28. Miami Heat

The Heat is the first of three teams that do not own a first round
selection.  The Heat traded theirs to Detroit (which was the 10th
pick) for John Sally.  They pick 28th in the Usenet draft, in the NBA 
draft they will pick 35th or 36th.  They are represented by:

   Rob Clough .

With the 28th pick the Miami Heat select:

   Gheorge Muresan, C, 7-7, Romania.

 Team Needs/History:

   The Miami Heat have been regarded by many as the new expansion team
that made all the right moves, had an excellent GM, and a great
scouting staff.  Yet, due to the caprices of a few ping-pong balls,
they are suddenly in danger of being left way behind by Orlando &
  The Heat's philosophy was to build entirely through the draft, and
not to take shortcuts on older players to get a few more wins.  The
Heat have done fairly well in the draft, getting Rony Seikaly, Grant
Long, & Kevin Edwards in their first draft (the latter two being
second round steals), Glen Rice & Sherman Douglas in their second
draft, Willie Burton & Bimbo Coles in their third, Steve Smith in
their fourth, and Harold Miner & Matt Geiger in their most recent
draft.  Their biggest goof was drafting 6-11 clod Alec Kessler in the
first round--he hasn't amounted to much of anything other than a med
school prospect.  What's worse, they released Terry Davis in order to
keep Kessler, and Davis has become a very productive player in Dallas.
They also goofed (IMO) in trading this year's pick to Detroit for John
Salley.  More on the players later.
  What the Heat need now, and what they have always needed, is another
big man.  Anyone who can rebound, who can play some interior defense,
block shots, clog the middle and generally allow Seikaly a chance to
play at power forward.  Heat management is of course hoping that
Salley will come back next year and be able to do that.  Picking as
low as they are, the Heat will go for the best athlete available.
Alternately, a slashing swingman could be nice in case Willie Burton
still can't play consistent minutes.  Guards need not apply.

Team Evaluation:

   At 6-10, Rony Seikaly is probably too small and not athletic enough
to play center.  He's also better facing the basket.  Despite all
that, he's been one of the league's best rebounders the past few
years, despite having little help >from anyone else on the team.  He
also has greatly improved his shooting, has a decent hook shot and
really goes after offensive rebounds.  His foul shooting is also
respectable after graduating from Bricklayer's U (Syracuse).  Seikaly
has worked hard to become a very good player and one of the ten best
centers in the league.  He would benefit from being able to move out
to PF some more, however.
  John Salley was brought in to play defense, rebound and block
shots--in other words, to help out Seikaly.  However, he caused
controversy, first by starting over the popular Grant Long, and
contributing to Grant holding out.  He also got injured midway through
the season, and didn't play much after that.  He will never be more
than a competent player, and he wasn't even that last year, most of
the time.
  Alec Kessler is a washout, a high-price bust.  He's a nice shooter,
but has hands of stone.  He's also extremely slow.
  Matt Geiger surprised by sticking with the team as a second round
pick.  He's very mechanical, but is big and a decent rebounder.  A
decent back-up, but not much more.

  Glen Rice had all-star potential last year.  This year, he suffered
through a season-long shooting slump.  Part of the problem may have
been his return to the forward position, where he's needed for his
rebounding.  With Willie Burton going down to an injury early in the
season (again), there was no one to back up Rice for any significant
length of time.  Rice also missed having Steve Smith around to take
off the burden of all the outside shooting.  Rice was expected to do
too much and he's not quite up to that level yet.  Hopefully, with the
development of Harold Miner and a healthy Willie Burton, he may be
able to regain his stroke.
  Grant Long is the heart and soul of the Heat.  A tireless worker,
great shooter and good rebounder, he does all the dirty work on this
team.  Still, he's not big enough, strong enough or athletic enough to
play at the power forward spot full time.  No one's been able to move
him out of the spot, though.  He potentially could be 6th man of the
year if moved there, to play any of the frontcourt positions, but I'm
not comfortable with Grant as a starter.
  Willie Burton has had numerous physical and mental problems since
coming into the league, but he's the only member of the Heat who can
really slash to the basket--he's by far the quickest forward, and
possibly the quickest player, on the team.
  Keith Askins is a good back-up who can slash to the basket and hit
the three at times, but is very inconsistent.  A good role-player.
  Salley and Kessler also play some forward (see under centers).

