After failing to land Gordon Hayward, the Heat front office is taking a lot of criticism. Brian Windhorst has suggested that Pat Riley has lost his touch. Windhorst explained that Miami’s executive recruitment isn't what it once was. Especially without Wade in James in an era of player recruitment. He's not totally wrong, but I wouldn't count Riley or the Heat out. At least not yet.
Yes, the Heat have lost out on star free agents the last few years. Not retaining Wade last offseason was definitely a blow to the organization's reputation. But, by rejuvenating Dion Waiters' and James Johnson's careers last season, they developed a new one. Now Miami has become the place to save your career. The place where "culture" takes precedence over ego. Of course this method has the potential to leave the Heat wading in mediocrity, but it probably won't.
Right now, the Heat's roster consists of a strong young core and solid veterans. It's a roster without a clear superstar in a league built on superstars, but the Heat don't need one, yet.
This offseason has torn apart the Eastern Conference. Paul George is off the Pacers, the Hawks and Bulls are tanking, and Cleveland's unchanged roster is another year older. If Miami finds the success they did in the latter half of last season, they will be playoff bound. Currently I see the Heat as the fourth seed behind Boston, Cleveland, and Toronto.
The Heat have two options heading into this season. They can choose to try and develop a superstar within the organization, or trade for one at the deadline. The assets are there to do both. Also, judgment calls can be made on Miami's younger players early on if the Heat struggle. Of course, it's way too early to make these kind of assessments, but it’s nice to know that those options are there if needed.
While it wasn't the offseason most Heat fans would have liked, it was solid. Once again Riley and co. scrambled, conserved the Heat's core and made the team better. The offseason isn't over yet either. Olynyk is a nice piece and Miami will likely re-sign both Ellington and Haslem. The Heat should be very good this season. They have potential to be a league pass favorite, and make noise in the playoffs.
It still feels like Riley is waiting to make a move. He is the type of president who can't wade in mediocrity for very long. It's the timeline on when this "move" will happen that remains ambiguous.
The Heat are one of the strongest organizations in sports. The championship culture is no joke and after last season it's hard to doubt them. Heat-Nation can trust that the front office is making and will make the right moves. In the meantime, it's time to relax and get ready for another exciting year.