The 10 Greatest Heat players in history, ranked by Player Efficiency Rating (PER)

These players recorded the highest Player Efficiency Ratings in Miami Heat franchise history.
Detroit Pistons v Miami Heat
Detroit Pistons v Miami Heat / Mike Ehrmann/GettyImages
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For a franchise that has been around just 36 seasons, the Miami Heat have a decorated history of championships and star players. 

From Glen Rice and Alonzo Mourning in the 1990s, to Dwyane Wade, Shaquille O’Neal and LeBron James after the turn of the century, and now with Jimmy Butler, the Heat have managed to employ some of the NBA’s greatest players.

But who made the greatest impact during his days in Miami? To figure it out, we’ll look to John Hollinger’s Player Efficiency Rating (or PER). According to Hollinger, who developed the rating system for, 

“The PER sums up all a player's positive accomplishments, subtracts the negative accomplishments, and returns a per-minute rating of a player's performance.”

In other words, it’s meant to serve as an all-in-one rating to judge who the best players in the league are at any given time.

Is it perfect? No. (Charlotte’s Mark Williams is 17th in this season’s PER rankings, one spot ahead of Phoenix’s star guard Devin Booker.) But it does mostly hit. (The top five in PER this season are Joel Embiid, Nikola Jokic, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Luka Doncic, which feels right.)

But we’re not here to analyze this season’s top players across the NBA. Rather, we will use the PER to rank the top 10 players in Heat history, according to the formula and nothing else. Who will be the Mark Williams of the Heat’s list? You’ll have to keep reading to find out.

10. Chris Andersen - 17.4

A surprising name right from the jump. But it shouldn’t be all that surprising given the success the Heat had after signing Chris “Birdman” Andersen to be Chris Bosh’s backup midway through the 2012-13 season.

Soon after signing Andersen, the Heat went on their famed 27-game win streak. This was the height of the Big 3 era. LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Bosh were never more dominant together, and role players like Andersen, Shane Battier and Ray Allen fit like a glove. From Feb. 3 to March 25, they did not lose. The Heat averaged 105.3 points per game while holding opponents to 93.4 points per game.

The Heat went 39-3 with Andersen on the roster that season. Andersen’s per-game averages don’t leap off the page (4.9 points on 57.7% shooting, 4.1 rebounds, 1.0 blocks in 14.9 minutes) but he did the dirty work so that LeBron, D-Wade and CB could do the things of stars. 

The Heat went on to beat the San Antonio Spurs in the 2013 Finals in one of the greatest championship series ever played. The Big 3 Heat were many things, but it can be argued they never would have reached these heights if not for Birdman.