Heat draft Kel’el Ware with the No. 15 overall pick in the 2024 NBA Draft

Ware
Kel’el Ware is headed to the 305! (Photo Courtesy of Indiana Athletics)

The Miami Heat have selected Indiana center Kel’el Ware with the No. 15 overall pick in the 2024 NBA Draft.

Ware, 20, is a polarizing prospect. He was one of the six prospects I labeled to monitor in mid-May during the pre-draft process. He averaged 15.9 points, 9.9 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game last season, shooting 58.6 percent from the floor and 42.5 percent from 3-point range, albeit on low volume. On a per-75-possession basis, he averaged 21.5 points, 13.3 rebounds and 2.5 blocks.

Ware is a very good athlete–sporting a 32.5-inch standing vertical and a 36-inch max vert in the NBA Combine. He can play above the rim offensively and was a very good shot-blocker, sporting the Big Ten’s sixth-best block percentage last year. He also led the conference in defensive rebounding percentage and was a top-20 offensive rebounder.

The 7-footer has a 7-foot-5 wingspan and can provide legit functional size behind Bam Adebayo and, potentially down the line, alongside him. He takes the burden off Kevin Love, one of the best backup bigs in the NBA last year. Though Love will be entering his age-36 season in 2024-25, so making life easier for your franchise pillar when he’s not on the floor is paramount, since Thomas Bryant and Orlando Robinson clearly weren’t the answers either.

The biggest knock on Ware is his motor; when he was a freshman at Oregon, Ware was called “lazy.” That’s an automatic red flag. That followed him throughout his sophomore season at Indiana and I could imagine it was on plenty of team’s minds throughout the pre-draft process.

I wasn’t in the building, but for the Heat to take him at No. 15 is a promising indication of his workout and interview. The Heat likely have a plan and trust that any of those alarming concerns are behind him.

Ware’s very talented with a great physical profile–he was the No. 7 recruit in his 2022 NBA recruiting class, according to 247sports.com. When he’s locked in, he can be one of the most talented bigs in this class.

It’s a big if–it’s very hard to teach motor. But the NBA is getting bigger and Ware can be functional, so I trust the Miami Heat’s scouting department and developmental program to get the most out of Ware.

What do you think about Kel’el Ware? Let us know in the comments!

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2qbn

Something I have been finding hilarious as I listen and read stuff on Ware. Everyone keeps saying about his 40% from three point that it was only on one attempt per game. We have been screaming for Bam to take one a game and the most he has ever averaged is 0.6 this season. We also want to move Bam to PF at times. Well Bam needs to average one a game lol

oregoner

whew. gotta be honest, i don’t love it. Felt like Edey went 9, Carter and Topic went 12 & 13, and there really wasn’t a good pick left. Seems like a big swing for the fences pick. If he works out, we’ve got a rim protector on defense that can spread the floor on offense, and can play with Bam or Jovic. But I never feel good about drafting the guy with all the tools but a questionable motor. Seems like a very un-Miami pick.

2qbn

I heard the questionable motor stuff and went looking for more info. Just to show you how overblown negative things of a prospect gets, since they have to always bring up pros and cons, but it stems from his one year at Oregon. He then transfers to Indiana, who has a good coach that got up in his @$$, and the dude becomes a beast. That was it. One year at Oregon and somehow he’s now some questionable motor guy.

Be happy. We have a beast.

SunManFromDogBone

It looks like Jimmy is trying to force Miami’s hand. Heat either give him the maximum extension he wants or he will opt out and become an unrestricted free agent after the season. Now it really does seem like Riley will need to s**t or get off the pot.

“Jimmy Butler is planning to be a free agent after next season. 

The Athletic reported on Wednesday that the six-time All-Star doesn’t intend to sign an extension with the Heat or any other team before his $52.4 million opt-out clause comes up in 2025. Butler reportedly prefers to stay in Miami while the team has shown “no interest” in dealing him away. 

If he opts out after next season, the 13-year NBA veteran will be eligible to sign a four-year, $243 million extension with the Heat, and a three-year, $171 deal if he’s traded to another team.”

https://www.msn.com/en-us/sports/nba/jimmy-butler-makes-heat-decision-with-trade-speculation-swirling/ar-BB1oXFbW?ocid=hpmsn&cvid=ba39c6d4e5db485ebd5279cc0af1c40f&ei=14

oregoner

great. let’s see Jimmy play next season like a guy who needs to prove he’s worth one more big contract, instead of doing what he did last season, when he coasted through the season on cruise control

Reality Czech

Exactly

Reality Czech

I read that too and I see it differently. The whole situation was they didn’t want to extend him, we didn’t want them to extend him, and that’s what we got. It gives the team options. If he doesn’t request a trade and plays hard, we can see where we are in February. If he’s playing hard and we’re a top 5 seed, we play out the season. If not, seek a trade. If he opts out after the season, it’s $50+ million off the books. If he opts in, it’s an expiring contract. If he pouts and is negative, trade him. I don’t feel Riley has to make any decision for now.

SunManFromDogBone

Maybe I’m reading more into it than I should. It’s a bit strange for him to come out (right after Bam gets his well deserved extension) and say:

1) He isn’t accepting an extension from Miami (or any other team if he is traded) and
2) He plans to opt out at the end of the season and explore his options.

