Targeting Andrew Wiggins does not abandon Miami Heat philosophy

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - NOVEMBER 24: Andrew Wiggins #22 of the Minnesota Timberwolves handles the ball against the Miami Heat on November 24, 2017 at Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - NOVEMBER 24: Andrew Wiggins #22 of the Minnesota Timberwolves handles the ball against the Miami Heat on November 24, 2017 at Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Does a trade for Andrew Wiggins mean Miami Heat progress?

Over the past few years, we have heard a lot about processes. Philadelphia trusted a long one and Boston endured a shorter one on the fly. Now, it is time for the Miami Heat to start one.

An argument can be made that merely uttering those words goes against the Miami’s win-now mentality. Abandoning a philosophy, if you will. But does that really matter when the Heat are mediocre at best?

The reality of that statement sounds harsh, but regardless of head coach Erik Spoelstra’s convenient math, Miami is poised to bounce between the sixth seed and missing the playoffs. In other words, the Heat could experience perennial first round exits or dwell in the NBA Draft lottery.

The downside is that neither result leads to a fix.

Short playoff stints placate fans, for a while, before memories of past success give birth to complaints. And a combination of poor picks, no picks and the disdain of team president Pat Riley for having to select them, makes a true rebuild through the draft impossible.

Michael Rand of the Star Tribune suggested a solution that neither abandons the Heat way nor pushes for something different. It actually leans towards the Riley way of thinking:

"1) Go big or go home: I think the single biggest thing missing on the Wolves’ roster right now is a shot-blocking, defensive-minded big man. If you want an eraser that fixes a lot of defensive deficiencies, go get yourself one of those.Names to consider: Two guys come to mind. One is the Heat’s Hassan Whiteside and the other is Detroit’s Andre Drummond. Both are defensive beasts who can also score. Both have big salaries that would match up with Wiggins’ max deal."

This could all be moot, with the recent Karl Anthony Towns whispers, but a move for Wiggins would be right up Riley’s alley.

Coming down to the end of the season, word began to spread of Wiggins’ discontent with being the Minnesota Timberwolves’ third option. Which is the type of news Riley would typically prey on.

For starters, he fits the criteria of a 20-something year old that the team can develop. Especially if they can turn up his aggression enough to rebound from his lowest point per game total (17.7) since his 16.9 rookie year average. It would also meet the need to move Whiteside, while supplying the roster with another scoring wing to flank Goran Dragic and Dion Waiters.

Such a move solves the Whiteside versus Spoelstra problem, but leaves Josh Richardson the odd starter out. It brings Miami a player with all of the tools to become a star, but does not solve the logjam at guard. Unless an offseason overhaul includes using Dragic to create space.

Next: Are undrafted players key to Miami Heat success?

For the Heat to progress, all avenues have to be exhausted. Just do not look for them to include anyone else’s theories or processes.