It’s hard to argue against the notion that the Miami Heat obtained the best player in franchise history via the NBA Draft. When the team selected a then-22-year-old Dwyane Wade as the fifth overall pick in 2003, they struck gold. The rest, as they say, is history.
Unfortunately for Miami, their success in the draft has not always been immaculate. This team has been the victim of more than a few busts — much like any other team — and today we round out the Top 5 worst draft picks in Miami Heat franchise history.
5. Harold Miner
Coming off their first ever playoff appearance, the Heat had an opportunity to build on their success from the previous season during the 1992 NBA Draft. They had the 12th overall pick and decided to use the same on 6-foot-5 combo guard Harold Miner. A supreme athlete coming out of a highly-impressive senior year with USC (he averaged 26.3 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 1.3 assists), the expectations were high for Miner.
As it turns out, he proved to be noting more than a high-flying dunk specialist who wasn’t really able to get things going. Miner played in just three rather unproductive seasons with the Heat before the team decided to trade him away to the Cleveland Cavaliers in 1995. A season later, he was released by the Cavs, which marked the end of his short-lived NBA career.
4. Khalid Reeves
Just two years after drafting Miner, the Heat once again were the owners of the 12th overall pick in 1994. This time around, they would use their pick on another guard, who also had an amazing senior year in the NCAA with Arizona. As fate would have it, the selection of 6-foot-3 guard Khalid Reeves would pretty much be the same story with Milner, only worse.
Reeves did not prove to be the player the Heat imagined, and while he was given ample playing time during his rookie year (21.8 minutes per game), the Queens, New York native averaged an unimpressive 9.2 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 4.3 assists in 67 games played.
Miami knew that they made the wrong decision on selecting Reeves, and they quickly cut their losses, trading him away to the Charlotte Hornets after just one year with the team.
3. Dorell Wright
After Wade’s highly-impressive debut campaign, the Heat wanted to add a guard that could match the potential of their budding superstar. In 2004, Miami thought this would come in the form of Dorell Wright, who they picked 19th overall. They were wrong.
Coming out of high school, some even dubbed Wright as the next LeBron James. They were terribly mistaken as well. Wright would only play in three games during his rookie year, followed by 20 appearances as a sophomore. Simply put, the 6-foot-9 swingman just wasn’t NBA ready.
Wright’s career in Miami would almost surprisingly last for no less than six seasons, but during this span, his production left a lot to be desired (6.3 points, 3.7 rebounds, 1.2 assists).
2. Tim James
Even before the great LeBron James came to South Beach, the Heat already had a James on their team. Tim James that is, who the Heat selected 25th overall in 1999. The fact that the 6-foot-7 small forward was a late-round pick does offer some consolation, but as far as busts go, James has got to be one of the biggest ones in franchise history.
James played in a grand total of four games with the Heat, averaging 2.8 points and 1.0 rebounds in just 5.8 minutes per contest. The Heat quickly pulled the plug on this failed experiment, trading away the Miami University alum after just one season with the team. He was part of the trade package that brought Eddie Jones to Miami, though, so at least Heat fans have that to thank James for.
In 2002, after just three years in the league, James’ NBA career came to an end after being waived by the Philadelphia 76ers.
1. Michael Beasley
Michael Beasley easily had the best career among all the other players on the list. However, what brings him to the very top is the fact that Miami selected him second overall in 2008, which was the team’s highest pick ever.
After wowing the basketball world as a freshman for Kansas State, there was a general belief that Beasley could be the next big thing. The Heat certainly thought so. Bealsey spent just two seasons in Miami, averaging 12.3 points, 5.o rebounds, 1.1 assists, and 0.7 steals. That’s not exactly a terrible production rate, but certainly not one that warrants a second overall pick. This becomes even more relevant when you take into account that in that same year, the likes of Russell Westbrook (fourth) and Kevin Love (fifth) were selected below Beasley during the draft.