No disrespect to Miami Heat forward Michael Beasley, but if we could redo the 2008 NBA Draft he wouldn’t be the second overall pick — at least not knowing what we do now. Not after the marijuana, arrests and career rehabilitation.
Miami likely would have gone for the guy with the weight transformation, meaning Kevin Love would be spending his days in South Beach instead of wasting away in Twin Cities. The only downside would be a possible tweak in the construction of the Big Three.
Although he could have fit under his initial rookie contract, his extension might have caused problems within the salary cap. So in turn the team’s sacrifice of Mike Miller would not have happened because he may have never been on the roster.
But despite the repercussions, can you imagine the effect Love could have had on the defending champs?
Just imagine if you plugged him into the starting lineup with his ability to stretch the floor. Dwyane Wade and LeBron James would have all of the space in the world to operate, and Chris Bosh and Love would give opponents fits by dragging them out to the three-point line. However, his greatest asset is obviously on the boards.
Love’s 12.2 rebounds a game have him in the top three in the league, while his Minnesota Timberwolves sit comfortably in the top eight. In contrast, the Heat are No. 30 of 30 with not one player averaging at least seven rebounds without rounding up. And even then you would still need a combination of two to three players to match Love’s numbers on the glass.
Who knows how things play out if the picks were different, but we might still get the chance to see if the Big Three choose to opt in and make 2015 very interesting.