Anthony Mason. John Starks. Bruce Bowen. Udonis Haslem. Joel Anthony.
The list goes on and on.
There's a chance that the next prospect in that line of Heat development projects arrived at AmericanAirlines Arena for the latest round of predraft workouts.
Remember the name: Jarvis Varnado. And here's why. No player in NCAA history has blocked more shots than this 6-9 power forward from Mississippi State. Varnado shattered Shaquille O'Neal's SEC career blocks record and averaged 13.8 points, 10.3 rebounds and 4.7 rejections as a senior.
Varnado was one of four likely second-round prospects who worked out for the Heat on Wednesday. He joined LaSalle swingman Rodney Green, Virginia shooting guard Sylven Landesberg and freakishly athletic VCU big man Larry Sanders, who has a 7-5 wingspan.
Varnado and Sanders are both lean and long post players who protect the rim with a vengeance. One thing the Heat clearly lacked last season was youth and athleticism in the post. Make no mistake, Varnado is clearly a raw prospect who does one thing extremely well. And that's block shots.
He became the first player named SEC Defensive Player of the Year three times. Varnado, who is rail thin at 215 points but has a 7-4 wingspan, also became the first player in NCAA history to record 1,000 points, grab 1,000 rebounds and block 500 shots.
The Heat saw a similar skill in Joel Anthony three years ago and signed him as an undrafted free agent out of UNLV. While Anthony hasn't disappointed in his development, although his hands-of-stone issues are still problematic on the offensive end, his Heat future is far from certain.
Anthony holds a player option to return next season for about $900,000. If he opts out of his contract, he potentially becomes a restricted free agent who would command a slightly higher salary if the Heat plans to own the right to match outside bidders.
Varnado brings the same skill and is a little more familiar with the offensive side of the game. Not much. Just a tad bit. But more importantly, he'd come at about half Anthony's price. In other words, at best, Varnado develops into Theo Ratliff. At worst, he's Joel Anthony on a deep discount.
And make no mistake, $500K in saved cap space is plenty for a Heat team that's trying to squirrel away every dime it can to spend in free agency. In addition, second-round draft picks or undrafted free agents are not usually signed to guaranteed contracts.
So from that standpoint, the Heat's three second-round picks (Nos. 41, 42 and 48) might prove to be a bit more valuable to the franchise's offseason plans than even the No. 18 overall pick in the first round.
Joel Anthony has until June 24th - the night of the NBA Draft - to make a move with his player option. Depending on how the closed workout went Wednesday, the Heat might have gotten a great look at his potential replacement in Varnado.
That said, Joel has been commendable in his development over the years and ranked last season as one of the league's most productive shot-blockers-per-minutes-played. But he can't - or shouldn't - overestimate his value at this point. Which will make his opt in-or-out decision interesting.
Riley has placed a premium on college players with exceptional size or length who have three or four years of experience. Above all else, he values end-of-the-bench bargains that can develop into rotation players.
He's done it before. He'll do it again.