The Goran Dragic saga in Phoenix is a template for unexpected events that happen during an NBA season: disgruntled players, season-ending injuries, busted draft picks, etc. The list goes on and and on for possible roster adjustments during the season, which the Miami Heat could make by using their talented brain trust of Andy Elisburg, Pat Riley, Chet Kammerer, Alonzo Mourning, Shane Battier, Erik Spoelstra, etc. Few franchises have such a deep reservoir of management expertise.
A player such as Kristaps Porzingis may want out at any cost. The New Orleans Pelicans could be desperate for a point guard to feed Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins. The list of top-tier players willing to relocate doesn’t start and stop with Gordon Hayward, Blake Griffin, et al.
If Miami resigns their own free agents, who bought into the Heat Culture, the team will be in good shape to adjust to circumstances down the road. Josh Richardson, Tyler Johnson, Justise Winslow, Rodney McGruder, Dion Waiters are entering their prime and hopefully increase their production and value as the season goes on. Okaro White and Bam Adebayo may develop into possible rotation players, allowing the Heat flexibility for roster changes. What happens if London Perrantes or Eric Mika become undrafted steals?
The Heat might even find an NBA player or two who has not fulfilled their high draft status to resurrect, such as Thomas Robinson: “I’ll meet you at the rim.”
Those are Pollyanna scenarios, unlikely for all to happen in the real world. If only some bear fruit, the Heat will be in a good place. On the other hand, what happens if Gordon Hayward’s production declines? Most fans assume he will stay at an All-Star level for 4 years. Is that $120 million gamble worth betting the franchise on? Hayward gets his guaranteed money, but the Heat assume all the risk.
Resigning the current crop of in-house free agents allows Pat Riley flexibility to work his magic over the course of the season as opportunities may arise. Trust the Miami Heat development process, with all its Spo-isms. Erik Spoelstra is slowly working for the Heat to become the Spurs east.