Report: Many rival NBA teams love Jaime Jaquez Jr. and hate that he’s with Miami Heat

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Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

According to Wes Goldberg of The Ringer, opposing teams are big fans of rookie Jaime Jaquez Jr., which is perhaps creating some envy over the fact that the Miami Heat snagged him.

“The Ringer’s own Bill Simmons may have summed it up best when he said, ‘I love him, and I hate that he’s on the Heat,'” Goldberg wrote.

“A lot of rival front offices feel the same way.”

Caron Butler — who currently serves as an assistant coach with the Heat — reportedly told team officials back in August that Jaquez would be a star in the NBA.

In addition, Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr admitted in December that the team “really liked” Jaquez leading up to the draft.

“We love the guy that we got, but we also love the guy — so, they (the Heat) really liked Brandin [Podziemski], and we really liked Jaime,” Kerr said.

The Heat selected Jaquez — who played college basketball at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) — with the No. 18 overall pick in the draft, while the Warriors drafted Podziemski with the No. 19 pick.

Jaquez participated in Rising Stars as well as the Slam Dunk Contest during the league’s 2024 All-Star festivities.

The 23-year-old is averaging 12.9 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game on 49.2 percent shooting from the floor in 49 games played with the Heat thus far in the 2023-24 regular season.

But Jaquez has had one of his least productive months of the season in February. His scoring average has dropped to just 9.6 points per game this month. Plus, he has converted just 43.1 percent of his field-goal attempts and 17.6 percent of his shots from 3-point range.

Arguably his worst performance of the month to this point came against the Boston Celtics back on Feb. 11. The rookie ended up with just six points, three rebounds and one assist while shooting 2-of-6 from the field and 1-of-2 from deep in a game Miami lost by four points.

Despite the fact that Jaquez hasn’t played his best basketball recently, he has still been one of the top rookies in the NBA this season. Heat fans won’t have to wait much longer to see him take the court for the team again, as Miami has a road game against the New Orleans Pelicans — who own the No. 6 seed in the Western Conference and are on a three-game winning streak — slated for Feb. 23.

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Jesse is a 23-year-old sports journalist with extensive experience covering the NBA.