Jaime Jaquez Jr., the Miami Heat’s first-round draft pick this year, showed some promise during his first Summer League game at the California Classic.
However, his status moving forward is in question, as he has reportedly suffered a shoulder injury.
Caron Butler says Jaime Jaquez Jr. is day-to-day after injuring his shoulder. Heat opens Vegas summer league tomorrow.
— Anthony Chiang (@Anthony_Chiang) July 7, 2023
Jaquez, a native of Southern California, was a star at the University of California, Los Angeles, and he helped lead the Bruins deep into the NCAA Tournament over the last three seasons. He averaged 17.8 points and 8.2 rebounds a game this past season.
He is known as a physical player who can be effective on the defensive end, which could make him a nice fit for the Heat’s culture. At 6-foot-7 and 225 pounds, he can provide them with some much-needed size at the wing position.
On Monday versus the Los Angeles Lakers, Jaquez had a nice Summer League debut with 22 points as Miami won, 107-90. However, he mustered just one make in six attempts during Wednesday’s loss to the Sacramento Kings.
The team will face the Boston Celtics on Saturday as it heads down from Sacramento to Las Vegas.
Viable size in the frontcourt, especially off the bench, has been a need for the Heat for some time, and it is even more pronounced now that they have lost Max Strus to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Strus’ departure could open up a window for Jaquez to get some playing time right away if head coach Erik Spoelstra is impressed enough with the incoming rookie.
Of course, the big talk is the possibility of the Heat trading for Damian Lillard, who recently requested a trade and listed the Heat as the one team he wants to go to. However, it appears neither the Heat nor the Portland Trail Blazers, Lillard’s current team, are in any rush to make a trade happen.