With the 14th pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, the Miami HEAT have selected Bam Adebayo from Kentucky.
In 38 games at Kentucky this season, Adebayo averaged 13 points, eight rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game. Perhaps most impressive is he shot 60.1 percent from the field.
Drafting Adebayo could be insurance for the team should backup center Willie Reed leave in free agency this summer. Adebayo appears to be a good fit in the HEAT’s system with his ability to impact a game on the defensive end, something starting center Hassan Whiteside and Reed excelled at.
Standing at 6-foot-9, Adebayo has a 7-foot-2 wingspan and displayed great shot-blocking abilities at Kentucky. His game is reminiscent of Reed’s as a mobile big man that can run the floor very well and instantly provide energy to the floor. He also proved to be a great offensive rebounder after pulling in 4.1 offensive boards per 40 minutes.
Adebayo was one of the most surprising NBA Draft Green Room invites on Thursday. Typically, when a player receives an invite to the Green Room, it means teams believe he’ll be drafted within the first 20 or so picks. It was reported Thursday morning by Basketball Insiders’ own Steve Kyler that Adebayo received a draft promise from a lottery team.
He really began to climb up mock drafts in recent weeks after working out with several teams. Even coming into the Draft, Adebayo was projected to be taken in the 20’s.
While he could potentially be a replacement for Reed, Adebayo may also play more in a development role next season. The HEAT have proved to be a great team at developing young players by way of the NBA or in the D-League so Adebayo appears to have found a great team.
Barring some sort of trade, this will be the only draft pick the HEAT have Thursday night.
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