The Miami Heat have had their fair share of talent on the roster through the years. From high flyers to expert marksmen, the Heat can spot talent. In this article, we’ll look at some of the best draft picks in Miami Heat history and talk about what they mean to the Heat’s legacy.
5. Steve Smith (1991 Round 1, Pick 5)
15.1 PPG, 5.1 APG, 3.9 RPG, 1 SPG, 45.4 FG%, 35.6 3P%
In three seasons with the Heat, Steve Smith made his name known (note that Smith played 2 games in 1994 and 13 games in 2004 with the Heat that were not included in these statistics).
Smith started his NBA career with an NBA All-Rookie First Team nod, averaging 12 PPG, 4.6 APG, and 3.1 RPG in 61 games. This led into the Heat facing the defending champion Chicago Bulls, where Smith averaged 16 PPG, 5 APG, and 2 RPG.
Smith’s best year with the Heat comes in his third season after an injury-ridden sophomore year. In his third year with the team, Smith averaged 17.3 PPG, 5.1 APG, and 4.5 RPG while shooting 45.6% from the field in 78 games. Smith led the Heat in scoring in the playoffs, averaging 19.2 PPG in 5 games.
4. Rony Seikaly (1988 Round 1, Pick 9)
15.4 PPG, 10.4 RPG, 1.4 BPG, 48.3 FG%
In six seasons with the Heat, Seikaly showed his worth as the franchises first ever NBA draft pick, after their expansion picks.
Seikaly flourished with Miami in his six-year stint with the team. In his rookie season, he averaged 10.9 PPG and 7 RPG in 78 games with the team. In the following season, he jumped in every major statistical category, averaging 16.6 PPG, 10.4 RPG, 1.1 SPG, and 1.7 BPG while shooting 50.2% from the field. This increase in production earned him the 1989-90 Most Improved Player award.
In his first playoff appearance in 1992, Seikaly averaged 20.7 PPG and 10 RPG on 54.3% shooting in a 3-game loss against Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls.
3. Bam Adebayo (2017 Round 1, Pick 14)
12.4 PPG, 8 RPG, 3.5 APG, 55.9 FG%
Bam Adebayo is a young stud when it comes to his basketball intelligence and work ethic. What Bam does for the Heat isn’t necessarily shown in the stat sheet, though he can impress there as well.
Adebayo has laced up four seasons with Miami and is already a 2x All-Defensive Second Team member, NBA All-Star, and Olympic gold member winner.
In Adebayo’s All-Star third year, he averaged 15.9 PPG, 10.2 RPG, 5.1 APG, 1.1 SPG, and 1.3 BPG. He also helped lead the team to their first finals appearance since the LeBron James/Dwyane Wade/Chris Bosh era. In this historic playoff run, Adebayo averaged 17.8 PPG, 10.3 RPG, 4.4 APG while shooting 56.4% from the field.
It’s not far-fetched to say that Bam Adebayo will be a multiple NBA Defensive Player of the Year winner in the coming future. Time will tell what the future looks like for this young superstar.
2. Glen Rice (1989 Round 1, Pick 4)
19.3 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 1.2 SPG, 45.9 FG%, 38.6 3P%
Glen Rice was always considered a lethal scorer, leading the team in scoring in four out of his six seasons with Miami. Rice averaged over 22 PPG twice with the Heat in the 1991-92 and 1994-95 seasons, and shot his best percentages in the 1994 season, averaging 47.5 FG% and 41% from downtown in 82 games.
In this same season, in a game against Shaquille O’Neal and the Orlando Magic, Rice poured in a career-high 56 points on 74% shooting. This marked an NBA season-high for the rest of the league.
Although Rice didn’t have much playoff success with Miami, he did lead them to their first-ever playoff win against the Atlanta Hawks. Rice had 13 points, 10 rebounds, 2 steals, and a block in the win.
1. Dwyane Wade (2003 Round 1, Pick 5)
22.7 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 5.4 APG, 1.6 SPG
Is there really any other way to end this list? With a laundry list of accolades, Wade takes the cake when it comes to best Miami Heat draft picks:
- No. 3 Retired by the Miami Heat
- 3x NBA champion
- 2006 NBA Finals MVP
- 13x NBA All-Star
- 2010 NBA All-Star Game MVP
- 8x All-NBA Team
- 3x All-Defensive Second Team
- 2009 NBA Scoring Champion
- NBA All-Rookie First Team
In his 15 seasons with Miami, Wade led the Heat to 12 playoff appearances, 5 finals appearances, and 3 NBA championships. In the 2008-09 season, his best season with the Heat, Wade averaged 30.2 PPG, 7.5 APG, 5 RPG, 2.2 SPG, and 1.3 BPG in 79 games played.
Dwyane Wade’s “superstar breakout” moment came in his third year in the league in the NBA finals against the Dallas Mavericks. After going down 0-2 to the Mavs, Wade led his team to 4 straight wins, averaging 34.7 PPG, 7.8 RPG, 3.8 APG, and 2.7 SPG in 43.5 MPG, crowning him NBA Finals MVP.
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