Miami Heat: Top 5 Draft Picks in Franchise History

Andre RuizContributor IJuly 1, 2011

Miami Heat: Top 5 Draft Picks in Franchise History

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    The Miami Heat became an official NBA franchise in 1988. Every June for 22 years, the organization has vested its future in an amateur prospect. This investment, more often than not, will yield no returns for the franchise. However, when it does, the dividends can be priceless.This opportunity to find the diamond in the rough is an annual feast for the 14 worst teams from the prior season.

    The Miami Heat has had numerous athletic talents wear the Heat jersey and go on to be infamous with the city’s sports fans. Men like Alonzo Mourning, who embodies what Miami Heat fans love in their players. How about someone like P.J. Brown whose confident smile will calm your nerves in a tight game or Tim Hardaway with his vicious crossover back pedaling defenders like they are in a middle school pick-up game.These players, though invaluable pieces of Miami Heat history, were not “home grown” draftees of the Miami Heat.

    The players, which the franchise chooses to draft, are bestowed with a great honor. As an amateur the organization believes that the athlete has the skill set, intangibles, or work ethic that the franchise needs to move on to the next level.As the Miami Heat inserts itself into championship contention. Many fans have seemed to appear out of the wood work.

    This is extremely disconcerting to all of the loyal fans that have stuck with their team through the thick and thin. However, the Heat Nation must grow and take on new members to support the franchise.  In order to appreciate the victories that are sure to come for the Miami Heat in the near future, a fan needs to know where his or her franchise has been to celebrate the success to come.

    Here are top five draft picks of the Miami Heat since its inaugural season in 1988. The selections and ordering of the draftees are certainly up for debate. I assure you this is not a final decision.

5. Rony Seikaly

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    I will start the countdown just as the Miami Heat began its organization in 1988 with the 9th pick, Rony Seikaly.

    To most Miami Heat fans in the 90’s, he was the face of the new franchise. When he played for the Heat he was the soul of the Heat. Arguably the Udonis Haslem of his time, Seikaly crashed the boards like no other averaging 9.5 rebounds in his career. Leading with his tough play and powerful offensive mindset, Seikaly averaged 14.7 PPG.

    To this day he is a season ticket holder of the Miami Heat and is an important part of the Miami community through his real Estate Investments and activity in the Miami Beach Nightlife. He will go down as one of the most beloved figures in Miami sports history.

4. Michael Beasley

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    As the 2008 NBA Draft approached the most memorable headlines were, who was going as the first overall pick to the Bulls. The debate was between some shy guard from the University of Memphis named Derrick Rose or the rebounding-machine with a silky smooth jump shot from Kansas State University.

    The Miami Heat having the 2nd overall pick in 2008 would get the leftovers of the two. Michael Beasley.

    He came in to the league with a ton of hype and expectations playing alongside Dwyane Wade. Unfortunately, off-court issues got the best of him and tarnished his image.

    This does not deny the fact that Mike Beasley, when he wanted to, played lights out as a scoring machine. The smooth stroke of a jump shot, with an arc reminiscent of Dirk Nowitzki’s shot was a pleasure to watch. Giving him 15.9 PPG and 5.8 RPG. Overall, Michael Beasley will have a great career, where he can be the first option in an offense.

3. Caron Butler

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    In 2002, the Miami Heat used its 10th overall pick on Caron Butler from the NCAA basketball powerhouse University of Connecticut.

    He came to the organization with a chip on his shoulder. In an interview he declared to the nine teams that passed on him, he would make them pay throughout his career.  Butler is averaging 16.6 PPG, 5.9 RPG, and 2.9 APG, during his stay with Miami he was well liked by the city, however, he was known as the side kick to the Heats 2003 1st round draft choice.

    His placement as the 3rd best draft pick in Heat history, stems from the growth he experienced once he became the number one option for an offense, breaking out in 2008 to make the NBA All-Star Team.

2. Glen Rice

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    Miami Heat’s second year of existence began with a 4th overall selection of Glen Rice.

    This Heat legend started his career practically alongside the organization’s career. In need of an offensive force, the Heat found themselves a 3-point shooter like they had never seen. Finishing his career ranked 11th in 3-point field goals made.  Averaging 18.3 PPG Rice was the reason the Heat was able to make it to its first playoff appearance. He holds a Heat-First as the first player to average 20 points per game for the franchise.

    Glen Rice brought life and excitement to the organization, Heat fans owe him a great deal of gratitude for what he did for the city of Miami.

1. Dwyane Wade

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    This one is a no-brainer. Remember that 2003 first-round draft selection that No. 3 of this list was a sidekick to? Well, that was Dwyane Wade. 

    Coming into the league as arguably the most overlooked lottery pick in history, Wade's rookie season was relatively overshadowed by the success of fellow draft classmates LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony.

    We all know the stats that Wade has compiled throughout his career, along with his MVP awards(2006 FInals and 2010 All-Star) and scoring title. All of those statistics that cement him as the Miami Heat's best draft selection ever should go unmentioned.

    We should look further into him as person to find what propels him beyond any other Heat draftee.

    Wade’s superstardom and place as the best pick in Heat history is obvious. But the part of Wade that people outside of Miami don’t see is how much he genuinely loves the city.

    If a player denied a chance to play for his hometown team, a place where he would contend immediately for a championship, just to stay in the city that loves him and gave him his first championship ring says a lot about who Wade is as a person.

    His aura is brighter than the Miami skyline, while his humility is on the level of the citizens of Miami. Wade is going to end his career as the most beloved athlete to play in the city of Miami.