Let’s get right into it.
It will be a challenge, but how will Miami Heat President Pat Riley sign a big name superstar this off-season?
The Miami Heat is capped out and does not own a 2018 draft pick. Trades are the only way to break the band up. Riley has shared no one is safe on the roster.
Players worth keeping are Josh Richardson, Goran Dragic, Bam Adebayo and Kelly Olynyk.
Impending free agent guard Wayne Ellington deserves to come back for Miami. Ellington will be eligible for a new contract for up to four years. Ellington finished sixth in three-pointers made in the NBA. 11 players are under contract and required minimum cap holds for three other players will increase gray hairs for Riley this summer. Miami will possibly be well above the projected 101 million cap.
“He’s a hell of a player. He’s a contemporary player,” Riley stated. “He’s still young. You definitely are going prioritize him, and then we’ll have to work that out.”
General manager Andy Elisburg will crunch the numbers because the Heat can exceed the cap and pay him a deal that would start at $10.9 million a raise from his current $6.23 million salary.
Hassan Whiteside is the first name the media questioned Riley on during his season-ending presser. The enigmatic center had a slow start to the NBA season because of injury however Whiteside was terrible in the playoffs. He complained about playing, the moments he did the Heat did not benefit from it. Whiteside, 28, had his worst game of the series in Philadelphia’s series-clinching victory in Game 5 when he scored just two points in 10 minutes.
Riley shared he will sit down to speak with Whiteside and head coach Erik Spoelstra. Whiteside has two years remaining on his four-year, $98.4 million deal with the Heat.
“There has to be an intervention, and I’m going to the intervener,” Riley stated.
“I’m not going to give him any kind of excuse,” Riley continued. “But (Whiteside’s) season started with an injury, and all year long there was a dilemma of some kind.”
That quote caught the attention of Philadelphia 76ers all-star center Joel Embiid who found the Heat’s President’s words on ESPN Sportscenter’s Instagram post then commenting: “I’ll let you finish, but I missed a month, so no excuses just Trust It.”
It did not help the mounting issue, which needs to be addressed steadfast in the off-season.
Riley mentioned no one is safe on the roster however it is for the right player or “transformative player,” Riley repeated.
Keep an eye on the future investment of Tyler Johnson; huge chips were put on the table for Johnson who is due 19.2 million each of the next two seasons. Johnson is one of the reasons Miami is without cap space the next two seasons.
Riley will need to roll his sleeves up for the task of actually backing the trust owner Micky Arison and Heat fans this summer; which he has in the past. At age 73 and super teams acquiring players with the help of recruitment from other players, it is easy to question how much juice Riley has left to have a “transformative player” sign this summer.
“There’s always something that brings you back in. There’s something that sucks you back in,” Riley added. “You could tell yourself in September, this is my last year. But by the end of the season, something happens that sucks you back in. I can’t now. I’ve got to make the team better. ”
Change is constant, and it will come this summer. The variations of the names are how this team will get better.