New York Knicks: 2019 NBA Mock Draft, Sweet 16 edition

(Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)
(Photo by Lance King/Getty Images) /
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UNC Nassir Little (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
UNC Nassir Little (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /

15. player. 110. . SF. North Carolina. Nassir Little

Age: 19
Height, Weight: 6-foot-6, 220 pounds
Slash Line: .485/.280/.778
Stat Line: 10.0 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 0.7 APG, 0.5 SPG, 0.5 BPG, 0.4 3PM

Nassir Little falls just outside the lottery in this scenario, but a case can be made for him at No. 11 with the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Washington Wizards. However, he slips to the Miami Heat, who are a fringe playoff team and barely holding off the Orlando Magic for the Eastern Conference’s eighth seed.

The Heat have young pieces in Bam Adebayo and Justise Winslow, but it stops there. They have a bloated salary cap of players making double-digits — likely eight of them in the 2019-20 season, barring a trade. They need youth that contributes at a cheaper rate, and Little can become that.

Winslow and James Johnson already fit this forward role for Miami, but Little offers more upside than both, with his 7-foot-2 wingspan and developing ability to shoot, even if it’s still far away. This allows head coach Erik Spoelstra to tinker with positionless lineups, along with Josh Richardson‘s rising presence, and create unique set-ups for a team struggling to make noise.

The Heat may also need a point guard, but drafting Ty Jerome or Tre Jones are reaches at No. 15. They need an outside shooter, but can probably find another in free agency to replace Dwyane Wade.

Little will take a few years to develop, and he falls into a similar area as Winslow, but he could become the better offensive player in two or three years.

If the New York Knicks hovered around the 10th spot in the draft order, Little makes some sense, but that’s not the case and they won’t have him in June.