The Miami Heat did not draft Bam Adebayo to be some random role player for his entire career. They drafted him because they think he could be a future star, maybe even an All-Star. Team president Pat Riley has much higher expectations than that, though. In fact, if Riley's vision becomes a reality, fans of the Heat are on the verge of watching their first-round draft pick begin his journey to the ranks of the all-time greats.

Heat president expects greatness

During the introductory press conference for his rookie, Riley heaped on the praise. He talked about the future of the Heat and how Adebayo would be a major part of the future.

He also discussed all of the great things he believed the team would do in the future. But there was no doubt as to what his most lofty comment was:

"One day, this jersey is going to be up in the rafters," Riley proclaimed while handing Adebayo his No. 13 Heat jersey.

That's extremely bold praise. Heat coach Erik Spoelstra was a bit less emphatic when speaking to the Miami Herald. He called Adebayo a good fit for the team's defense due to his quickness. He also said the "sky is the limit," though he didn't put his rookie's jersey up in the rafters quite yet. Still, it makes fans wonder if the team is seeing something different than the rest of the league.

Adebayo gets mixed reactions

Many around the league were surprised that Adebayo was drafted in the lottery last Thursday night.

He was a raw prospect coming out of Kentucky that doesn't have the shooting skills to fit in the modern NBA. He also plays the same position and has a similar developing skill set when compared to current Heat center Hassan Whiteside. It appears the team is doubling down on one position, rather than spreading skills and talent across the roster.

That being said, the Heat have good track records when it comes to developing centers. Alonzo Mourning and Shaquille O'Neal were both superstars, playing at various stages of their careers with the team. Whiteside has turned into a beast in the paint. Adebayo can become the same if he learns from Whiteside.

He'll likely be stuck on the bench next season, though. That's going to make it a long path for Adebayo's jersey to join the ranks of the team legends above him. Nothing wrong with shooting for the stars, though. If the Heat didn't want to have high expectations for the center, they shouldn't have drafted him in the first round last Thursday.

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