In the end, Jimmy Butler will end up on the team that defeated the Miami Heat in the first round of the playoffs last year, the Philadelphia 76ers. And the Heat have dropped their last two games at home, to the Indiana Pacers and the Washington Wizards.
Is now the time to make a trade?
Pat Riley spoke about the trade discussions on Thursday. Below is an excerpt of an article by the Miami Herald’s Anthony Chiang.
When asked where the Heat currently stands in the trade market, Riley said Thursday: “I’m not looking, I’m listening and [general manager Andy Elisburg] and I are … we’ve been doing this all the time. We’re not actively pursuing anything, we’re listening. But you have to be part of what’s going on in the conversation in the NBA, and there’s a lot of hypotheticals from that standpoint.”
In Riley’s discussion with the media, he also admitted that the Heat have been “average” for the last three years. But he stressed that he believes that his team can improve:
“They want to go above being average, which is maybe the bottom of the playoffs and then get out there in the fourth or fifth or third spot. It’s going to be quite a challenge, but I think they have the ability to do that, I really do. So, that’s what we’re looking at this year, and I think this year is a big year for the team.”
Can the Heat really rise to the third or fourth seed in the Eastern Conference? Would the Heat be better off tanking instead of having another mediocre season? We will find out when Dwyane Wade (literally) and Goran Dragic (figuratively) return.