Heat team president Pat Riley went after free agents this year with the idea that LeBron James would return to the team, and he sold potential signees on that notion, as he told reporters, including Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. Still, Riley said James didn’t answer frequent emails and texts that he sent in an effort to recruit him back to Miami, Jackson notes. That suggests that the only communication between the two took place when James met with Riley a few days before he made his decision to sign with the Cavs, as Jackson details. We rounded up several key passages from Riley’s address on Wednesday, and we’ll pass along other noteworthy tidbits here among the latest Heat-related news:
- Riley called Leon Rose, the agent for Carmelo Anthony, after LeBron left, but, “We were a little bit late to that party,” Riley said, as Jackson writes in the same piece. Anthony had already finished meeting with other teams, and he made his decision to re-sign with the Knicks the day after LeBron made his choice.
- The team will be focused on making a splash in free agency in 2016, Riley said, adding that it would have been the plan even if LeBron had remained, according to Jackson.
- Riley said the Heat will keep Justin Hamilton through Friday, when his non-guaranteed contract becomes partially guaranteed for more than $400K, as Jackson notes.
- Miami hasn’t given up hope of re-signing free agent Ray Allen, tweets Jason Lieser of the Palm Beach Post. Riley said he’s remained in contact with Allen’s agent, Jim Tanner, Jackson writes.
- Riley confirmed that Miami has spoken with Michael Beasley‘s people about re-signing with the team, Lieser tweets. “He’s still a consideration, absolutely,” Riley said. Beasley reportedly auditioned for the Lakers on Wednesday.
- The team is also still thinking about re-signing Greg Oden, Riley added, as Jackson notes. Jackson reported last week that the Heat were non-committal about bringing back Beasley and Oden.
- Guard Tyler Johnson impressed during a summer league stint with the Heat and is drawing interest from multiple NBA teams, a source tells Hoops Rumors.