Miami Heat: What is the most aggressive move Pat Riley can make?

Miami Heat president Pat Riley at a December 2016 news conference at AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami. (Pedro Portal/El Nuevo Herald/TNS via Getty Images)
Miami Heat president Pat Riley at a December 2016 news conference at AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami. (Pedro Portal/El Nuevo Herald/TNS via Getty Images) /

The Miami Heat’s Pat Riley has been quoted saying he’s not going to retire and “I ain’t going out this way until we win another title.” What’s the most aggressive move he can make this summer? And on a scale of 1-10 how likely is he to do it?

Rahmeaun (@Boneman9000):

OK! Here we go. If Heat President Pat Riley is genuinely looking to get this Heat team into title contention, he’s got some introspection to do. By that I mean, the first thing he needs to do is look inside the paint at starting center Hassan Whiteside. Back in the summer of 2016 in haste to move on from the botched Dwyane Wade negotiations, Riley signed the surging big man to a four year $98 million contract with a player option on the final season. Whiteside will need to make a $27 million decision this summer. From the outside looking in, this seems like an easy decision to me. Just take the money and do the best you can to help the team win games. When that moment comes, Riley needs to be ready. He has a reputation for being a hotshot executive and coach and its time he gets back to that.

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Riley has two options to set the team up for future success, but I believe both should be attempted in this order. I’d love to see him exploring sign and trade options with all other 29 teams. He should be looking to get anything he can for Whiteside as long as it doesn’t involve giving up any first round picks. If that option is not available, it’ll be time to hit the emergency eject button and go with option two. Waive and stretch Hassan Whiteside. It’s clear that both his play and demeanor do not embody Heat Culture and he’s not helping the team win so why not just cut your losses and move on? Sure they’d be paying Whiteside $9 million for the next three years to go away but honestly, what’s the difference? He’s pretty much ‘away’ anyway with how Coach Spoelstra treats him. In my opinion, option one is a lot more likely, but option two isn’t unlikely. I’m going to go with a 7/10 for option one and a 2/10 for option two. A fan can dream, right?

Imran (@iebrahim81):

As I’ve been preaching ALL year, the most aggressive move that Pat Riley can do is to tank. Tank, tank, tank. In a time where the Golden State Warriors boast a lineup of 5 All-Stars, it’s not going to be very easy to build a team that can realistically compete. So, tanking is the way to go. Go get pick #7-8 this year and start trading down using some of the long-term contracts on hand. Heat Nation has clearly been on board with a Richardson-Winslow-Adebayo foundation, so just keep dropping down as far as possible in the draft to rid the team of the horrible contracts on hand. Yes, if a Cam Reddish happens to fall to that slot, by all means, take him and deal with the rest. But if that’s not the case, James Johnson, Dion Waiters, even Kelly Olynyk can go.

The thing that people fail to remember is that once Dragic and Whiteside opt into their final years, they become assets as expiring contracts. Remember when Dallas magically scooped up Porginzis? What did they give up? Yes, some draft capital but it was paired with expiring contracts. With player movement being the way that it is in the league right now, the need to give up assets to clear cap space is more prevalent than ever. Who is the next Porginzis-Knicks situation? Because Miami could be primed to play the role of Dallas.

How likely is it that Riley follows this plan? On a scale of 1-10, probably a hard zero.

Rohan (@theboyro):

This Heat team is so flawed. Despite that fact that they did trade away two guards, they still have too many guards! It’s basically impossible to get a big name down here if they can’t rid themselves of these horrific contracts. But there’s good news! Both Goran Dragic and Hassan Whiteside will be in the final year of their deals next season (Hassan will definitely opt-in). 2020 here we come! Wait. What about this upcoming offseason? Is there really any way Pat can perform a miracle? He did do that when he traded Shaq in February 2008 to the Suns for Shawn Marion and Marcus Banks, which kickstarted the eventual big three era. Who wants Dion Waiters at $13 million? What about James Johnson and his inconsistencies? Would the Heat really get rid of Josh Richardson? I’m thinking no to all of this. Hard work got these men their nice contracts, but their current talent isn’t living up to it. The Heat will be unwatchable in their first season without Dwyane Wade in the league. Out of 10, I give Riley a two that he can pull something in his old age. Sorry!