Heat’s Riley: ‘Great Regret’ Over Losing Wade

During a news conference today in Miami, Heat president Pat Riley expressed his sorrow over losing free agent Dwyane Wade to the Bulls and said he should have done more to prevent it. “I have great regret I didn’t put myself in the middle of it,” Riley said in a quote relayed by Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel (Twitter link).

Wade officially signed with Chicago on Friday after reportedly being unhappy with the offers he was getting out of Miami. Riley says he wishes he had taken a more active role in the negotiations, adding that he should have “gotten in a canoe and paddled to The Mediterranean” if it meant keeping Wade, tweets Jason Lieser of the Palm Beach Post.

Riley said he had been trying to get “another guy” to pair with Wade since LeBron James returned to Cleveland in 2014 (Twitter link). He added that he hadn’t spoken to Wade since his decision, but has been putting together a long e-mail for him (Twitter link).

Wade, a 12-time All-Star, had been with the Heat since they drafted him in 2003. He is the franchise’s leader in career points, assists and several other categories.

“It’s not going to be the same without [Wade] but we will forge ahead,” Riley said. “Dwyane is unique. There will always be a key under the mat [for Dwyane], I just hope it doesn’t get too rusty. We will miss him.” (Twitter links).

Riley touched on several other topics during the news conference:

  • Any decision on Chris Bosh’s future is “on hold” until August or September, tweets Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. Bosh, who didn’t play after blood clots were discovered in his left calf during the All-Star break, would like to return next season, but the Heat aren’t sure if it’s medically feasible. Riley said the team is considering a restricted travel schedule or limited workload to help Bosh get back on the court (Twitter link). “I know Chris wants to play, and we would be open to that,” Riley said “But this is still fluid. There’s not an answer.” (Twitter link).
  • Riley believes Justise Winslow is ready to be Miami’s starting small forward after a promising rookie season. “Are we ready for Justise Winslow to start at the 3,” Riley asked. “I am.” (Twitter link). The Heat lost last year’s starter when Luol Deng signed with the Lakers.
  • The Heat offered a more balanced contract to Tyler Johnson than the deal he signed with the Nets, but Johnson insisted on taking the offer sheet from Brooklyn (Twitter link). That contract, which the Heat matched on Sunday, pays Johnson $5.628MM in the first year and $5,881,260 in the second, followed by $18,858,765 in season three and $19,631,975 in season four.
  • Kevin Durant, who chose Miami as one of the five teams he met with in free agency, told Riley that he wants to win right away and viewed the Heat as being in a rebuilding phase (Twitter link). “I’ll never not take an offer from a free agent who calls and says we’d like to talk to you,” Riley said. “We had to do it, it didn’t slow us down.” (Twitter links).
  • Riley is working toward a contract extension with head coach Erik Spoelstra and his staff (Twitter link).
  • The Heat don’t plan to use their $2.9MM room exception this offseason. (Twitter link).
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12 thoughts on “Heat’s Riley: ‘Great Regret’ Over Losing Wade

  1. TJECK109

    I think Riley is just trying to be a stand up guy and take the blame for something there shouldn’t be any blame for.

    Wade is not worth what he got from Chicago. And there is no reason that if Miami is trying to rebuild on the fly gives that kind of money to him. That contract hurts the team more than Wade helps it.

  2. Z.....

    I’m sick of the outside narrative being what it is b/c it simply isnt reality. At least Riley admits it. There was a lot of other interesting info in this press conference though. Honestly, I’m not ready to think about the situation moving forward, at least not any more than I already have. Its going to be a long time before I get over this situation with Wade, if I ever do

    • Wow. Really? I’d hate to see how you deal with actual real life challenges. Hyperbole much?

      • Z.....

        its not just about basketball. I wasnt even 12 years old yet when they drafted Dwyane Wade…

        as for how I deal with real life challenges? I could go into my life’s story about all of the unbelievable things that have, and continue to, happened to me, mostly medically, but that doesnt have anything to do with anything. You dont know who people are through the internet. Try not to be the dude that claims someone doesnt know about “real problems,” only to find out that person has dealt with more problems than anyone should, through most of their lives

        • Alexander Maunu

          You sound like a spoiled brat. Everyone has medical problems, and your inability to believe it could happen to you doesn’t give you insight into anything. Take your know it all attitude somewhere people care.

  3. Strauss

    RILEY was smart. It was a very tough position to be in. Hopefully it pays off next summer.

  4. Bunko Artist
    Bunko Artist

    Riley got his just desserts for disrespecting Lebron aka one of the ten best players of all time and Wade aka the greatest player in Miami history.

  5. Is he typing it up on a word processor? Or sending it pony express? I’m sure you can just call him or have lunch. Or is that tampering now?

  6. TheBlueMeanie

    Save it, Riley. As if you weren’t involved. You’ve been manipulating this situation since you insulted him with that offer of $10 million a season. You played Wade’s emotions against him and now you’re trying to do the same with the fans with disingenuous comments like this.

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