96. Brad Lohaus
Brad Lohaus (sometimes called "Big Bird,") was a 6'11" power forward from New Ulm, MN. Born on September 29th, 1964, the left-handed big man played four seasons for the University of Iowa, scoring 11 points and eight rebounds per game as a senior in 1986-87. After college, he was drafted by the Boston Celtics in the second round, with the 45th overall pick. This move was both wise and ironic for the Celtics, who now had Big Bird and Larry Bird on the same team.
Lohaus played parts of two seasons in Boston (118 games), later playing with the Sacramento Kings (29 games), the Minnesota TimberWolves (28 games), and the Milwaukee Bucks (350 games). The Heat picked him up on the free agent market for $325,000 just prior to the 1994-95 season.
Lohaus appeared in 61 games with the Heat in what would be his only season in Miami. He shot 42% from the floor, averaging four and a half points and two rebounds per game. He was also a long-distance shooting specialist, sinking 63-of-155 shots for Miami. He played most games off the bench, his only start of the season came on November 16th, when he scored 12 points on five-of-10 shooting in 27 minutes of a 109-96 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers. He finished in double digits 10 times over the course of the season, including a 105-104 loss to the San Antonio Spurs on January 20th. He scored 17 points with eight rebounds and two blocks in 27 minutes. The Heat gave him his walking papers after the season.
Lohaus caught on with the Spurs for 32 games in 1995-96, splitting the season between San Antonio and New York, where he closed the campaign with 23 games. He played six games for the Toronto Raptors in 1996-97, rejoining the Spurs for nine games the following season. He is currently employed as a scout for the Spurs organization.
All-Time HEATline: One season, 61 games, 12.0 minutes, 4.4 points, 1.7 rebounds, 0.7 assists, 0.3 steals, 0.4 blocks, 12.7 PER, 1.5 win shares.
95. Norris Cole
Norris Cole was born on October 13th, 1988 (three weeks before the Heat would take the court for the first time). Born in Dayton, OH, he is a 6'2" point guard, and a graduate of Cleveland State University. He played four seasons with the team, starting the last three and averaging 21.7 points, six rebounds and five assists as a senior in 2010-11. The Heat acquired Chris Bosh by trading Cole's eventual pick and another away to the Toronto Raptors in 2010. The pick was traded to the Chicago Bulls. The Bulls selected him in the first round of the draft, 28th overall, then traded him to the Minnesota TimberWolves, who sent him to the Heat for Bojan Bogdanovic, so, yeah, we won that one.
I'm not entirely sure how his pay is doled out, but in my best estimation, he signed a two-year contract with separate options for third and fourth seasons just prior to the end of the 2011 lockout, for just over a million per season and just over two million in his hypothetical fourth season. As a rookie, he appeared in 65 of Miami's 66 games, only starting twice and shooting 39.3% from the field and just 27.6% from long distance. He averaged seven points and two assists in 19 minutes per contest. He finished in double figures 21 times, including two 20-point games. In just his fifth career game, on New Year's Day, he scored 16 points on six-of-eight shooting, along with a season high nine assists in a 129-90 demolishion of the Charlotte Bobcats. He saw significantly less action in the playoffs, making 19 appearances and playing 8.9 minutes average in helping the Heat to their first of two consecutive titles.
Cole was expected to turn a corner in 2012-13, as the Heat bolstered their roster with even more shooters, including Rashard Lewis and Ray Allen. Instead, he seemed to hold steady in his progress, in fact producing an identical player efficiency rating from the previous season (7.9). He improved his shooting percentages to 42.1% and to 35.7%, respectively, while racking an identical 19 minutes average per appearance and seeing his average points drop to five and a half points. He started four out of his 80 appearances over the season, scoring in double figures 13 times. On March 24th, he played 22 minutes and scored 15 points (including a three-for-four night from long range) along with six assists in a 109-77 win over Charlotte. His best game of the season came on April 15th, as he earned a rare start as the regular starters took a break. He finished with his first career double double, missing the hat trick by one assist with 16 points, 11 rebounds and nine helpers to dust off the Cleveland Cavaliers, 96-95. In 21 playoff games, he raised his PER into the mid-12 range and scored 18 points twice as the Heat won their second title in a row.
All-Time HEATline: Two seasons, 145 games, 19.7 minutes, 6.1 points, 1.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.1 blocks, 8.3 PER, 1.5 win shares.
94. Jamario Moon
Jamario Moon, a 6'8" small forward from Goodwater, AL, attended college at Meridian Community College in Mississippi. Born on June 13th, 1980, he played just one competitive season before graduating. Undrafted by the NBA, he latched on with several lesser pro-leagues in the states, including the NBA D-League, the USBL, the CBA, the WBA, and the ABA. He also played a spell in Mexico and another with the Harlem Globetrotters. His travels brought him to Canada during the 2007 offseason, where he signed with the Toronto Raptors. He played 132 games over parts of the next two seasons with the team.
Miami acquired Moon at the 2009 trade deadline along with Jermaine O'Neal and two draft picks for Marcus Banks, Shawn Marion, and cash. He signed with the Heat for the remainder of the season for $711,517. He started 21 games for Miami at small forward, appearing five times in relief. He shot 45.9% from the floor, along with an impressive 37% three-point rate. He scored just over seven points per game in 27 minutes, pitching in with 4.5 rebounds and an assist average. For Miami, he figured in double figures nine times. His best game was on March 22nd, in a 101-96 win over the Detroit Pistons where he scored 17 points with six rebounds and three blocks in 37 minutes. In three playoff appearances, he went perfect from the field and finished with 12 points and nine rebounds in a combined 40 minutes.
Moon tested the free agency market after the season, winding up as a Cleveland Cavalier for the next season and a half (101 games). He has also played with the Los Angeles Clippers (19 games), and the Charlotte Bobcats (eight games). He currently plays in the NBA D-League with the Los Angeles D-Fenders.
All-Time STATline: One season, 26 games, 26.5 minutes, 7.1 points, 4.5 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.6 blocks, 12.0 PER, 1.7 win shares.
93. Travis Best
Travis Best was a 5'11" point guard from Springfield, MA, and the only sub-six-footer on our countdown to this point (stay tuned). Born on July 12th, 1972, he was a starter for the Georgia Tech YellowJackets for four college seasons, averaging 36 minutes and scoring 17 points with three rebounds and six assists per game. The Indiana Pacers selected him in the first round of the 1995 draft, with the 23rd overall pick.
Best played his first six and a half seasons with the Pacers, playing in 469 games and ranking ninth on the franchise
all-time leaderboard with 1,785 assists. He later played with the Chicago Bulls for 30 games of 2001-02. The Heat signed him during the 2002 offseason for $1,400,000.
Best played in 72 games, starting 52 for Miami at point guard. He averaged 25 minutes per game, scoring eight and a half points, two rebounds, and three and a half assists. He finished in double figures 27 times that year. His best game came on January 27th, when he finished with 20 points and three assists with two steals in a 102-95 win over the Indiana Pacers. Just two days later, in an 82-80 victory over the New York Knicks, he dished out a season high 10 assists, also scoring nine points. On February 15th, he scored 21 points with three rebounds and eight helpers in a 98-92 loss to the Dallas Mavericks.
Best did not rejoin the Heat for another season, instead playing for the Mavericks the following year (61 games). He later played a season with the New Jersey Nets (76 games). He has since played in Russia, Italy, and Poland, most recently with NSB Napoli in an italian league.
All-Time HEATline: One season, 72 games, 25.1 minutes, 8.4 points, 2.0 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 0.6 steals, 0.1 blocks, 11.2 PER, 1.8 win shares.