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Heat opt for future flexibility in dealing first-round pick

The SportsXchange

As much as anything, the Heat used Thursday's NBA Draft to retain flexibility going forward. Instead of exercising their first-round pick, they dealt the selection to the 76ers for a future Philadelphia first-round selection and the No. 45 pick held Thursday by the 76ers.

At No. 45, with the pick obtained from the 76ers, the Heat selected 7-foot Louisiana State junior forward Justin Hamilton, a player they may elect to stash in Europe.

With the No. 27 pick obtained from the Heat, the 76ers selected Mississippi State forward Arnett Moultrie.

The first-round pick obtained from the 76ers is lottery protected in 2013, 2014 and 2015, a factor which should not come into play, with the 76ers expected to be back in the playoffs next season. Should the pick not come free in any of those years, the Heat would get a future pair of 76ers second-round picks.

In bypassing a selection at No. 27, the Heat avoided a two-year contract guarantee. Picks taken in the second round do not receive guaranteed contracts.

Among those available to the Heat, and bypassed, at No. 27 were Baylor forward Perry Jones, Michigan State forward Draymond Green, Vanderbilt forward Jeffery Taylor, Kentucky guard Doron Lamb, Baylor forward Quincy Miller and Kentucky guard Marquis Teague.

For the Heat, banking an extra first-round pick figures to help down the road, with a series of first-round picks dealt away in the 2010 sign-and-trade transactions that landed LeBron James from the Cleveland Cavaliers and Chris Bosh from the Toronto Raptors.
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