Miami Heat Roundtable: The staff takes it back to the start

PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 24: Dwayne Wade
PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 24: Dwayne Wade /
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MIAMI, FL – APRIL 11: Wayne Ellington
MIAMI, FL – APRIL 11: Wayne Ellington /

Talk a little about how you see this new era developing…

Tachauer: I absolutely love it and see big things for Miami in the future. I know the majority of Heat Nation isn’t crazy about the direction the franchise is currently going in, but I couldn’t be happier. Between The Culture growing stronger by the day, journeymen like Wayne Ellington and James Johnson finally finding homes and the young, scrappy talent in Bam Adebayo, Josh Richardson and Justise Winslow… I’m all in to what this team is becoming.

Johnson: Best possible outcome? 50 wins within the next five years and a run to the conference finals (at least). Realistically however, Miami looks like a middle of the pack team. Talented enough to run with the best but bumbling enough to lose what should be easy games. I’m seeing a continuation of the 40-win trend.

Rahming: I feel that this era is Riley’s final attempt at creating something great. It’s a small window connected to the contacts of both Johnsons, and Dion Waiters. Once the window shuts on those players’ ability to remain competitive, it’ll be time for Riley to take a step back and look at all that he’s done in the NBA and ask myself ”Do I truly wish to continue?”. In the summer of 2021, he will be 76 years old. I believe that when he retires from the game, The Culture will leave with him. Hopefully, Heat owner Micky Arison will leave the organization in good hands, with someone who won’t tank to the bottom of the standings just to maybe get a good pick who will take a couple years to really shine.

Keaton: I’m a little worried, primarily because I’m not the biggest fan of Riley and his philosophies. I think Winslow can be something if he’s surrounded by the right players. Richardson is headed for big things. The rest of the roster is a big toss up to me. The team doesn’t value first round picks much, so the future is murky for me.

Eyrich: I love it. There’s a young core of exciting players and every single one plays with a chip on their shoulder. There’s a level of play with this roster that I don’t think you’ll find anywhere else. Yes, with a young roster there will be bumps, but there’s no reason not to be excited for what this team brings.

Nurse: The new era is developing decently. The Heat stayed afloat since the losses of James and Bosh and Richardson and Adebayo (if he develops) are good pieces for the future. The true measurement will come when cap space opens up, and when they are on the clock during the next two drafts.

Ebrahim: Watching the Heat these days is a rollercoaster. Some days, you’re super hyped with what the future holds. And other days, you’re left counting all the dollars Johnson is making to put yourself to sleep. But with the Golden State Warriors dominating the league, I think it’s a perfect time to wait out the storm. With Richardson, Winslow and Adebayo developing every year, plus Riley’s ability to get in the room with almost any free agent, every year feels like it has incredible potential.

Ramos: It’s tough to say but I feel like the goal for the Heat is to ultimately try and get back into the free agency game. It’s probably not feasible until 2020 or 2021, but if Miami can move a few contracts over the next couple of seasons, remain competitive, and get solid development out of their young players, then just maybe in two or so years time they’ll have a budding new core that they can convince a star to come play with. The Heat will always be a free agent destination in my mind because of location, no state tax, weather, etc., but money talks and so does a chance to win.

Shofner: I believe the Heat have a great base to work from and build with going into the future. Of course, they have raising issues to deal with in terms of ridding themselves of problematic players or salaries but with the guidance of Riley and head coach Erik Spoelstra, the young core they have in tact can really thrive and add to something special in the near future.