The worst thing the Heat can do this offseason is overreact to LeBron

Mar 6, 2017; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) looks to pass as Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside (21) defends during the second half at Quicken Loans Arena. The Heat won 106-98. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 6, 2017; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) looks to pass as Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside (21) defends during the second half at Quicken Loans Arena. The Heat won 106-98. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Miami Heat are blessed with financial flexibility heading into this offseason and they must resist the urge to quickly piece together a contender to defeat LeBron James.

The Eastern Conference does not belong to one team, but rather one man, and has for the last seven years as LeBron James begins his seventh straight trip to the NBA Finals, as a member of both the Cavaliers and Miami Heat.

James’ former team is in a unique situation heading into this offseason as they look to build the next challenger to his throne, with the ability to clear up to $40 million in cap space while owning the 14th pick in the draft. The Heat have plenty of options and will surely explore all of them in the coming months.

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There are numerous beneficial outcomes for the Heat, but they’ll have to navigate around some potential landmines, the absolute worst of which is the urge to move on those assets quickly to assemble a challenger to James’ Cavaliers and tying themselves up in unfavorable contracts.

It’s no secret that this year’s free agent class could wind up devolving into a nightmare scenario for teams looking to not wildly overpay . Nerlens Noel, an underperforming big man with a history of knee surgeries, is rumored to field “multiple” max offers from teams.

Clippers forward Blake Griffin was recently linked to the Heat by his former teammate Jared Dudley, who said he could see Griffin choosing Miami if it came to leaving the Clippers. Griffin, who spent the last two years battling injuries, will also likely command a max contract.

The Heat worked tirelessly to dig themselves out of the hole that was losing three Hall of Fame players in three years, as James, Wade and Bosh all departed in various fashions. This is a recovery that would typically take a decade, possibly more, but the Heat have put it together in just three years.

Now they have to capitalize, but also with the realization that building a team that can defeat LeBron James takes far more than one offseason. If the Heat throw big contracts at lesser players for the sake of using cap space and overreact to the current landscape of the NBA, they will be shortchanging themselves and causing a mess that could take a decade to clean up.

The idea of waiting out the reign of LeBron James is not something that exists in the Heat’s DNA (or culture) but neither does wrapping yourself up in unfriendly contracts. We’re in the beginning stages of an NBA arms race and patience is just as important as action.

Next: Six players the Heat can pick at No. 14

The temptation to create a contender in one offseason will be strong, particularly this year, but the reality is that a collection of this current crop of free agents will just wind up becoming the next in a long line of LeBron James playoff casualties.