Heat Notes: Riley, Untouchables, Herro, Nnaji

In speaking to reporters last Friday about the Heat‘s NBA Finals loss to the Lakers, team president Pat Riley said “there’s always going to be an asterisk, that caveat” from the Heat’s perspective due to the fact that neither Bam Adebayo nor Goran Dragic was fully healthy for the series. However, Riley made it clear in his follow-up comments on Sunday that he wasn’t saying that an “asterisk” should be placed next to Lakers’ championship itself.

The asterisk is next to the Heat’s name, not the Lakers,” Riley said, per Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press (Twitter link). “Their title is legitimate. Our loss has an asterisk (next) to it. The Lakers were the better team. Period.”

While Riley’s initial wording left some room for interpretation, reading it as a dig aimed at the Lakers would’ve meant ignoring the surrounding context, according to Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel, who noted that when Riley wants to make a point, he’s rarely subtle about it.

Here’s more on the Heat:

  • In a separate article for The Sun Sentinel, Winderman considered which Heat players could be had in hypothetical trades and which would be off the table, identifying the team’s “untouchables” as Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, and – for entirely different reasons – Udonis Haslem.
  • After a surprise run to the NBA Finals, the Heat will have to decide how aggressive they want to be with their current roster, writes Zach Harper of The Athletic. Within the story, Harper says league sources believe that if the Heat were to explore a trade for Victor Oladipo, they wouldn’t consider including Tyler Herro in any offer.
  • Former Arizona forward Zeke Nnaji worked out for the Heat on Sunday, according to Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated (Twitter link). The reigning Pac-12 Rookie of the Year, Nnaji is the No. 35 prospect on ESPN’s big board but could be an option for Miami at No. 20 in next month’s draft.
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21 thoughts on “Heat Notes: Riley, Untouchables, Herro, Nnaji

  1. Sillivan

    Run it back

    2nd round exit 40% chance
    Conference Finals 40%
    NBA Finals 10%

  2. richt

    Sure Riley, it should have an asterisk next to it since you didn’t have to travel for any games. A lot easier to play an NBA Finals with a team from LA if you’re in the same timezone instead of a 6 hour flight apart.

    • harden-westbrook-mvps

      The Lakers don’t get asterisks, even when any other team would.

      • Chief Two Hands

        And the Astros don’t get an asterisk, even though they have been proven to cheated their way to a championship, and that is ok with you, right?

      • Lakers1

        I guess heat would have asterisk vs celtics since Kemba had knee issues and Hayward missed time due to ankle.. or giannis got hurt vs bucks.. lakers were without Avery Bradley..

  3. Jeff Zanghi

    Not sure I really see why the Heat would/should go after Oladipo. I’m not a heat fan so if they think he’s a good fit maybe I don’t watch enough of them to know. But if you ask me… He’s still a pretty big question mark coming back from his injury… and even at his best, I’m not entirely sure how much that helps the Heat. If I were them I’d much rather keep the core I’ve already got and then potentially keep cap flexibility for next off-season if Giannis actually does become available. Risking that for Oladipo just doesn’t seem like enough of a risk/reward situation for them.

  4. Lakers1

    Tyler herro is gonna be really good.. he’s got that killer mentality.. Duncan is a good shooter but shows up some games and doesn’t others.. that will get better with experience.. they need to keep dragic.. crowder is expendable..even if dragic and bam are healthy, Lakers still beat them.. The games the heat won, Jimmy Butler willed them.. those two healthy, Jimmy buckets probably not putting up those numbers

  5. El Don

    The reality is that the LAL can only beat what is in front of them, so it wouldn’t matter if the whole starting 5 were injured, you play what the other team puts before you. Even if you have the easiest path ever to a ring or the hardest, don’t matter, you can only play what is in front of you.
    Riley comes across a bit whinny, he should be delighted that his team even made it tot he finals, really they did very well just coming out of the R1EC, so they overachieved for the quality of the team, so losing the finals was a bonus for MIA!

  6. mike.honcho

    I’m willing betting none of those who reacted violently about Riley’s asterisk comments, watched the video extensively or in its entirety …….. I did.

