The Miami Heat have been around for 27 years and have been one of the more successful franchises in the NBA during that time frame.
To the Heat’s credit, they already have three championships and five NBA Finals appearances on their resume. Only the Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio Spurs have had more success in regards to raising championship banners.
Much to the credit of current Heat President Pat Riley, the Heat have largely been an Eastern Conference powerhouse since Riley initially joined the organization as head coach in 1995. During the late 90’s, the franchise was an annual contender, reaching its first conference finals in 1997 when they matched up with the Michael Jordan-led Bulls.
A few years later in the mid 2000’s, the Dwyane Wade-Shaquille O’Neal pairing led to Miami’s first NBA championship. Years later, the acquisitions of LeBron James and Chris Bosh gave the Heat its first “dynasty” when the team won two championships and made four consecutive NBA Finals appearances.
While the organization has had much success despite being so young, much of its glory has been due to free agent and trade acquisitions rather than savvy drafting.
However, there are a few gems in the Heat’s history of drafting. Here are the top 10 draft picks in franchise history.
10. Matt Geiger, C, 1992 Draft, Round 2, 42nd Overall
Matt Geiger was a late-round draft selection of the Heat back during the franchise’s “infancy” era. Despite being a late selection, Geiger would end up having a solid NBA career, retiring in 2002 after playing 10 total seasons.
It was in Miami where Geiger began his career, having played a total of three seasons in South Florida. He played largely a backup role, before starting 43 games during the 1994-95 season. During his tenure in Miami, he averaged 7.0 points and 4.3 rebounds on 55 percent shooting.
Perhaps his most notable contribution to the franchise was being packaged with a number of other players in the trade acquisition of Alonzo Mourning in November of 1995. It was this trade that catapulted the Heat into being an Eastern Conference powerhouse during the latter half of the decade.
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