NBA Draft 2012: Where Miami Heat Fans Ask, “Who is Justin Hamilton?”

The Miami Heat had the opportunity to select four of the five players I listed in my last piece deciding who would be the best fit for the team next season.

Forwards Jeff Taylor, Quincy Miller and Draymond Green were all available, as was center Festus Ezeli. Center Fab Melo was the only player of the five who had been taken at the time, which came a few selections earlier from a Boston Celtics team in desperate need of a center.

Yet when the time came for the Heat to make their selection, they opted to select Arnett Moultrie only to trade him to the Philadelphia 76ers for their 45th pick and a future first-round pick which will be lottery protected up until 2015.

Strange decision making for the Heat; they not only had a few players available that could have filled in a few niches, but Baylor’s Perry Jones III also slipped to them. Jones was regarded as a lottery pick before a mediocre sophomore season and then getting stamped with a medical red flag destroyed his draft stock.

Although, seeing Taylor slip to Charlotte at the start of the second-round will hurt the most.

Drawing comparisons to Thabo Sefolosha on account of his physical tools, Taylor could have fit in nicely with a Heat team that thrives heavily on the defensive pressure from its athletes. Alas, the Heat will get to see four times per season now if he makes it on the Bobcats roster by the start of the season.

Nevertheless, the Heat still had their 45th pick and decided to hold onto it. By doing so, they ended up drafting Justin Hamilton out of LSU. The 7′, 260-pound forward played three years of college ball, two with Iowa State and his final with LSU, and ended up having one of the more underrated years of any other player drafted.

Hamilton averaged 12.9 points, 7.2 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per. He shot 49 percent from the field and 78 percent from the foul line. While he only shot 3-of-12 from beyond the arc, a video of his workout tells otherwise.

Watch Hamilton’s footwork down low, as well as the five consecutive three-pointers he hits:

I can dig it. Remind you of another certain power forward on the Heat that can shoot and show off some footwork down low?

No, I’m not comparing Justin Hamilton to Chris Bosh. I’m simply stating that their games are extremely similar, which could benefit the Heat even more. Bosh could see a little bit of himself in Hamilton and may want to attempt to mold him into a similar player.

The Heat are on the lookout for reliable big men. While they already have a plethora of power forwards and centers, so few of them actually provide the team with consistent minutes. It seemed as if Chris Bosh became the only player that could be relied on once Shane Battier took over at the four for the majority of the postseason.

Hamilton could be a huge answer for the Heat if he can continue to impress with his shooting touch and make it on to the roster by the start of the season. Having two stretch four’s with the capability of shooting over their defender from as far out as the three-point line will allow the Heat to space the floor even more.

However, that’s only if Hamilton can make the team first, which is a tall order to ask for from anyone drafted at 45th.

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