    It was quite clear what Riley meant about the asterisk …….. his overall tone, even praising Lebron & AD and acknowledging that injuries do happen – he even detailed his own LAKERS experiences with injuries in Finals (Earvin got injured, he called him Earvin not Magic).

    Context people ……… don’t let the media feed us blind.

    The media just loves these kind of sound-bytes, trying to make something out of nothing.

    • bravesfan88

      Well since when has being unreasonable and irrational ever stopped anyone??

      Certainly that wouldn’t be nearly as fun, or as in the case of this comments section…not nearly as comical…lol

  7. phillyballers

    Oladipo is not the answer for the Heat. PG13? That could be. Frontcourt help. They have the guard play even if they lose Tragic. Someone to complement Bam.

    • bravesfan88

      Yeah, they need a solid 4 to round out their rotation. In general, Leonard, Crowder, and even Iggy are the clear spots where they can upgrade within their rotation..Both Crowder and Iggy just arent the same anymore, due to age, and Leonard might perform well as Bam’s backup, but certainly not alongside Bam..

      Another guard and an upgrade next to Bam would be pretty easy upgrades for the Heat, and I’m sure Riley will get it done. They dont need to add another star or All-Star to make another championship run.

      Also, Herro isnt going anywhere anytime soon. If you think Riley is going to trade Herro you’re insane. It would have to be a huge and obvious upgrade for him to even consider it. Even for a player like Bradley Beal, I’m not positive Riley would do that deal. I think he would much rather try to offer up Nunn first instead..

      Herro/Nunn/Jones Jr.

      While their roster is very versatile, and guys can play multiple spots, I think their needs are pretty obvious.

  8. formerlyz

    Heat offseason should be interesting, with a couple of different possible directions, while trying to maintain cap flexibility for next offseason. Not sure what they plan to do with their pick as of now. Keeping it does present an interesting roster problem, assuming UD comes back. Heat need help at the 4, and could use a big that can defend the post, and give them 8-14 minutes per game. They could probably also use another guard/wing that can guard PGs, but that isnt as important if they keep their FAs. Hopefully, they can keep Dragic, Crowder, and Derrick Jones jr. Here is a list of the best FA fits for the Heat, in my opinion, and I think they have the ability to sign a good enough combination of 2-3 (depending on who they can keep) of these guys (likely with the mid-level and/or the bi-annual exception), while also retaining those 3…

    Paul Millsap (number 1 priority)
    Jerami Grant (probably not doable)
    Jamychal Green (possibly cheaper than he should be)
    Marcus Morris (probably not doable)
    Serge Ibaka (probably not doable, outside shot?)
    Marc Gasol (probably not doable)
    Moe Harkless (possibly doable)
    Josh Jackson (on verge of breakout around right team, replaces Winslow at the 4, and as a second or third playmaker in lineups around our shooters, still young and cheap)
    Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (would be good in our environment)
    Derrick Favors (probably not doable)
    Noah Vonleh (cheap, can guard pick and roll, protect the rim, pass,.shoot, put ball on the floor)
    Aaron Baynes (probably doable, theoretical fit for issues defending post)
    Robin Lopez (possibly doable, likely more expensive than vonleh and Baynes)
    Tristan Thompson (possibly doable, questionable. Coming off career best season)
    Dwight Howard (I wanted him last year, not sure if still doable)
    Joakim Noah (wanted to sign him before pandemic, cheap backup option to Baynes?)
    Harry Giles (see Vonleh, but slightly younger/injury situation)
    Willie Cauley-Stein (not sure of price/injury)
    Alex Len (much improved)
    Shaq Harrison (HEAT DNA! GET THIS MAN IN A ROTATION AFTER 3+YEARS OF ME SAYING IT. Probably not enough room, but good option if we lose anyone/make trades, probably cheap too)
    Wilson Chandler (injury prone, recent issues)
    Demarre Carroll (potential backup to losing Crowder or Derrick jones/super cheap 4 option)
    Solomon Hill (if cant get anyone better at the 4/still theoretical fit if he can find what he had at one point and get better in our environment)

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