After last summer’s failed attempt to lure Kevin Durant, the Miami Heat might try a different approach than simply banking on the renowned charisma of Pat Riley and his rings to snag Gordon Hayward and/or Blake Griffin.
Who is present in the room with Hayward on Saturday will say a lot about the franchise’s future plans for the team, not just for the coming year, but the next four seasons. Chris Paul joining James Harden tells the world how important having an incumbent top-5 talent on a team, such as the Houston Rockets possess, is to potential roster additions.
Which Heat players hold the most sway in persuading Hayward and/or Griffin to join them? We’ll get an idea this weekend on the plans Heat management have for the players they consider essential next season.
Who they plan to re-sign, feature, let go or possibly trade away could be guessed at. Getting leaks about the identities of the people in the room present more fodder for the gossip mill.
I don’t have inside information, but after last year’s experience with the different approaches each team used with Durant, the Heat learned from that experience. Their detailed game plan to sway today’s players this time around on the why the Heat are the best fit for them will be interesting to watch.
Hayward has this thing buried deep in his mind about being a great guard. More of a pass-first Josh McRoberts guy, who also comes from Indiana. Just say Ray Allen happens to be in Miami (or Boston). From SLCDunk:
Favorite player growing up initially was Reggie Miller, you know [I've been] a Pacers fan ever since I can remember. I was pretending I was him in the back yard, counting down the clock and hitting the game winner. Then when I got older I tried to start modeling my game after Steve Nash. My parents are both 5'10 so my dad said that you're going to have to be a point guard if you want to play in the NBA. Luckily I grew, so I didn't have to do that; but he was one of my favorite players.
The story behind #20 for me kinda goes back to some other NBA guys. When I was in high school you had Ray Allen was #20, Manu Ginobili was #20, and I kinda looked up to them so it just stuck with that.