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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3. Hassan Whiteside - 24.2

And the Mark Williams Award for most random PER success goes to… Hassan Whiteside!

Not to knock Whiteside, who had some memorable seasons during those seasons bridging the Big 3 to the Jimmy Butler era. But he most certainly isn’t a better player than Dwyane Wade, or anyone else on this list for that matter.

Let’s dig into how something like this happens. To do that, we need to look at the PER formula. No catch-all rating system is perfect, and Hollinger is the first to admit that his rating isn’t either. PER does not do a good job of capturing overall defensive impact and instead relies on box-score statistics – blocks and steals – that can produce a distorted picture of a player’s value.

Look at Whiteside’s career stats, then, and it’s easy to see why PER rewards him with such a high rating. Whiteside averaged 2.4 blocks per game over his five seasons in Miami (2014-2019), including a league-leading 3.7 per game in 2015-16. This, plus his rebounding numbers, throws off the formula.

Whiteside was an impactful rim-protector but a limited defender who struggled to defend players on the perimeter. He also got in trouble at times for chasing blocks and he never developed into a go-to post scorer. Whiteside was a good player, but not the third-best player in Heat history.