The NFL selected Miami for Super Bowl LIV in 2020, incidentally linked to the name of one of the town's most famous nightclubs. How will the Heat team look in 2020 when the media's spotlight shines on Miami?
As the roster stands today, by 2020 Udonis Haslem will be 39, Dwyane Wade 38, Joe Johnson 38, Amar'e Stoudemire 37, Chris Bosh 36, Luol Deng 35, Goran Dragic, Gerald Green and Dorell Wright 34 each, Josh McRoberts 33, Hassan Whiteside 30, Tyler Johnson 28, Briante Weber 27, Josh Richardson 26, and Justise Winslow 24. A total of only four players will be under 30 years old then. Scary how time goes by so fast in the NBA.
The Heat currently have no all-stars under 30. The comparable numbers for NBA Final Four teams are Raptors 1 (DeMar DeRozan), Cavaliers 2 (Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love), Thunder 2 (Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook), Warriors 3 (Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson). Even the addition of LeBron James would serve to make Miami a way-past-their-prime team by 2020, and that is only three years from this February.
Commentators discuss cap space and the harpooning of a whale for next season, but the early exit of the Spurs demonstrated how quickly teams can lose their edge to Father Time. By 2020 Gregg Popovich may even decide to retire after the departure of Tim Duncan. Renovating the Heat this summer for Pat Riley's last chance at a 3-peat is a much more challenging task than simply adding one more piece to an older team.
If anybody can pull off this transformation of his team to multi-year contender, it's Riley. The promising trio of Whiteside, Winslow and Richardson, are only a beginning to build a championship squad for the coming years. Both Kia NBA All-Rookie teams had one Heat player on it, so there is no lack of youthful talent among its competitors, i.e. other cities have a head start in the race to remain competitive until 2020.
The selection of Miami as the site of Super Bowl LIV, gives Riley and company one more recruiting tool. With the dual goals of being a 2020 showcase city and a possible 3-peat titles run, his choices in changes of personnel might surprise people. An American Airlines Arena update might be in order, to put it in the forefront as a venue when visitors arrive. By then David Beckham's Major League Soccer team could be operational. Super Bowl LIV, and the bid for a return of the WWE Westlemania tournament to Miami, add global events to what promises to be exciting times for South Florida sports fans over the next three seasons.