Heat president Pat Riley had the opportunity to blow it all up and build from scratch when LeBron James left to join the Cavs last summer. Instead, he re-signed Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade and added Luol Deng in an effort to keep Miami in the playoff mix. As an executive who wants to win in the here and now, it’s perhaps not surprising to hear that Riley’s focus is more on free agency than the draft.
“The very, very best teams in this league are playing developed players, who have had three or four years, or five or 10 years of experience,” Riley said late last month.
More from Miami..
- If the Heat don’t re-sign Deng, Jason Lieser of the Palm Beach Post wonders if Miami could look to pluck a replacement from a divisional rival. Hawks small forward DeMarre Carroll will be available this summer and he is coming off of a career year. Carroll is also a year younger than Deng and has logged 20,000 fewer minutes, so he could be a safer investment. On the other hand, Carroll will probably command a longer pact than Deng this offseason.
- Going into another contract year, Mario Chalmers must show more consistency and poise if he wants to remain with the Heat beyond 2015/16, Surya Fernandez of FOX Sports writes. Last season, Chalmers’ scoring went up only slightly (9.8 PPG in 2013/14 to 10.2 PPG in 2014/15) but his shooting percentage dropped dramatically (45.4% to 40.3%). His three-point shooting also plummeted as he fell to a career-worst 29.4% from the outside.
- In today’s mailbag, a reader asks Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel if he’s concerned about Goran Dragic and Deng hurting the Heat’s salary cap situation. In Winderman’s view, neither Dragic or Deng really look like salary cap obstacles when considering what the Heat will be paying Chris Bosh for the next four seasons. On top of that, many have said that the Heat have been hurt by a lack of continuity, so retaining both players long-term could be the smart move.