Miami Heat: The 5 best moves of the Pat Riley era

Oct 18, 2014; San Antonio, TX, USA; Miami Heat president Pat Riley (center) watches from the stands during the second half against the San Antonio Spurs at AT&T Center. The Heat won 111-108 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 18, 2014; San Antonio, TX, USA; Miami Heat president Pat Riley (center) watches from the stands during the second half against the San Antonio Spurs at AT&T Center. The Heat won 111-108 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports /
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4. Alonzo Mourning

November 3, 1995: Traded Matt Geiger, Khalid Reeves Glen Rice and a 1996 first round pick (Tony Delk) to the Charlotte Hornets for LeRon Ellis, Alonzo Mourning and Pete Myers

Having coached Kareem Abdul-Jabaar in Los Angeles and Patrick Ewing in New York, Riley clearly saw the value of a dominant big-man.

And that’s exactly what he got when he acquired Mourning via trade. Like his fellow Georgetown-allum Ewing, Mourning exhibited all the traits in which Riley values in a player. Heart. Passion. Discipline. And, in both cases, phenomenal talent.

Whilst giving up team stalwart Glen Rice and a future first rounder was a significant price to pay, Mourning quickly repaid the faith Riley had shown him. When coupled later with fellow all-star Tim Hardaway, this tandem in just their second season together would put together 61 wins on the way to several years of contention in the Eastern Conference.

Although this tandem would not achieve the ultimate success, Mourning helped put together multiple 50-win seasons, and helped set that standard for the future of Miami Heat teams. He would later win a title with the Heat with his second stint with the team in 2006.

Next: 3. The super trade