With just nine days left before the trade deadline, Heat president Pat Riley is running out of time to decide whether his team will be buyers or sellers. Dave Hyde of the Sun Sentinel isn’t a firm believer in the current squad and cautions against overvaluing players who’ve seen their stock rise on the heels of Miami’s recent 13-game win streak.
Hyde writes that the decision to play and develop young players is an easier one to make when buried in the standings. Now that the Heat sit just two games back of the eight-seed in the Eastern Conference, it’s harder to make that justification.
Should Riley be convinced that his team is capable of making noise in the postseason – or is perhaps one player away from doing so – then he’ll have the rest of the week and a little bit of the next one to make something happen. The executive that landed Shaquille O’Neal and Alonzo Mourning isn’t afraid of making big moves, Hyde reminds us, but his biggest decision this year may very well be deciding whether or not to pursue a move at all.
There’s more from the Heat today:
- Emotions are running high in Miami after the Heat dropped their second consecutive game after reeling off 13 straight wins, writes Shandel Richardson of the Sun Sentinel. In the club’s Tuesday night loss to the Magic, center Hassan Whiteside was temporarily benched for a lack of rebounding. “When a team hasn’t lost in almost a month, guys forget what it feels like to lose a game,” Whiteside said. “I think that pain came back and it was a thing we forgot about for a while.”
- If there was ever any doubt, Riley established that winning is more important to him than having a high draft pick. Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports that the team president said as much when he spoke with season-ticket holders following the club’s 13-game win streak.
- The Heat ultimately let Dwyane Wade walk in an effort to retain cap flexibility for this upcoming summer, Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel reminds readers in a mailbag, so don’t expect them to open their pocket books just for the sake of nostalgia. The team’s salary-cap resources have to be used responsibly heading forward, Winderman says.