FanPost

Does Pat Riley have something against International players?

Just curious. During his time in Miami has he ever picked or coached an International player? Other than Vlade Divac, did he ever coach one in NY or LA? Since taking over the Heat, Riles has passed on the likes of Manu Ginobili (which a lot of teams are kicking themselves for doing right now), Andres Nocioni (he actually went undrafted), Luis Scola (a lot of GMs are kicking themselves for that one too), Anderson Varejao (we could really use his energy), Rudy Fernandez (granted he wasn't going to play in the NBA for at least a year), and Marc Gasol (he also would not play for at least a year).

Before I get too far down this road (if I haven't already), I checked: Riley has drafted two International players during his tenure in South Beach, each in the 2nd Round and neither ever made the roster. Let me add this: I like Riles. He coached my favorite team when I was a kid with the Showtime Lakers. I respected his coaching of the Knicks and the Heat (even though he really should have slid StanVan a Ring under the table). He made some great trades to get us the 06 Championship Banner. He has also drafted the likes of Dwyane Wade, Caron Butler, and Michael Beasley. He even had the courage and wherewithal to sign Lamar Odom when many (including me) thought the guy's career was turning out to be a complete and total bust.

My point is (and I actually have two of them): 1) the International Market is just as deep now with talent as here in the US. I would like to see the Heat, as an organization, put some time and effort into exploring that market. 2) I would also like to see Riles make some better evaluations of the talent he chooses to draft in general--domestic or from abroad. Butler, Wade, and Beasley aside, he's been less than impressive on Draft Day. With the Summer of 2010 and a deep draft class looming (I'd love to see us get Damion James out of Texas), we could be (in order of importance) a resigning (Wade), a free agent (LeBron, Joe Johnson, Bosh, Boozer, even Rudy Gay), and a draft pick away from returning to prominence in the East.

ADDENDUM:

Apparently I waited a little too long to respond, but the Grand Khouba and Haslem (who is not an internantional player in the truest sense of the word) notwithstanding, I think we could benefit from tapping into the international market. We could even benefit from better scouting on our own soil.

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