Dennis Smith could be the Miami Heat’s future point guard

Dennis Smith Jr. is a name that Miami Heat fans should get to know before the 2017 NBA Draft.

Thirty seven games into the season and the Miami Heat’s year has already been reduced to how many lottery balls the team can amass by this June’s draft. So it should catch no one off guard that ESPN’s Basketball Power Index (BPI) projects the franchise to finish with a record of 29-53. Neither should Chad Ford slotting them into the draft’s top 5.

What is surprising for fans, though, is Ford anointing North Carolina State’s Dennis Smith Jr. as the Heat’s Mock Draft pick:

“Finding a dynamic scorer to play alongside that duo is a must, and Smith has that ability. He’s an explosive athlete who can create his own shot and finish above the rim. He isn’t an elite shooter, but his 39 percent shooting from beyond the arc gives scouts hope that he’s improving.”

For the casual fan, a few things will stick out that makes Smith sound like a mini swing and miss for Miami’s unofficial tank.

The 19-year-old lost his senior year of high school to a left ACL tear and although his three-point percentage is now at 39 percent, there have been questions about whether he could keep that number on the incline enough to help Miami’s 23rd ranked average. Because the last thing the franchise needs is iffy shooting and another injured player as a replacement on a roster that had 13 out of 15 bodies miss time this season.

Last, but not least, Smith’s name does not ring as loud–in a deep draft class–as that of Lonzo Ball, Markelle Fultz, Malik Monk or Josh Jackson. However, neither did the name of their last No. 5 pick, Dwyane Wade.

Ignore the 6-foot-2 freshman’s diminutive size, Smith is a force when it comes to getting into the paint. He also becomes a duel threat due to his explosive leaping ability and topnotch court vision (seven assists per game).

If that was not enough, his recent 27 point, 11 rebound, 11 assists game against Virginia Tech should get him on everyone’s radar.

Heat fans, meet the man who could be in line to end Goran Dragic’s time on South Beach.

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