Jun 25, 2015; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Justise Winslow (Duke) greets NBA commissioner Adam Silver after being selected as the number ten overall pick to the Miami Heat in the first round of the 2015 NBA Draft at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
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Here’s a look at the Miami Heat’s odds of securing the No. 1 pick in the upcoming lottery, and their likeliest landing spots in the 2017 NBA Draft.
For the second time in the last three years, in the era that has become known as A.L. — or, After LeBron — the Miami Heat find themselves in the 2017 NBA Draft Lottery.
The last time they were in this predicament, after the 2014-15 season, they used a late mini-tank (in which they dropped nine of their final 14 games) in order to keep their first round pick. Going into the last day of the season, they were in very real danger of losing it to the Philadelphia 76ers.
But, as history would have it, the Heat kept their pick. It wound up being 10th overall, and with it, they selected Justise Winslow.
Fast forward two years and Miami finds itself in a slightly different quandary. This season, there was no mini tank; reaching the playoffs was the paramount goal. But for how honorable that goal was, they ultimately failed to reach it. And in the process, left themselves in a very tough position lottery-wise.
As of now, the Heat’s draft pick odds are as follows:
If ever there was a time for the Basketball Gods to show their worth, it’s now. After all, Miami had the worst record in the league after 2007-08 and how did they get repaid? By landing the second overall pick, and thus, the right to draft this guy.
Not only that, but this very season, the Heat could have tanked after starting 11-30. (Any other team would have.) But they chose to fight instead.
At this point, I don’t know how anyone could argue they don’t deserve a top-three pick.
If the miraculous does happen and Miami lands a selection other than No. 14, it would be just the second time in franchise history they have one in the top three spots. The Heat have never picked first or third.
For the record, they’ve never picked 14th, either. The closest they came was in the 1990 NBA Draft when they chose 15th, and took someone named Dave Jamerson. They immediately traded him to the Houston Rockets for Alec Kessler, who spent four years in Miami before vanishing into the basketball abyss.
Presently, the odds are against the Heat. We need you, Basketball Gods. Because if we look at recent history, picking 14th would be a cruel and unusual punishment handed to a team that did nothing but try until the very end.