  Steve Smith is the primary reason the Heat missed the playoffs this
year.  Without him as the leader during the first half of the year,
the team fell apart.  His shooting, rebounding, size (a 6-9 point
guard!), ballhandling and toughness were missed--he is the leader of
this team.  Having him from the beginning of the year will improve the
Heat's fortunes next year.  The team is to be commended in not rushing
him back too soon, and risking further injury.
  Brian Shaw is a mystery to me.  He's a guard, but he's not a good
shooter, a good passer, or a good ball-handler.  He is a good
rebounder.  What he should be is gone.
  Kevin Edwards was having a great year until Kevin Loughery decided
that Harold Miner should get some playing time.  Edwards was never
seen again.  It's a shame, but the Heat will most likely get rid of
this hard-working defensive specialist.
  Bimbo Coles is the classic NBA back-up point guard.  He's totally
unselfish, a good shooter and more of a pure point than Smith.  He
helped the team a lot when Smith was away, but proved that he wasn't
capable of running the team full time.  Whatever the Heat do, they
shouldn't pick another guard.
  Harold Miner had his moments of glory as a rook (most notably
winning the Slam-Dunk Contest), and could score 20+ points at a time,
but he proved to be a terrible defender and a worse passer.  Still,
Miami Harold has a lot of potential, and can only improve.  Look for
him to start next year--if he works on his defense this summer.
  Glen Rice and Keith Askins can also play guard.

Overall: The Heat are a hard-working team that shoots fairly well
(especially free throws) and is fairly athletic.  Defense and
toughness are still problems, as is experience.  They only lost one
more game this year than last, and a lot of that can be attributed to
Steve Smith's injury.  In addition, Seikaly, Willie Burton and John
Salley also were injured at various times, and Grant Long held out at
the beginning of the year, hurting his rhythm.  The Heat need an
intimidator on defense.  They're not likely to see much at their spot
in the draft.  With that kind of position, they can take a chance.

My selection: Gheorge Mureson, 7-7 C, Romania

  Muresan is a 7-7, 300 lb monster from Romania, who played for
France's Pau Orthes club.  He's only 22 years old, and led his team to
a very surprising 5th place finish in the 1991 Junior World
Championships, averaging 23.4 ppg and 11.4 rpg.  This year, he
averaged 17.4 ppg and 9 rpg against good competition like Arvidas
  He's only been playing ball for 7 years or so, so his game is still
unrefined.  But he's improved every year and has shown a great
willingness to learn.  His defensive presence is unquestionable, with
the height and bulk.  He's a good shooter, and hits 73% of his foul
shots as well.  This is the kind of player who makes a nice gamble.
Peter Vecsey claims he's a certain first round pick, so he may not be
available to the Heat at that time, but he might be an interesting
pickup for a team that has a history of getting good production >from
second round picks (Sherman Douglas, Bimbo Coles and Matt Geiger come
to mind).

Other possible picks:

  In this mock draft, players like Spencer Dunkley, Geert Hammink and
Eric Riley might slip down to this spot, but probably not in the real
draft.  Kevin Thompson, Bo Outlaw and Rodney Dobard may also be
available.  Outlaw might not be a bad pick as a defensive
specialist/shotblocker/tough guy.  If by some miracle someone takes
Muresan ahead of me, I would take Outlaw, Dobard, Riley, Thompson and
Evers Burns, in that order.

Probable selection:

  Hard to tell.  Any of the power forwards who are still around, or
any of the more athletic centers.  I seriously doubt if they'll take
any guards, unless Hollywood Robinson somehow slips down here.  They
may also try and trade the pick, along with Kevin Edwards and/or Brian

Other moves the team should make:

  Get rid of Brian Shaw.  Please.  Move Glen Rice back to off-guard,
where he scored 20+ ppg two years ago.  That would also give the Heat
an extremely tall backcourt.  Start Salley at center, move Seikaly
over to PF.  Move Long over to SF.  Bring in Harold Miner and Willie
Burton at the swingman spot, for some offensive punch.  Keep Kevin
Edwards.  Continue to use Bimbo Coles a lot.  Have Billy Cunningham
ascend to the head coach spot.

