Pat Riley says Miami Heat would’ve taken Chris Bosh in 2003 NBA Draft had Dwyane Wade been unavailable

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Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade were two of the best prospects available for selection in the 2003 NBA Draft.

Bosh offered some insight into the draft process, revealing that the Miami Heat showed strong interest in him.

“In my quest to get drafted, they were recruiting me,” Bosh said to Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel. “I still would have had some success, but I don’t know about their 2006 championship. Maybe, maybe not.”

Naturally, Bosh speculated about how his career might have turned out if he were selected by the Heat.

“I think I always would have fit the culture,” Bosh said. “Maybe in that alternate universe I get catapulted to stardom earlier, because it was different in Toronto. But who knows? Then maybe the [Heat] Big Three doesn’t get formed.”

Heat president Pat Riley talked about the organization’s draft process in 2003, confirming that the Heat would’ve taken Bosh if Wade was unavailable with the No. 5 pick in the draft. Instead, the Toronto Raptors selected Bosh with the No. 4 pick, and the Heat ended up picking Wade.

“Absolutely,” Riley said to Winderman, “absolutely. And we were thinking about a big even before Dwyane, because of what happened with Zo [Alonzo Mourning’s kidney illness]. Yes, if Dwyane had gone to Toronto, we would have taken Chris.”

Bosh, of course, ultimately found his way to Miami later in his career. He spent seven seasons with the Raptors and made five All-Star teams before joining the Heat ahead of the 2010-11 season.

His stint with Miami was a smashing success. During his time with the team, he posted averages of 18.0 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game. He was named to six All-Star teams with the Heat, and above all, he helped the team win two NBA titles.

Miami is likely just fine with the way things turned out. Wade ended up having one of the most legendary careers in Heat history, and the team was able to enjoy some of Bosh’s best seasons despite the fact that he was drafted by a different team.

Bosh will be enshrined into the Hall of Fame on Saturday.

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Jason has covered the NBA for multiple years and has plenty of memories involving the Miami Heat. He expects there will be winning basketball in South Florida for years to come.