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Who's a good fit for the Heat at No. 31?

6/22/2011 - Miami Heat
Could sharpshooting big man Justin Harper be a steal for the Heat at No. 31? AP Photo/Mel Evans

The Miami Heat will select their first pick of the 2011 NBA draft at the top of the second round. Few second-rounders make an impact in the NBA, though the Heat made out well with Mario Chalmers in 2008.

The Heat have reportedly expressed serious interest in Boston College point guard Reggie Jackson. Tom Haberstroh and Beckley Mason have taken a close look at Jackson for Heat Index.

Apart from Jackson, there are a slew of intriguing prospects on the board. We asked a panel of TrueHoop Network bloggers to submit their recommendations for the Heat at No. 31:

JaJuan Johnson

Johnson

The Player

6-foot-10 post player JaJuan Johnson, an All-American as a senior at Purdue, has enough pluses to his game to be worth a serious look from the Heat at No. 31. Johnson has a sweet shooting touch and -- with his 7-foot-2 wingspan and a high release point -- his shot is difficult to block. His length also helped him produce 2.3 blocked shots per game this past season.

Additionally, Johnson is clearly an NBA-caliber athlete, testing out with one of the best vertical leaps and sprint times among bigs at the draft combine. At 220 pounds, strength will be an issue for Johnson, who will likely struggle on the boards and in the post in the NBA.

Why he makes sense for the Heat

After Miami employed a cavalcade of thirtysomething screen-setters in 2010-11, Johnson would offer the Heat the opportunity to shave a decade-plus off their pick-and-pop game in one fell swoop with his ability to hit the midrange shot. Johnson's length and athleticism could make him a good fit for Miami's active, rotating defense, though he would need the help of the likes of LeBron James and Dwyane Wade
to compensate for his weaknesses as a rebounder and post defender.

Given that the Heat really just need role players, Johnson could be surprisingly effective from the get-go, as a player asked simply to knock down shots on offense and swat them away on defense.

--Mark Haubner, The Painted Area

Jeremy Tyler

Tyler

The Player

Had Jeremy Tyler followed the path typical elite high school players take by dominating the AAU circuit before leading his college deep into March, he may have been a top-10 pick. Instead he went overseas and endured a disastrous year in Israel before being banished to Japan.

Yet he still has elite athleticism along with a 7-foot-5 wingspan and big hands that made him such a hyped high school prospect to begin with. His emotional maturity is a question, but players with that kind of size and athleticism rarely shake Adam Silver's hand. Tyler is a project, sure, but with prototypical NBA size and raw skills that include a few post moves and soft touch, Tyler very well may mature into a quality NBA big.

Why he makes sense for the Heat

With the pending collective bargaining agreement likely to restrict the amount of rotation-worthy players Miami can add to its James-Wade-Bosh core the next few years, the Heat need to take chances in the draft to select potential impact players.

Few prospects in the early second round offer talent quite as alluring as Tyler's. If they select the San Diego product, the Heat could be adding a player who becomes their long-term answer at the 5 in a couple years at the low price of a second-round draft pick.

It's unlikely that any second-rounder will make an immediate dent in Miami's rotation come next May and June, so why not gamble on a boom or bust player who could pay big dividends in a few seasons?

--Michael Schwartz, Valley of the Suns

Jimmy Butler

Butler

The Player

Marquette forward Jimmy Butler provides plenty of versatility on the wing. He combines solid physical tools with an excellent basketball IQ and a high motor. He defends multiple positions and can make offensive contributions in several ways -- getting out in transition, finishing around the rim and attacking the basket when the opportunity presents itself.

A consistent outside shot is the one tool currently missing from his arsenal. Butler entered college with a scorer's mindset but has worked hard to make himself into a well-rounded player. His work ethic and potential to fill many roles are what drive his value as a prospect.

Why he makes sense for the Heat

The possibility of a hard cap, as well as changes to salary exceptions in the new CBA, may force changes to the way the Heat can build for the future. If adding veterans through free agency becomes difficult, it will become essential to find players in the draft who can contribute right away and hold potential for the future.

Butler is a player who fits into both categories. The Heat's wing rotation outside of Wade and James is stacked with shooters. In the short term, Butler's value comes in his ability to defend, rebound and make good decisions with the ball. If he can add a consistent outside shot, he would make a terrific long-term complement to pieces already in place.