Draft Summary:
1.  Orlando
    GM:   Tom@Orlando 
    Pick: Chris Webber, PF, 6-10.  University of Michigan
2.  Philadelphia
    GM:   Dave Meeks 
    Pick: Shawn Bradley, C, 7-7. BYU
3.  Golden State
    GM's: Mike Moore 
          Terry Wong 
    Pick: Jamal Mashburn, SF, 6-8. Kentucky
4.  Dallas
    GM:   Curtis Hill  
    Pick: Anfernee Hardaway, SG, 6-7, Memphis State
5.  Minnesota
    GM's: Kevin Hansen 
          Toni Morgan 
    Pick: Calbert Cheaney, SF, 6-7. Indiana
6.  Washington
    GM's: The Crossjammer 
          Jim Nagle   
    Pick: J.R. Rider, SG, 6-5, UNLV
7.  Sacramento
    Pick: Rodney Rogers, PF, 6-7, Wake Forest
8.  Milwaukee       
    GM's: Brian Saunders 
          Morgan Edwards 
    Pick: Malcolm Mackey, PF, 6-11, Georgia Tech
9.  Denver
    GM's: John Exby 
          Rick Grubin 
    Pick: Ervin Johnson, PF, 6-11, New Orleans
10. Detroit (from Miami in John Sally trade)
    GM:   Rob Skrobola 
    Pick: Alan Houston, SG, 6-6, Tennessee
11. Detroit
    GM:   Rob Skrobola 
    Pick: Acie Earl, C, 6-10, Iowa
12. L.A. Lakers
    GM:   Cliff Slaughterbeck 
    Pick: Bobby Hurley, PG, 6-0, Duke
13. L.A. Clippers
    GM:   Cliff Slaughterbeck 
    Pick: Vin Baker, SF, 6-10, Hartford
14. Indiana
    GM:   Doug Mraz 
    Pick: Scott Burrell, SG, 6-7, UCONN
15. Atlanta
    GM:   Kevin Metz 
    Pick: Terry Dehere, SG, 6-4, Seton Hall
16. New Jersey
    GM:   A. Borges Sugiyama 
    Pick: Douglas Edwards, PF, 6-9, Florida State
17. Charlotte
    GM:   Bren Bailey 
    Pick: Chris Mills, SF, 6-6, Arizona
18. Utah
    GM:   Michael Wendt  
    Pick: George Lynch, SF, 6-7, North Carolina
19. Boston
    GM:   Orin Day 
    Pick: Greg Graham, SG, 6-4, Indiana
20. Charlotte (from San Antonio for J.R. Reid)
    GM:   Bren Bailey 
    Pick: Lindsey Hunter, PG, 6-2, Jackson State
21. Portland
    GM:   Mike Northam 
    Pick: Luther Wright, C, 7-2, Seton Hall 
22. Cleveland
    GM's: W. Scott Klingensmith 
          Brian Young 
    Pick: Joe Harvell, SF, 6-7, Mississippi
23. Seattle
    GM:   Christopher Beck 
    Pick: Rodney Dobard, PF, 6-9, Florida State
24. Houston
    GM:   Brian West  
    Pick: Thomas Hill, SG, 6-5, Duke
25. Chicago
    GM:   Christopher Gattuso  
    Pick: Rex Walters, SG, 6-3, Kansas
26. Orlando (from NY in Mark Jackson, Stanley Roberts trade)
    GM    Tom@Orlando 
    Pick: Sam Cassel, SG, 6-3, Florida State
27. Phoenix
    GM:   Jason M Shachat 
    Pick: James Robinson, SG, 6-2, Alabama
28. Miami
    GM:   Rob Clough  
    Pick: Gheorge Muresan, C, 7-7, Romania

Next up:
29. San Antonio
    GM:   Shane L. Bell 

Craig Simpson - Usenet Draft Commissioner