3. Steve Smith (1991-1994)
Thinking back to some of the early days of the Miami Heat franchise, if there was one player that was undervalued or underrated, it was Steve Smith. Maybe he’s not a player who jumps off the top of Heat fans’ heads because Miami wasn’t experiencing much success during his time with the team, but he’s certainly a player who doesn’t get the true recognition that he probably deserves.
For Smith, who had a great and consistent five-year stretch during his time with the Atlanta Hawks, it all started in Miami after he was selected No. 5 overall in the 1991 NBA Draft.
In each of his three seasons with the Heat, it was clear that Smith was going to be a good player. He improved each of those three seasons, culminating during the 1993-94 season in which he averaged 17 points, five rebounds, and five assists per game on 46 percent shooting from the field. Somewhat surprisingly, just two games into the 1994-95 season, Miami decided to trade Smith to the Hawks in exchange for Kevin Willis. It’s largely considered one of the worst trades in team history.
Smith has to be considered one of the bigger “what if” stories for the Heat. His early contributions to this franchise have been greatly underrated and it’s a shame he didn’t get to play his true prime years in Miami.