Like Dwyane Wade, Heat Fans Shouldn’t Look Ahead to 2016


Miami Heat fans should take Dwyane Wade’s recent comments about not looking ahead to future free agent summers to heart.

Although we have just rung in 2015, many Miami Heat fans around the league are already looking ahead to next year; more specifically, to the summer of 2016.

Free agency is always an exciting time for the NBA, but things only escalate when the greatest of the greats are available. The chaos surrounding LeBron James‘ “Decision” will probably never be forgotten, and next summer’s class of free agents may lead to a show as well.  Kevin Durant, Dwight Howard and Anthony Davis are just a few of the superstars who will have ending contracts in 2016.

Generally speaking, planning ahead can be a good idea. But in an industry where things can change in a blink of an eye, and nothing is as important as the game at hand, taking each day at a time is probably in an organization’s best interest. The goal is not to win seven games down the line, but to succeed in the moment.

As the Heat currently stand at 15-20, there has been much speculation about whether or not they should simply tank the season, landing them in a better position for the draft and clearing up salary space. But in my opinion, for any true fan, such an option does not even exist. The most important thing is to make changes in order to ensure that the current squad is successful.

The same goes for simply holding out until 2016. Pat Riley may have been able to pull off the Big Three in 2010, but there is no guarantee that anything similar can happen again. And for anyone besides Riley himself to focus on that, is foolish.

"“I’m not really focused on waiting until 2016. I don’t know what that means. That’s their organization. They do what they want from that standpoint. I’m not involved in that. I’m a player. Whatever decision they make from a 2016 standpoint is on them. The only thing I can control is the decisions I make and what I do.“Whoever is here, whatever we decide to do, you just want to be competitive. That’s all I ask for myself and for our guys."

Via Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald.

Wade certainly has the right idea. A veteran not only of the game, but of the team itself, he has been through countless free agency periods and knows that sometimes, things do not turn out the way they are expected to.

"“Nobody knows what’s going to happen in 2016; 2016, to me, is so far away and I hope people aren’t waiting on it thinking we’re going to land this quote, unquote Big Fish because it might not happen for you.”"

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Obviously no one thought this season would be easy on the Heat, with James leaving and newcomers like Luol Deng coming aboard. But from Chris Bosh‘s injury to all the back-and-forth movement of players into and out of the D-League, things may be a little worse than predicted. Therefore taking the approach of waiting things out and viewing this period as merely “interim,” is probably not for the best.

But while players like Wade may see that, Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel says Riley is still set in his ways.

"“Pat Riley has put everything into 2016. He is not going to take on a contract for more than two years. His 2016 is like his 2010. He’s going to sit back, deal with the results and go for the big splash.”"

With the projection of new television contracts greatly escalating, the Heat can gather as much as $50 million in cap space for the summer of 2016, according to a projection. While the notion of what could happen with such figures in play, is quite exciting, there is also a lot of work to be done before then.

So instead of mirroring a situation such as Chicago Bulls’ fans spending all year rooting for Carmelo Anthony in hopes that he signs with them over returning to the New York Knicks, only to instead end up with former Los Angeles Laker Pau Gasol (which by the way, may have been for the best), Miami fans should focus on the here and now.

If Riley wants to look ahead, let him. After all, he is the boss of all bosses. If anyone can pull off a miracle, it is him.

But for the rest of us, let’s follow in Wade’s footsteps and try to make the best of this Heat season and enjoy it.

Next: Dwyane Wade Pays Tribute To ESPN Anchor Stuart Scott