- Here’s a list of the best Miami Heat picks in franchise history.
- Dwyane Wade leads the list of players Miami selected through the draft.
- Other notable Heat players include Glen Rice and Bam Adebayo.
The Miami Heat are one of the most successful teams in the NBA, as they are tied with the Philadelphia 76ers and Detroit Pistons as the fifth-winningest NBA franchise in history with three championships. Additionally, they only missed the postseason 11 times since joining the league in 1988.
A big part of this success is their ability to acquire players via trades and through the draft. Speaking of draft picks, the Miami franchise is known to have one of the most excellent scouting departments in the NBA. This incredible scouting has produced the three best Miami Heat draft picks of all time that enhanced their NBA championship odds.
First on the list is Dwyane Wade, who was selected as the fifth overall pick at the 2003 NBA Draft, which is considered to be one of the top five NBA draft classes of all time. The former Marquette star instantly brought championship aspirations, as he made an impact on the team with his averages of 16.2 points, 4.5 assists, and 4.0 rebounds, which was good enough to make it to the All-Rookie 1st Team in 2004.
— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) August 14, 2023
In the following seasons, “The Flash” improved his numbers enormously until he led the franchise to its first-ever Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy in 2006, when they defeated the Dallas Mavericks in six games. Wade was also part of the “Heatles” alongside LeBron James and Chris Bosh, who delivered two more titles in South Beach. The 6-foot-4 guard accumulated an average of 22.7 points, 5.6 assists, and 4.7 rebounds in 948 games for Miami across 15 seasons.
During their second season in the league, Miami used their fourth pick in 1989 to select Glen Rice. The Michigan standout became a reliable and consistent contributor throughout the franchise’s early years in the NBA. Rice racked up a decent rookie average of 13.6 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 1.8 assists, which included him in the All-Rookie 2nd Team in 1990. Due to his first-season numbers, the 6-foot-8 forward became a full-time starter on the team.
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— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) May 28, 2020
Rice was an important player that helped Miami reach its two postseason campaigns in 1992 and 1994 as the eighth-seeded team in the East; however, they couldn’t get past the first round. Just when “G Money” was steadily becoming the Heat’s leading offensive player, he was sent to the Charlotte Hornets for a trade that sent Alonzo Mourning to Miami. In his six seasons with the Heat, Rice averaged 19.3 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 2.2 assists in 478 games.
Rounding out the three best Miami Heat draft picks is Bam Adebayo. The 6-foot-9 center out of Kentucky was selected as the 14th overall pick in 2017. He started his career as a second-string player for the Heat in his first two seasons. His breakout year came in the 2019-20 season when he was promoted to the starting lineup and produced a double-double average of 15.9 points and 10.2 rebounds with 5.1 assists.
In the same season, Adebayo helped Miami reach the NBA Finals for the first time since 2014 but fell short of winning the title, as the Los Angeles Lakers defeated them in six games. Two seasons after that loss to the Lakers, Adebayo and the Heat once again reached the NBA Finals, but this time, they were dominated by the Nikola Jokic-led Denver Nuggets in five games. Aside from the two NBA Finals appearances, “Bam Bam” also represented the team in two NBA All-Star Games.
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