Miami Heat rookie Jaime Jaquez Jr. had his introductory press conference with the team on Friday afternoon, and he expressed tons of excitement about getting the chance to play alongside Bam Adebayo.
Jaime Jaquez Jr on Bam Adebayo:
“I love Bam man, he plays so hard..I’m so excited to play on the floor with him. I think we’re gonna play really well together.”
— Brady Hawk (@BradyHawk305) June 23, 2023
Jaquez could easily see tons of playing time alongside Adebayo next season, as the University of California, Los Angeles product appears to be ready to contribute to the Heat instantly.
A hard-nosed defender who has a nice feel for the game on offense as well, Jaquez seems to be a perfect player for Miami. At 6-foot-6 and 225 pounds, he adds some needed size on the wing for Miami. He’s an excellent rebounder (6.3 rebounds per game during his time at UCLA) and got a wide variety of moves on offense.
Furthermore, he has tons of experience playing many different positions, and that should help him out in his rookie season.
It’s great to hear that Jaquez has so much love and admiration for one of the Heat’s most important players. Tons of people across the league took note of the 22-year-old’s appreciation for Heat star Jimmy Butler.
“Wherever I get drafted, I don’t care,” Jaquez told ESPN back in April. “I’m going to make some sort of impact. People are going to feel like I impacted their organization. Jimmy Butler, Josh Hart…those are the guys I study. They have a different mentality; they play to win.”
"My favorite player is probably Jimmy Butler" 👀
Jaime Jaquez Jr. said this in college and now he's in Miami 🔥 pic.twitter.com/TvmJRDOmnp
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) June 23, 2023
Butler and Adebayo figure to once again lead the Heat next season after helping them make it to the NBA Finals this season. Unfortunately for the Heat organization, the Denver Nuggets beat Miami pretty comfortably in a five-game series.
During his four seasons with the Bruins, Jaquez averaged 13.4 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.3 steals per game while knocking down 47.5 percent of his shots from the field and 32.8 percent of his attempts from downtown.
He’s definitely going to need to improve a bit as a shooter, but the potential is there, as he connected on just under 40 percent of his 3-pointers during his sophomore season.
If the Heat end up losing Max Strus (unrestricted free agent) this offseason and deal some wing players in a blockbuster trade, Jaquez might be looking at a big role right at the start of the regular season.
How Jaquez performs in the Heat’s upcoming Summer League games could go a long way toward determining his role for next season. Miami’s first Summer League game is scheduled for July 3 against the Los Angeles Lakers.