“We’re not going to stop and it doesn’t make any difference how we do it.”
That’s how Pat Riley opened his end of the season and state of the Heat address to the media on Monday at AmericanAirlines Arena.
Riley spoke for about 44 minutes on issues of the Miami Heat, about the roster, questions on Hassan Whiteside among other things. But probably the most important issue is what is he going to do to make the roster better?
And that’s the question that we all care about at this point of the season. After the Heat lost to the Philadelphia 76ers in five games in the first round, and watching the Boston Celtics win despite injuries with a young core — it seems as though Miami is being passed on by.
Riley told us changes are coming.
“Whether you’re a room team, whether you’re capped out, whether you’ve got a lot of guys under contract, whether you’re limited with your picks, you keep working toward your goal. That’s what we’re going to do. How we’re going to do it is irrelevant.”
So there you go. He didn’t give us any targets or ideas about what that means, or even the timeline about when it would happen, but that changes are coming — regardless of how difficult it may seem to move some of the current players on the roster. They already have 11 players under contract next season well past the salary cap and nearing the luxury tax line. They have players with long contracts and players with some age.
It won’t be easy. And he even told us that no one on the roster is untouchable when asked the question. He responded by saying, “Show me the right name, I could be all in on everything. You know me and Micky. But it’s got to be the right name. Our core guys, we would like to keep together, there’s no doubt, we’d like to keep them together and we’d like to add something to it, but that’s going to be a challenge.”
And a challenge it will be. The Heat do not own a first round pick in the draft, and they can’t trade their 2019 first round pick until the Phoenix Suns use theirs this year (owed to them for acquiring Goran Dragic). The Heat are going to have to make some type of trade to make them more competitive.
Riley suggested just being a playoff team is not enough.
And if that is the case, maybe a major shakeup is on the way. One of the trade conversations will have to center around Hassan Whiteside who had a terrible playoff performance. Another may center around Dragic. The rest of the roster will be trade sweeteners.
Would Miami be willing to part with Justise Winslow, Josh Richardson, Bam Adebayo? Young and emerging talent is always attractive to teams trying to dump and unhappy star. And maybe that’s exactly what Riley is looking for...but it has to be the right name.
At least for now, we can rest assured that Riley is not satisfied. Each year he is looking to make the big move, this year may be harder than ever given their circumstances. But changes are coming, one way or another.