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Analysts, scouts assess Heat options at No. 10 in draft; Dragic; Dolphins, Marlins, Canes items


For insight into the Heat’s options with the 10th pick in Thursday's draft, we solicited input from Fran Fraschilla (a college basketball TV analyst who has become a major asset on ESPN’s draft coverage), Ryan Blake, the NBA’s senior director of scouting operations, and two veteran NBA scouts.

Some feedback:

### All agree Devin Booker would be a great pick for Miami, but the Kentucky shooting guard could go ninth to Charlotte. So if Booker’s gone, then what?

Even though he knows Miami’s power rotation is in good shape, Fraschilla said if he were Pat Riley, he would take Wisconsin’s Frank Kaminsky next if Booker is gone and Kentucky power forward Trey Lyles third if Booker and Kaminsky are off the boards --- all ahead of small forwards Stanley Johnson (Arizona) or Sam Dekker (Wisconsin).

Kaminsky is appealing “because it’s so hard in the NBA game to find a stretch five,” Fraschilla said. “He has some Ryan Anderson in him.”

Blake projects Kaminsky, at 6-11, to be more of a power forward than center: “He’s a coach’s dream: smart player, versatile, unselfish, can shoot. Can he defend big centers? He’s got to get stronger” to do that.

One of the scouts, on Kaminsky: “Very unique talent, guys that size who can handle the ball like that. To me, he's like Josh McRoberts but a better talent.”

The other scout: “People are underestimating him. He’s got three-point range and a post-up game. He would be a good pick at 10.”

And Lyles?  “Lyles is a Miami Heat kind of guy,” Fraschilla said. “Trey has got a David West kind of game. He has the room to become a great NBA player. He was 4 for 29 on threes, but his low post analytical numbers were outstanding. He’s a low post scorer. He’s 6-10 and just 19.”

The scouts had generally positive feedback on Lyles. One said his distance shooting will improve in the NBA and “he does a lot of things well, but I’m not sure he’s great at anything.”

### Johnson would fill a need and could become a poor man’s Kawhi Leonard, according to Blake.

“He has an energy level like Leonard, good ball-handler, gym rat, a real worker,” Blake said. “He’s always in attack mode.”

But there are concerns: “He’s not going to finish at the rim early in his career,” Fraschilla said. “He looks like a young Ron Artest with the body type but they’re completely different players. Extremely strong and well-put together.

“[Like Artest], he can become a very good defender. But he has to learn to defend guys who are a little quicker. There wasn’t a need for him to shoot a lot of threes, but he should become a good three-point shooter. He went from being hard-headed and tough to coach at Arizona to completely buying into Sean Miller and the coaching staff by the end of the year. You can coach him hard.”

One scout said of Johnson: “The game comes very easy for him, but I thought he played at a coasting pace at times.”

Another scout: “He has a low release point on his shot. Not exceptionally quick. The more I saw him, the less I liked him.”

### What about Dekker, who (along with Johnson) have both been linked to Detroit at No. 8?

Fraschilla said two things concern him:

1) The decline in three-point shooting (from 39.1 percent as a freshman to 33.1 as a junior this year) and

2) “Is he getting a Final Four bump? He has gone up seven or eight spots because of a great NCAA Tournament."

Fraschilla said Dekker "has got some things going for him: size [6-9], good athleticism and good toughness. The key to his career is can be become a flat-out knock-down three-point shooter?”

He shot well overall from the field (52 percent) because Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan “was putting him in great isolation situations, creating mismatches,” Fraschilla said.

Blake compares Dekker with Atlanta small forward DeMarre Carroll “with bigger size. He may not be franchise player but he can be a Carroll or Shane Battier.”

Said one of the scouts: “The question for me is whether he shoots well enough. Teams historically have been fooled by [high-level] NCAA Tournament performance and that could be happening here.”

### Fraschilla and the scouts believe No. 10 is too high for Kansas small forward Kelly Oubre and Georgia State guard RJ Hunter.

“Oubre, in time, can become a very good shooter and wing defender but is very raw by NBA standards,” Fraschilla said. “With a good team, he’ll be redshirted. His ball-handling is a little suspect. I think mid-teens for him.

“With Hunter, I’d be scared to take him [at 10]. Overall NBA athleticism and inconsistent shooting keep me from putting him higher than 15.”

