Pat Riley Talks Heat Future: “I Think We’ll Stay The Course”

Coming off an unprecedented season that ended with an NBA Finals loss to the Lakers in six games, the Heat enter the offseason with questions to answer but a promising outlook entering 2020/21.

Led by last summer’s prized acquisition of Jimmy Butler, Miami seems to be in a position to once again be competitive for a championship. In addition to Butler, the play of youngsters Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson, along with Bam Adebayo‘s breakout, helped the Heat ascend to the class of the Eastern Conference.

Team president Pat Riley indicated to reporters during a Zoom conference with reporters on Friday that the organization anticipates keeping most of the 2019/20 core intact, NBC Sports’ Kurt Helin writes.

“I think we’ll stay the course with our picks, stay the course with our young players,” Riley said. “We have decisions to make, obviously, with player contracts and free agents, and really do a deep dive into this season, myself and (coach Erik Spoelstra) and (GM) Andy (Elisburg) about how good we really are right now…flexibility with draft picks, free agency is coming next…and my thinking really hasn’t changed.”

However, there will be several key decisions for Miami involving free agents. The most prominent one involves veteran point guard Goran Dragic, whose injury-related absence for most of the NBA Finals noticeably impacted the Heat’s chances. In addition to Dragic,  Jae CrowderDerrick JonesMeyers LeonardSolomon Hill and de facto player/coach Udonis Haslem are also free agents.

Riley said the Heat value all of those players and will seek reunions where appropriate, including a possible extension of Adebayo.

“I really don’t want to get into any kind of discussions at this point about [an Adebayo extension,” Riley said. “I think all the hypotheticals out there about what people think is going to happen, that’s what they are. You all know our numbers. You know what the situation is, the free agents in ‘20 and ‘21. So when it comes to our players, we want to take care of them, and especially the ones that we really value.”

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