Jaime Jaquez Jr., a University of California, Los Angeles product, was taken by the Heat with the No. 18 pick in last month’s draft, and he said on Paul George’s podcast that he reached out to Udonis Haslem after he was drafted.
Jaime Jaquez Jr on Paul George’s podcast, asked if he had reached out to anybody on the Heat after being drafted:
“Udonis Haslem.” pic.twitter.com/VsRAn9seYc
— Brady Hawk (@BradyHawk305) July 7, 2023
“I think the one — U.D. or Udonis Haslem — I reached out to him and let him know he’s the O.G. of the Miami Heat, so I felt it was only right for me to reach out to him and let him know I’m excited,” said Jaquez.
Jaquez, who was born in Irvine, Calif. and grew up in Camarillo, located in nearby Ventura County, did well in his four years with the Bruins. This past season he averaged 17.8 points, 8.2 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game, and he helped lead UCLA to the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Tournament.
It was the third straight year in which the Bruins got that far. In the 2020-21 campaign, which was Jaquez’s sophomore year, they got to the Final Four.
A 6-foot-7 wing, he is a physical and tough player, which should make him a nice fit for the Heat’s much-renowned culture.
They have lacked size and length in the frontcourt, especially off the bench, and if Jaquez develops as a 3-point shooter (he made just 32.8 percent of his attempts from downtown at UCLA), he can become a go-to option for head coach Erik Spoelstra.
Miami lost Max Strus this offseason, and that may open up playing time for Jaquez, if for no other reason than out of necessity.
The incoming rookie has shown some promise so far during Summer League play. He looked very good on Monday when he scored 22 points on 8-of-15 overall shooting and 3-of-7 from 3-point range versus the Los Angeles Lakers.