It looks like this Micky Arison Instagram post from April 14 may prove to be true.
According to the Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson, the Heat are looking to keep both James Johnson and Dion Waiters this summer. Jackson said, “Everyone with the Heat would love Johnson back, and Waiters — a personal project of Pat Riley — is also valued.”
New: Heat mulls summer strategy, with interesting options available: https://t.co/uBI1bka8UO— Barry Jackson (@flasportsbuzz) June 4, 2017
Jackson also said that Utah Jazz guard Gordon Hayward “has given no indication that Miami is on his radar,” and that “some inside the Heat” would rather Miami sign Johnson, Waiters and another player than Blake Griffin. I agree with those people.
The Heat may also make a run at Paul Millsap, albeit far below his $35 million maximum starting salary, according to Jackson.
Miami has until July 7 to decide whether to guarantee a $6.3 million salary for next season. Jackson said that Ellington “has a lot of support internally,” but may explore signing the 3-point sharpshooter to a multi-year deal with lower annual salaries.
Jackson also said that the Heat may not be able to afford to keep backup center Willie Reed, and that Miami hopes to re-sign Udonis Haslem.
I like this thinking from the Heat front office executives. Miami shouldn’t chase a name like Blake Griffin or Carmelo Anthony. Instead, the Heat should bring back Johnson and Waiters and continue to find young, dynamic players. This core won’t win a championship, but will show Miami as a respectable franchise that wins. When a great player becomes available via trade or free agency, they’ll look to Miami as a destination.