Miami Heat: 15 best draft picks in franchise history
C, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, 1992 (No. 42)
Career stats with Miami: 194 GP, 7.0 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 0.5 APG, 0.5 SPG, 0.5 BPG, 54.8 FG%, 26.3 3FG%, 70.6 FT%
In exchange for the Heat not selecting a 40-year-old Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in the 1988 expansion draft, the Los Angeles Lakers agreed to send them either a 1991 or 1992 second-round draft pick of Miami’s choosing.
The Heat opted for the latter, taking Matt Geiger at No. 42 overall in 1992.
Geiger spent the first three years of his NBA career in Miami before moving on to Charlotte and later Philadelphia. He was a bit player in his first two seasons, averaging only 6.1 points in 14.6 minutes per game across 120 outings, but he came into his own during his final season with the Heat.
During that 1994-95 campaign, Geiger moved into the starting lineup for 43 of his 74 appearances, and he finished the season with career highs in points (8.3), rebounds (5.6), assists (0.7), blocks (0.7), steals (0.6) and minutes (23.1) per game. He led the Heat in field-goal percentage (53.6 percent) that season, and he ranked second in rebounds behind only starting center Kevin Willis (10.7).
In November 1995, the Heat sent Geiger along with Glen Rice, Khalid Reeves and their 1996 first-round pick to the Charlotte Hornets for Alonzo Mourning, LeRon Ellis and Pete Myers. Mourning went on to earn five All-Star Game nods, lead the league in blocks in back-to-back seasons and help guide the Heat to their first-ever championship a decade later.
Between Geiger’s on-court contributions for Miami and his inclusion in the Mourning trade, he deserves a spot among the Heat’s all-time best draft picks. Getting that type of value out of a mid-second-rounder is worth its weight in gold.<!—pageview_candidate—>