Miami Heat: Pat Riley strikes again as Heat emerge winners at the deadline

Pat Riley Head Coach of the Miami Heat poses with six of his championship rings (Photo by Victor Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images)
Pat Riley Head Coach of the Miami Heat poses with six of his championship rings (Photo by Victor Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Miami Heat were said to be in “salary cap purgatory” prior to last summer. A Jimmy, an Iggy, a Jae Crowder & much cleaner books later, Riley still wins.

The Miami Heat entered this past offseason brimming with optimism, loaded with untradable salary, and still being led by one of the foremost brilliant minds in the sport, ready to shake the whole monopoly board up. They did just that.

They were able to swoop in and steal Jimmy Butler right from up under the noses of his then hometeam Philadelphia 76ers. While Heat Faithful have longed believed that he wanted to and was destined to be here, it was sort of a literal well-known secret amongst NBA circles that Butler seemingly wanted the Miami Heat as well.

The Miami Heat were able to land their resident superstar by shipping out what ended up amounting to Josh Richardson and his ultimate team-friendly contract. They were also able to free themselves of Hassan Whiteside in the process, while also landing what has turned out to be a pretty good piece in Meyers Leonard.

Loaded with what many saw as “bad untradable contracts”, many scoffed and laughed at the Jimmy Butler acquisition, saying it was nothing more than him wanting to “come party” and “retire”. While that notion has turned out to be the farthest thing from the truth, the fact remained that many still saw some of the Miami Heat’s contracts, such as Dion Waiter’s and James Johnson’s, as untradable. Riles proved THEM wrong again.

On Wednesday night, not only did Pat Riley find a way to trade James Johnson and Dion Waiters, although Johnson could have still helped this team in my humble opinion and wasn’t on an awful deal relative to deals around the league, but he did so while landing two (actually three and we will explain) very valuable pieces in return.

The jewels of the acquisition are of course Andre Iguodala and Jae Crowder, both capable two-way wings. While the former NBA Finals MVP is more skilled than Jae Crowder, Crowder has turned himself into a very capable shooter from downtown while maintaining that physicality and defensive tenacity that got him this far.

The reason why it was actually three very valuable pieces is that it also brought back Solomon Hill. With the way that Jimmy’s motor and mindset are set up, the more valuable wing options the better.

This means that some of the burden, on the defensive end specifically, will be taken off of Butler’s shoulders and thus leave him fresher to help close and win games on the offensive end. This deal brought the Miami Heat back three of those types of guys, that’s a win-win-win.

You also again have to give Riley credit for being able to get off of Dion Waiter’s contract. Here is an interesting remark from ESPN’s The Jump on the whole ordeal from ESPN NBA Front Office Insider Bobby Marks, per the Twitter account of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel’s Ira Winderman.

The Miami Heat were in on Danilo Gallinari supposedly, but the deal also reportedly fell through due to a lack of being able to get him to sign an extension. What the Miami Heat were able to do is still pretty amazing though.

Next. Miami Heat Rumors: Immediate fallout from the Justise Winslow trade. dark

They made arguably the most impactful trade towards their title hopes in the entire league by landing three good 3 and D guys at a minimum, they did so while simultaneously getting off of what most saw as “untradable contracts”, and they actually did so without giving up any of the young talent, any draft picks, and actually cut some of their luxury tax bill as well. Safe to say they won the trade, the day, and the deadline.

Game … Set … and Match! Washed where? Pat Riley has done it again!