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Forget all those other destinations, Zhaire Smith belongs in Miami

Hmm...6’4, ridiculously athletic, great finisher and defender...remind you of anyone?

NBA: Playoffs-Philadelphia 76ers at Miami Heat Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Look, we’ve run through just about all of the plausible landing spots for Texas Tech’s prized contribution to the NBA draft, Zhaire Smith.

We explored the possibility of him staying in state for the Dallas Mavericks or San Antonio Spurs. We considered how Smith would fit in for the Denver Nuggets and the Los Angeles Clippers.

But ultimately, the absolute best place Smith could end up is in South Beach with the Miami Heat. Look at the team’s young core, with a couple players just entering their prime:

  • Hassan Whiteside, 28
  • Justise Winslow, 22
  • Dion Waiters, 26
  • Tyler Johnson, 26
  • Bam Adebayo, 20
  • Josh Richardson, 24

Add in Zhaire Smith, and you have a really talented core to build around with loads of potential. There’s also the veteran experience added by the presence of a top-3 shooting guard of all time in Dwyane Wade, who plays a similar brand of basketball as Smith.

This Heat team, despite not having any real superstars (at least in their prime) managed to win 44 games and earn a six seed in the playoffs. If they can hold on to their core and draft a guy with athleticism and playmaking abilities on both ends of the floor and sign one more star in free agency, this team could return to a top-3 seed in the Eastern Conference (especially if LeBron James heads west after this season). In five years, the Heat could be back on top of the east for the first time since their Big 3 days.

Miami is one of the great organizations in the NBA. It’s up there with the Spurs, Golden State Warriors, and Boston Celtics as the most well-run franchises with the best leadership at the top and a culture of winning already established. This is the kind of organization we want Smith to join. It’s not dysfunctional, it’s dynastic. And that’s why Smith belongs in the city where the heat is on.