I'm sure all of the great writers here at Hot Hot Hoops will be giving you their thoughts in the coming days, but here are my immediate reactions to today's proceedings.
1. I really, really wish my phone and computer would stop autocorrecting Dragic to Tragic. Get it together, Apple.
2. Miami's starting five, assuming Hassan Whiteside continues playing at somewhere near his current level of production, immediately jumps to near the top of the league. Goran Dragic - Dwyane Wade - Luol Deng - Chris Bosh - Hassan Whiteside can compete on both ends of the floor with anybody in the league.
3. Keeping Birdman is such a HUGE win for Miami. Not only is he a fan favorite but he's also been a consistent source of energy and production for the Heat off the bench for the last few years. Had Miami sent him to Phoenix in the trade they would have needed to either A) make another trade for a backup big, or B) had to sign a huge question mark (like Andray Blatche) from the free agent pool. To a lesser extent keeping Josh McRoberts is nice as well. He played so few games this season we really don't know what we have in him but he's a unique talent who should be able to help this team in a variety of ways when he returns next season.
4. Depth is now the biggest concern with this team. Keeping Birdman was crucial, but the Heat can't be done yet. They still don't really have a backup shooting guard and if they're going to make any noise in the playoffs they probably want somebody a little better coming in behind Deng and Bosh too. They still have their disabled player exception from the Josh McRoberts injury and I would expect them to make good use of it.
5. I'll miss Norris Cole. Heat fans have really turned on him this season but he was a contributor on a team that made it to three straight finals and won two of them. And that hair. Come on. He's struggled this season, but shouldn't that have been expected given that he's played with LeBron James every season of his career until now? Lay off the Cole train.
6. Pat Riley is a wizard. Or a magician. Or something. He essentially traded a bunch of spare parts for a member of one of last season's all-NBA teams. That's incredible. The situation in Phoenix must have been way worse than we all know, seeing as Phoenix got very little in return for Dragic (in terms of immediate usage, I mean) and they also shipped off Isaiah Thomas.
7. Trading first round picks is a big deal and it's the only thing giving me pause in this trade. I'm still not sure that the Heat are a title contender (see my depth concerns from earlier) and the Heat just mortgaged a pretty big part of their future on turning in to one either this season or next. It might pay off, it might not. Even if they don't win a title in this time they need to get close for this trade to be considered a success down the road.
8. We now have a dude named ZORAN on our team. How awesome is that?!
9. I've been openly opposed to trading for Dragic from the beginning, but now that it's happened I've kind of changed my tune a bit. If Riley is committed to building through FA and not the draft I think he got a good value here. I'd rather have this deal than several of the other ones that I'm sure were discussed.
10. Enjoy this. Today is a good day. We get back to work tomorrow. The Heat are still eight games under .500 and are still barely holding on to a playoff spot. They've got a lot of work to do. The rest of this season just got a lot more interesting.