With the exception of Dwyane Wade and perhaps Caron Butler, Pat Riley’s Miami Heat draft prospects have mostly been borderline busts.
His No. 2 pick Michael Beasley (2008) is full of God-given talent, but his previous lack of maturity kept him from even getting a whiff of his ultimate potential. Riley’s second pick that year turned into the starting point guard of a back-to-back championship club, but Mario Chalmers is the picture of inconsistency. Toss in Norris Cole mostly being around for the ride and you have the next three closest things to success for the Heat boss.
The rest of his picks are either stashed away overseas or assigned to the D–League never to be seen again. And it’s all because Riley would prefer veterans in their prime “who simply want to move, come here and win a championship.” Those are the same veterans who just frustrated him with their constant talk of the mental fatigue of trying to pursue a fourth straight Finals berth — the same veterans who lacked so much hunger that the San Antonio Spurs spanked them three games in a row.
And there lies the error in Riley’s thinking.
He pointed out that the new champs only made one move after losing the 2013 NBA Finals, but the Heat are not a team infused with three years worth of youth in the lineup like the Spurs were to get here. Which brings us to next Thursday where Heat fans hope that their president decides to invest some time into a young player who is willing to do anything to bring home a ring.