Very few things in the Miami Heat universe are as annually expected as New York Knicks slander, dreams of prospects being better than advertised, and the chase of a major free agent. Neither of which are as entertaining as the yearly deciphering of Pat Riley‘s season-ending state of the franchise comments.
The press conference not only gives fans some ease, but the talk opens the audience up to a slight glimpse at what the front office is mulling as they enter the summer. One of the biggest takeaways from Riley’s presser came in the form of the team president insinuating that the Heat would be moving on from a philosophy many people thought should have been ditched after last season:
“We made a decision last year that we were going to try to preserve room,” he said. “We are not going to have a max slot but we are going to have a lot of room if we want to use it … I do not think you can continue to defer your room or flexibility …”
After an offseason of regression, will Pat Riley’s new approach bolster the Miami Heat roster?
Everyone knows that big game hunting has been Riley’s drive, so it was no surprise when Giannis Antetokounmpo caught his eyes. However, when the two-time Most Valuable Player re-upped in Milwaukee, it made Miami’s offseason decisions look futile.
Offering two-year deals and with a team option on the second netted a few players who could not contribute and–according to who you ask–cost the team Jae Crowder. With that being said, Riley hinted at another route.
This was one focused on truly building around Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler as their cornerstones alongside Tyler Herro, who he referred to as part of the core. This type of talk should perk a Heat fan’s ears.
What this means is no more waiting games. Much of the money that the organization tried to save for Antetokounmpo will still be available to use this summer.
But how will they spend it? Complementing the core will assuredly come with a roster construction that includes players who fit the team’s vision for Butler and Adebayo going forward, however, it is yet to be determined where these players will be pulled from.
According to Riley, trades, sign-and-trades and free agency could all be part of the equation. Thus, leaving the door cracked enough to potentially watch any whales that may be available.
For some, that means a look at Kyle Lowry, a call to Kawhi Leonard, or the long shot of trying to rescue Damian Lillard or Bradley Beal from constant disappointment. No matter what it is, the Miami Heat focusing on the present is officially their first offseason upgrade.