On Saturday, we rounded up several of the comments made by Pat Riley during a press conference, including his thoughts on Dwyane Wade‘s departure, the team’s unsuccessful pitch to Kevin Durant, and Chris Bosh‘s uncertain future. During that session, Riley also addressed whether or not the Heat had any interest in Al Horford, admitting the team eliminated the free agent big man from consideration very early in free agency.
“It’s not out of a lack of respect for him, it’s that at 12:01 am, I came to an agreement with Hassan,” the Heat president said, per Jason Lieser of The Palm Beach Post. “I don’t care if Dallas came in after us, we had Hassan. Once we got Hassan, I didn’t want to string along anybody else. … We like Al, we love Joakim Noah. Everybody that was at the top – the DeRozans, the Beals, the Batums, Howard, Horford – all those guys, their deals were done. Horford is going to really help Boston, I think. But we didn’t really push on that one.”
Here’s more out of South Beach:
- Riley said on Saturday that the Heat don’t plan to use their $2.9MM room exception this summer, but that doesn’t mean it will go unused for the entire league year. As Anthony Chiang of The Palm Beach Post writes, the club intends to use it in February or March if a noteworthy veteran free agent becomes available, like Joe Johnson did last season.
- Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel looks back at the Wade/Riley situation, noting that the crux of the issue between the two sides involved Riley’s preference to go season-by-season for Wade’s next few years. The longtime Heat star wanted a longer-term commitment from the franchise.
- Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders has provided several salary-related updates on recent signings by the Heat. As Pincus details, Wayne Ellington‘s second-year salary ($6.27MM) is non-guaranteed until the first day after 2017’s July moratorium. Additionally, Stefan Jankovic and Okaro White got similar two-year, minimum-salary deals from the club, while Rodney McGruder got a three-year contract worth the minimum.
- Jankovic, White, and McGruder all start with $100K guarantees, but each player has different deadlines for when more of their salaries become guaranteed, per Pincus. McGruder has four upcoming guarantee dates for his 2016/17 salary, then has multiple guarantee dates for his 2017/18 salary as well.