One of the scouts on Oubre: “I saw him a lot. Even though he’s long and athletic, the performance was pretty average.”

### Booker would be the sensible choice if he surprisingly slips to No. 10, Fraschilla and the scouts said.

Said Blake: “Great shooting numbers and he’s able to get to the free throw line. Not a great ball-handler but crafty enough to create for himself.”

The scout said Booker’s defense isn’t bad and he “would be a great pick at 10. At any other school, he would have been a star.” 

### Fraschilla said at No. 10, he would not consider two power forwards (excluding Lyles) who have been tossed around in that range in mock drafts: Texas’ Myles Turner (“I worry about his athleticism”) and Arkansas’ Bobby Portis (“would be a great pick between 15 and 25. He’s like Udonis Haslem”).

Incidentally, besides Turner, do not by any means rule out Kentucky center Willie Cauley-Stein, a top-eight talent who could slip to 10.

Miami summoned the 7-1 Cauley-Stein to South Florida for a workout in the past week. Cauley-Stein, who averaged 8.9 points, 6.4 rebounds and 1.7 blocks at Kentucky --- is raw offensively but would be insurance if Hassan Whiteside bolts as an unrestricted free agent in 2016. He also could be a trade chip.

### Fraschilla said the Heat would have to take Duke's Justise Winslow or Mario Hezonja at 10 if either surprisingly falls. “The only reason Hezonja would slip is if someone has concern about his maturity,” Fraschilla said. “Part of that is a fiery, competitive personality which I think would be a positive for him. He’s the only guy in this draft who can win both the three-point contest and dunk contest.”    

### Murray State point guard Cameron Payne is also in Miami’s range (“he a left-handed Damian Lillard,” Fraschilla said) but “Miami doesn’t make sense for him” because he can’t play two-guard, Fraschilla said.


### Amid an ESPN report that the Heat will offer Goran Dragic a five-year deal in excess of $80 million, the Dragic camp expects the proposal to be five years for between $90 million and $100 million.

That’s less than the $115 million Miami can offer but more than the four years and $86 million that another team can offer. The Heat and the Dragic camp remain optimistic a deal will get done with Miami.

### Hassan Whiteside, tonight on Twitter: "Man if another person ask me if d wade staying in Miami I'm going to lose it! I DONT KNOW!!! I just catch LOBS from the man 💯 #HeatNation."

### In the wake of gamblers betting a lot of money on Miami winning the Super Bowl, the Mirage and 11 Nevada casinos have dropped the odds of the Dolphins winning the Super Bowl from 50-to-1 to 20-to-1, which represents the 10th shortest odds among 32 teams.

Who has shorter odds than the Dolphins? Seattle, Green Bay, Indy, New England, Dallas, Denver, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and surprisingly, Buffalo.

### The Marlins --- who will have nine starting pitchers when Jose Fernandez and Henderson Alvarez return --- have been getting trade calls inquiring about many of them, but they say they don’t want to trade any of them. They’re OK going with six starters before the All-Star break, five after.

###  Dan Jennings says Derek Dietrich (who learned first base this past winter) has made himself a viable option at that position. But the Marlins are committed to getting Michael Morse’s bat going when he returns at some point in the next week or so.  

### Adidas, eager to make UM feel special as it takes over its apparel contract from Nike, informed the Hurricanes it will unveil their new uniforms in a July 18 bash at the Fontainebleau on Miami Beach. Adidas says it's not ready to confirm that or release details...

### Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, in an apparent attempt to significantly expand his sports portfolio, is partnering with a group of Qatari investors in a bid to purchase controlling interest of the Formula One auto racing circuit in a deal estimated between $7 billion and $8 billion, The Financial Times reported Tuesday.

Ross’ potential purchase could be the prelude for Formula One’s entrance into the United States.

In March, Forbes ranked Ross as the world’s 216th-wealthiest person, with a net worth of $6.5 billion. That ranked 72nd among U.S. residents and fifth among owners of a team in a U.S. pro sports league --- behind only the Los Angeles Clippers’ Steve Ballmer; Seattle Seahawks and Portland Trail Blazers owner Paul Allen; Brooklyn Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov and Heat owner Micky Arison ($7.1 billion).           

### Twitter: @flasportsbuzz