It’s easy to say that in piecing together a trio of star free agents — Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh —for the Heat last summer, team president Pat Riley had plenty of help. Wade was certainly a driving force in bringing the three together, and the fact the Heat had South Beach on their side didn’t hurt.
Still, Riley had to maneuver through a minefield of salary cap issues. He also had to compete with other franchises that had, like the Heat, created enough cap room to entice some combination of the three players to sign with them.
Pat Riley had a vision for getting Chris Bosh and LeBron James to Miami, then had the ability to clear cap space and make it happen. (AP Photo)
And, in the end, Riley won. Because of that, he received 14 of 37 votes submitted by NBA general managers, assistant G.M.s and head coaches, edging out Bulls G.M. Gar Forman (11) and Nuggets vice president of basketball operations Masai Ujiri (five) for SN’s executive of the year award.