Appearing on Joe Rose’s WQAM radio show on Wednesday morning, Pat Riley said he’s disappointed with the Heat’s 9-20 start to the season, but believes the club has a solid young core and the cap flexibility to rebuild quickly, writes Manny Navarro of The Miami Herald. Pointing to players like Hassan Whiteside, Tyler Johnson, Justise Winslow, and Josh Richardson, the longtime Heat president said there are “five or six guys that we really like” on the roster, with the potential to add more.
“I think the No. 1 asset that we have right now is our flexibility moving forward,” Riley said. “We have a first round pick this year. So we’re dealing with it. We’re dealing with that word that you hate to use – that we have to rebuild. But we will rebuild quick.
“I’m not going to hang around here for three or four years selling this kind of song to people in Miami. We have great, great fans. They’re frustrated. They’ve been used to something great over the last 10 years and so right now we’re taking a hit. I think we can turn this thing around. As I said, if five of those [close] losses were turned into wins we could be in the playoffs right now. But they didn’t.
“You can use that word rebuild. But we’re going to do it fast.”
Here’s more on the Heat:
- While the Heat may not be a playoff team in 2017, Riley is optimistic that the franchise will get a sense this season of which of its players are keepers, per Navarro. “We’ve got a lot of young players that are growing that need to step up, they will emerge,” Riley said. “We will find the ones I think over the next six to seven months that will be a part of this team for a long time.”
- The Heat have plenty of potential trade candidates on their roster, but Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel is skeptical that there will be a ton of interest in many of the team’s veterans on one-year contracts — especially the ones that have been in and out of the rotation.
- Derrick Williams, one of the Heat’s most notable offseason additions, has been having an all-or-nothing type season with the team so far, Winderman writes for the Sun Sentinel.