Jaime Jaquez Jr., Miami Heat (surpassed expectations)
Could it get more Miami Heat, than finding a franchise-altering difference-maker with the 18th overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft? Give credit where credit is due, Jaquez Jr., stylistically, looked like a #heatculture guy. Coming out of UCLA as a senior he did a lot of things pretty well, but nothing that stood out.
In a draft analysis by RotoWire, featured on NBA.com, "Jaquez will likely begin his career competing for playing time but has the potential to develop into a quality bench player." Well, fast forward a couple of months and you will find Jaquez most likely coming off the bench, however, he's playing over 28 minutes per game and he has blown expectations of him being a "quality bench player," out of the water.
Jaquez brings great energy to a Heat team that is full of guys who bring great energy. It's these gritty, smart players that keep the Heat in contention year after year. Jaquez's glamour stats are very good for a rookie: 12.9 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 2.6 APG, with a shooting split of 50.5/37.3/ 84.2 (FG%/3PT%/FT%). While these aren't other-worldly numbers, who was expecting this from Jaquez in his first year, let alone at any point of his career? Pencil me in as an honorary member of The Monkees, because I'm a BELIEVER in Jaime.