphis (9), Utah (10), Chicago (11), Oklahoma City (12), Portland (14) and Miami (15).”

Edey is among the more polarizing prospects in the draft. His size, at 7-foot-5, 298 pounds, will add instant rim protection, rebounding and screen-setting to whatever team that drafts him, but there are reasonable questions about how Edey will hold up defensively against NBA-level speed and spacing.

Edey may also seem like an odd fit in Miami, where Bam Adebayo is the starting center. Neither Edey nor Adebayo have a track record for spacing the floor, but Edey has spent his predraft process trying to prove that he is an underrated outside shooter. If teams buy into Edey’s potential to make 3s in the NBA, his stock will rise.

Givoney has called Edey the best pick-and-roll finisher in his class. Here’s more from his scouting report:

“He sets wide, bruising screens at 7-foot-5, 298 pounds and is an outstanding mark rolling to the paint and catching everything thrown his way with his huge, magnetic hands and 7-foot-11 wingspan. Purdue’s small guards would often throw the ball up in the general vicinity of the rim under duress and let Edey go catch it.

“He understands the art of rescreening if his initial pick doesn’t achieve the desired outcome, and has improved his ability to operate out of zoom actions/dribble-handoffs, catch-and-make decisions out of short rolls, or mix-in slips to keep defenses off-balance. 

“Even if he doesn’t catch the ball rolling to the basket (where he is absolutely devastating), the amount of gravity he attracts sucking in off-ball defenders tagging off shooters often creates wide-open corner 3s for teammates — a big reason the Boilermakers shot 40% for 3 this season, the second-best rate in college basketball.” 

Depending on who is on the board, the Heat could go in a variety of directions with the 15th pick. They could use depth at every position, including point guard, forward and center.

Anna Harden

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