The Miami Heat had a rough season this past year, what with losing Chris Bosh to a near-death condition, Josh McRoberts to a blown knee, and the best player in the world going back home. So it was time for the Basketball Gods to come through and not screw us over at the NBA Draft Lottery. And they came through, as the lottery Ping-Pong balls fell the way they were expected to and gave the Heat the tenth overall pick.
The scenario was simple: The Heat would walk away with either the first, second, third, or tenth pick. Or, if things went south, it could have gotten leapfrogged by the Indiana Pacers and lost its top-ten pick to the 76ers. The Draft Lottery is weird. And stupid.
Every year, though, there’s always one team that gets royally screwed by the bedeviling Ping-Pong balls. So there were moments of serious trepidation going into the event. The way things went for the Heat this year (seriously, our best player went down with friggin' blood clots… BLOOD CLOTS!), it would have shocked no one if it fell out of the top ten.
Alas, the balls fell into place, and the Heat got what it expected: the tenth pick.
And the team that got screwed this year: The New York Knicks, who had the worst record of the season and were the favorites to land the number-one spot. They fell to number four.
So, what does the Heat do from here?
There a number of scenarios here. And by that we mean, Pat Riley will either trade the pick for savvy veterans (Riley loves savvy veterans like Rick Scott loves denying climate change), or he’ll use the pick to select from what is expected to be a deep draft class.
Among the choices he’ll have at the tenth slot:
Stanley Johnson out of Arizona (most likely):
Devin Booker out of Kentucky (could be the guy if Johnson isn't there):
Myles Turner out of Texas (mmm... probably... would be nice to get his 3-point-shooting prowess into the fold):
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Or, if things really go their way, D’Angelo Russell out of Ohio State (not happening, but the Knicks are in this, so you never know):
Either way, the Basketball Gods were kind.
Now it's time for Riley and crew to do work.