--Ian Levy, The Two Man Game

Justin Harper

Harper

The Player

Although he's a little undersized as a power forward at just under 6-9, Justin Harper of Richmond is one of the most efficient scoring big men available in the draft. It may take time for his post-up game to translate to the NBA, but his shooting ability should allow him to make an impact right away. Harper shot 53.4 percent from the field and made 44.8 percent of his 3-pointers last season, on nearly five attempts per game.

Harper is fairly athletic, can score in transition and has shown flashes of effectiveness facing up and attacking the basket, as well. There are still questions about his defense and rebounding, but Harper is ready to contribute offensively at the next level.

Why he makes sense for the Heat

With Wade and James handling the ball, the ability to make a midrange jump shot is a prerequisite for any Heat big man. Harper is as smooth an outside shooter as the Heat are likely to find in this draft.

He's also a player who may provide a more versatile offensive skill set down the road. While the Heat may not need him immediately, he would provide some insurance against injuries to Chris Bosh or Udonis Haslem. Having Bosh and Haslem also gives the Heat an opportunity to be patient with Harper, allowing him to grow as a defender and rebounder. Selecting Harper would give the Heat a chance to add depth and future potential all at once.

--Ian Levy, The Two Man Game

Nikola Mirotic

Mirotic

The Player

It's doubtful that 6-10 power forward Nikola Mirotic will get past Dallas and San Antonio at the tail end of the first round. But if he does, Mirotic is talented enough that the Heat should seriously consider him at No. 31, even though he may not make it to the NBA for two or three years because of his contract situation.

If not for said contract, Mirotic would be a lottery selection, as he's one of the most skilled players in the draft as a stretch-4 with a terrific feel for the game. Mirotic, who was productive for European power Real Madrid as a 20-year-old, plays like a 10-year vet and could step right into the league to help a playoff-caliber team immediately. He can shoot from deep, is great in pick-and-pop action, has solid post-up ability and does a great job cutting off the ball.

Why he makes sense for the Heat

If Mirotic drops to No. 31, he would likely be the best player on the board. He has the skill set to be a nice fit in the Heat's offense. Like Bosh, Mirotic has the ability to play inside and on the perimeter. He would help open the floor even more than Bosh because of his 3-point range. He is terrific as a pick-and-pop threat.

Also, Mirotic could play off all the attention James and Wade draw, as he has a knack for moving to the open spots. Though the Heat have more immediate needs at the center position, it would be hard to pass up a legit lottery talent with the 31st pick.

--Jay Aych, The Painted Area

Andrew Goudelock

Goudelock

The Player

Andrew Goudelock was one of the most prolific scorers in college basketball. The combo guard from Bobby Cremins' revived College of Charleston program might be the deepest shooter in this draft. We all know about Jimmer Fredette's flair for the distant jumper, but even with that in mind, Goudelock might have the most impossible shooting range of the draft. He doesn't just pull up in rhythm from 30-35 feet; he catches and shoots from there, whether it's balanced or fading to a side.

To watch Goudelock in motion is to see a never-ending array of setting screens away from the ball, only to set up his defender to run into the barricade of a pick and free himself up for his assassinating jumper. He can handle the ball, find open shooters after a quick direct step and create innovative ways to put the ball in the basket.

Why he makes sense for the Heat

Between Goudelock and Chalmers, the Heat would have a pretty formidable tandem at the point guard position. It's not exactly having Chris Paul or Deron Williams at the helm, but the Heat don't need point guards like that to dominate the ball.

With Goudelock in tow, Miami could continue to spread the floor, like it does with Chalmers, but not lose the ability to penetrate when the defense closes out on the shooter. When Mike Bibby was performing "point guard" duties, you neutralized him whenever there was a successful closeout on his jumper. Like with Chalmers, closing out hard on the C of C product would allow him to penetrate into the interior of the defense and either shoot a pull-up or use his passing skills for a cutting big man or any of the stars on the payroll.

--Zach Harper, Daily Dime Live

The TrueHoop Network
Jay Aych, Mark Haubner, Ian Levy and Michael Schwartz write for the TrueHoop Network. | Zach Harper hosts Daily Dime Live and is an NBA contributor to ESPN.com
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