Having just been established in 1988, one could say that the Miami Heat is a relatively young franchise, especially when compared to other teams that have been around since the inception of the NBA. Nevertheless, the Heat has had a pretty successful history, including no less than three NBA titles to its name.
In the 32 years that the Heat have been in existence, this team has been graced with a number of memorable stars in their all-time depth chart. Today we take a look at the three greatest point guards in Heat franchise history.
3. Goran Dragic
Rounding out our Top 3 is Slovenian point guard Goran Dragic, who joined Miami in 2015 as part of an elaborate three-team trade involving the Phoenix Suns and the New Orleans Pelicans. The Heat parted ways with a couple of first-round picks as well as no less than four players in order to get their hands on Dragic, and at this point, it’s safe to say that it was a pretty good deal for Miami.
In the 2017-18 season, the 6-foot-3 point guard was named to the All-Star team for the first time in his career, as he helped lead the team to a short-lived postseason run — only their second since the end of the Big 3 era.
After being the starting point guard for the Heat during his first few years with the team, Dragic has been able to take on a role with the second unit. And while his production has dipped slightly, this move by coach Erik Spoelstra worked in their favor in 2019-20 after winning the Eastern Conference title inside the NBA bubble.
In the summer of 2020, Dragic made several Heat news items when he signed a two-year deal with the team worth $37.4 million.
2. Mario Chalmers
6-foot-2 point guard Mario Chalmers was never the best player on the team. However, in eight seasons with the Heat, the former Kansas standout has done more than enough to warrant the second spot on our all-time list.
Chalmers arrived in South Beach in 2008, when the Heat executed a draft-day trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves to acquire the services of the 34th overall pick. The Anchorage, Alaska native started all 82 games during his debut campaign, proving that he had what it took to play at the NBA level.
Chalmers was also the starting point guard during the time of the Big 3, which resulted in back-to-back championships for him in 2012 and 2013. LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh are the first names that come to mind when talking about this amazing Heat team, but make no mistake about it, Chalmers played a pivotal role for this side.
Chalmers logged 525 games played during his eight-year tenure, including 383 starts. Both his total games played and games started are the most out of all point guards in franchise history.
Heat legends Wade and Udonis Haslem went on Instagram Live back in April of 2020, and one of the topics of their conversation was Chalmers’ unbridled confidence. Whatever Chalmers lacked in skill or talent, he more than made up for through his supreme self-belief.
1. Tim Hardaway
Hardaway was selected as the 14th overall pick in the 1989 draft by the Golden State Warriors, where he would spend the first six or seven years of his career. After three All-Star appearances and a full season on the sidelines due to injury, the Dubs traded Hardaway to the Heat in 1996.
Hardaway holds a pristine record of making the playoffs in all six seasons of his tenure with Miami. Playing alongside another Heat legend in Alonzo Mourning, and with coach Pat Riley at the helm, Hardaway would help make the Heat a legitimate threat in the East during the late ’90s.
Hardaway would make two more All-Star appearances while with Miami, bringing up his total tally to five. He is also a five-time All-NBA team member.
By the end of the 2001 season, Hardaway was already 34. The Heat traded him away to the Dallas Mavericks, and the Texas University product played two more years before calling it a career in 2003.
Hardaway holds career averages with Miami of 17.3 points, 3.2 rebounds, 7.8 assists, 1.5 steals, and 2.2 triples per ballgame. Dwyane Wade holds the record for most assists in Heat franchise history, but it’s Hardaway that sits on the second spot with his 2,867 career dimes while with the team.