Sports

The Five Greatest Miami Heat Off-Season Moves

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3. Miami picks Dwyane Wade fifth overall in the 2003 NBA Draft.

The story is terrifying. With the fifth pick of the 2003 NBA Draft, Pat Riley was enamored with the size and ability of Chris Kaman. The draft was top-heavy and, to this day, one of the most stacked, but Miami was just outside the point where the top players were available. LeBron James, Chris Bosh, Carmelo Anthony, and Darko Milicic came off the board, leaving Kaman, Wade, and a few other intriguing players left for the taking. Thankfully, Pat Riley was talked out of taking Kaman and went with Wade after being told by his scouts that Wade had the highest ceiling of the group. And the rest is history.

In the ten-plus years with the Heat, D-Wade has won three NBA championships, made nine All-Star teams, snagged the 2009 scoring title, taken the 2006 NBA Finals MVP award, become the franchise's all-time leading scorer, and become an Olympic champion. Take away all those things, and a case can be made that the Heat really screwed up by not taking Kaman.

Besides all those accolades, Wade is the main reason Heat fans have the current team they are enjoying. No factor was as large in acquiring the Big Three as Dwyane Wade's relationship with Bosh and LeBron. He is why Shaq wanted Miami to be the team he was traded to, and he is the reason lots of No. 6 jerseys are walking around Miami today. Beyond all of those things, he's also the perfect representative for and face of the Miami Heat franchise. He's a first-class player who has been at the front of a first-class organization since the day Miami signed him in 2003, making that day arguably the most important day in the history of the Miami Heat.

2. YES. WE. DID.

It will NEVER work out! In the summer of 2010, the Miami Heat executed the plan of all plans. Three years later, they have gone to three straight NBA Finals, won the last two, and made Miami the peak of the basketball universe. The trio has taken the franchise to an elite level, not only currently but also historically speaking in terms of the NBA. The "Us Against the World" mentality has brought the city together during the season and made for must-see sports on a nightly basis. The current run rivals the '70s Dolphins as the greatest a South Florida team has ever been. The franchise's greatest player paired with the league's greatest player teamed with a perennial All-Star in Chris Bosh has proven to be a huge success.

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Ryan Yousefi is a freelance writer for Miami New Times, a lover of sports, and an expert consumer of craft beer and pho. Hanley Ramirez once stole a baseball from him and to this day still owes him $10.