It appears a bit passive aggressive and inflexible to me. If Butler truly wanted to finish his career in Miami, he could consider a team friendly discount. After all, Florida, like Texas and Tennessee, has no state income tax. Zero, Zilch, Nada, Nič. Several other NBA states (e.g., Wisconsin, Minnesota, Oregon, New York, California) have income taxes ranging from 7.65% – 13.3%. In essence, he’s saving millions of dollars a year just by living in Florida rather than say California.

One other thing, Butler has only averaged 58 games per year since he’s been in Miami…and lately, he hasn’t been giving 100% when he does play. Conversely, Bam has averaged 70 games per year in his seven season career with the Heat and he gives 100% each and every game.

If all Jimmy truly wants is the money, then Pat should make every effort to trade him to a team in a state with no income taxes that will give him the big bucks he wants and an opportunity to compete for a championship. Memphis, Houston, Dallas and Orlando immediately come to mind.

vagibugi

The formal situation its clear. Jimmy has 2 years contract and player option for second year. Heat doesn’t need to extend him now.

Its known what somebody wants. Jimmy wants the extension with Heat, and Riley expressed his dissatisfaction.

If Jimmy will formally express the desire to extend his contract, Riley would probably say not now.

So I don’t think he will, because it could poison the relations. But he will act in different ways. Probably there is some probing from agents around the league, who would be willing give Butler an extension, but only as ammunition for negotiation later in the season. The buzz about trading him is all about that.

Playing well next season is in best Butlers interest. As it is Rileys.

So I think nothing will happen at least till new year. And I m expecting very good
Heat and Jimmy next season.

2qbn

Yeah his player option is for $52 million. If he has the type of season where he can opt out of that because he’s going to get more, possibly somewhere else, then the Heat are in the ECF. Sign me up 😉

heat for life

Think it depends how the year goes sun man and what riley surrounds him with.Current squad if all stay healthy maybe top 6 team.

SunManFromDogBone

Actually, Miami was not all that far behind the 2-7 teams last year, despite the many injuries and different line-ups. I acknowledge most other teams, except Boston, also had varying degrees of injuries.

IF, Butler comes in healthy AND motivated to play hard every game, IF the rest of the rotation players are healthy, and IF Ware comes in ready to contribute as a rotation player (even on a limited minute basis), I think the Heat can be very competitive this season. Maybe not at the same level as Boston, New York and the top tier of Western Conference, but perhaps a 3rd-5th place team in the East.

On the other hand, IF Butler does not come in healthy, hungry with a chip on his shoulder and with something to prove, IF one or more starters is not healthy and IF Ware turns out to be a longer term project than thought, Miami is probably headed to another spot in the Play-In Round and a quai-rebuild and Butler is probably being traded by February or hitting free agency next summer.

ManilaHeat

Heat picked Wade and it turned great! Maybe Ware will be a great draft also with that one letter difference 😂😜

heat for life

LOL

oregoner

solid analysis. I’m in! Now they just need to trade for Eric Gordon

2qbn

Ware County!

SunManFromDogBone

With Sarr, Clingan and Edey off the board, Miami took the next best center available. He needs to add weight and muscle and learn the ropes from Bam. I can see him playing increasing minutes throughout the season and possibly sharing time in the starting unit with Bam by the end of the season.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-W-3IGMhNnA

https://lastwordonsports.com/basketball/2024/06/25/kelel-ware-2024-nba-draft-profile/

Meanwhile, if Bryant does not opt in and/or ORobinson’s contract is not guaranteed, Miami may need to pick up a free agent PF/C to shore up the front court (e.g., Jalen Smith, Obi Toppin, Mo Wagner, Patrick Williams, Bol Bol, ?).

Last edited 16 days ago by SunManFromDogBone
SunManFromDogBone

College stats just for comparison purposes:

Kal’el Ware Indiana, 2023-2024: 7’0″ 230lbs,
15.9 ppg, 9.9 rpg, 1.5 apg, 58.6 fg%, 42.5 3pt%, 63.4 ft%

Chris Bosh: Georgia Tech, 2002-2003: 6’10” 228 lbs
15.6 ppg, 9.0 rpg, 1.2 apg, 56.0 fg%, 47.8 3pt%, 73.0 ft%

2qbn

Love this post, sir. I’ll be watching those %’s in summer league. I would like to see him shoot in the 70% range for FT’s in summer league. I’ll judge FG% on the types of shots he’s taking as they might only have him rim run or putbacks and things like that

Deadsori123

Now for the second round pick. Who you people got?

This is a pipe dream but I am praying that we can get Dunn with our last pick. When they say defensive versatility,this guy came to mind.He really embodies the “he can guard multiple position” granted his offensive game is lacking or honestly atrocious but the coaching staff can probably make him a decent scorer.

Also interested in Dillon Jones. He plays like a power forward in a 6’6 body and have the potential to be a point forward player, he is a switchable type player,which are players that spo likes.

Big_guy305

Both of them got picked up. So maybe kolek,kj, Smith, or pelle.

Last edited 16 days ago by Big_guy305
2qbn

I too am on the Pelle wagon. The Swedish Thunder Dan.

I really like Tyler Smith but I see no scenario where he is still there at our pick, so I would go with wing in Keshad Johnson. Those are my two guys, but will be happy either way since I trust the Heat’s picks.

Big_guy305

I forgot about keshad, shead would be a good choice too.

2qbn

I would also add McKuller.

2qbn

If he listens to the coaching staff, and puts in the work, he will be able to contribute in so many facets of the game. Do not sleep on our need for offensive rebounds.

sweeterswish

I guess UD was trying to tell us the whole time… Bam is going to play the four soon.

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