Heat Looking At McClinton?

Miami Heat President Pat Riley, Vice President of Player Personnel Chet Kammerer and team executives Andy Elisburg, Nick Arison and Adam Simon spent two days last week at the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago, Ill.
Among those who Heat officials took a look at was Jack McClinton of Miami, according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. "I think he's Eddie House to Robert Hite, somewhere in the middle there," Kammerer said, referring to two former Heat point guards. "The positive is Jack shot the ball well. He certainly didn't hurt himself. He was pretty productive."

The Heat could plausibly select McClinton, who is expected to be available in the second round. The comparisons to House are well-deserved, as McClinton can surely shoot the basketball. In addition to his lethal three-point shooting -- which he shot at a 45.3 percent clip last season with the Hurricanes -- McClinton has the ability to come of screens and shoot the pull-up jumer.

But if Riley is looking for someone who can shoot at the point guard spot, then why not just re-sign Luther Head? Head only played nine full games in a Heat uniform before breaking his hand in a game against the Orlando Magic, thus leaving him out for the rest of the season. This means that there will not be a lot of competition for Head, and he is also probably willing to sign for the minimum. In addition to his shooting, Head has something McClinton does not have: height. Head is 6-foot-3 while McClinton measures up at 6-foot-1.

Nevertheless, if McClinton does put a Heat hat on his head on Draft day, it will say more about Mario Chalmers than anyone else. With Chalmers and Chris Quinn already under contract for next season, the drafting of McClinton would seal the point guard rotation. This would also mean that Riley has a great deal of confidence in Chalmers as a starting point guard.

The problem is that Chalmers has not shown enough during his rookie season to merit a starting spot on a competitive team. Quite frankly, Chalmers has a lot to work on before he can be compared to Rajon Rondo. The 6-foot-1 point guard out of Kansas must work on his defense. Chalmers is frequently out of position on defense due to his excessive gambling for steals. A chronic problem for the rookie guard was his persistent foul trouble. Offensively, Chalmers must learn how to finish at the rim and continue to develop his jump shot.

The Heat's 2008 second-round selection would not start on most NBA teams, and he should not start in Miami. Chalmers appears to be a streaky shooter who can come off the bench and give the Heat a spark -- and nothing more. That is why I have advocated for a trade that books Raymond Felton a flight to South Beach. Felton, someone who can create his own shot and dish out assists, would relieve a multitude of pressure off of Dwyane Wade.

McClinton is a nice prospect, but the Heat should not draft him. In the second round, it should always be safety first. If Riley picks Danny Green for depth at the shooting guard position behind Wade and Daequan Cook, that would make sense. Also, don't expect Riley to trade up into the first round. The Heat's President would probably not make such a move because it would entail guaranteed money for the 2010-11 season.

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