Pat Riley

Dwyane Wade Won’t Be Talked Out Of Retiring

Dwyane Wade isn’t open to a suggestion by Heat president Pat Riley that he play until age 40, writes Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel. Wade, 36, is in the middle of his 16th and probably final NBA season, which he has dubbed a “One Last Dance” retirement tour. But Riley claimed last week that Wade still has a lot of basketball left.

“I got to get him to play another three more years,” Riley said. “I want him to get to 40. If he has a great year, he might not fall out of love with the game. He might want to just stay in it. That’s my goal.”

Wade has been away from the team on paternity leave for the past seven games and wasn’t aware of Riley’s comments until yesterday, but he doesn’t seem receptive to the idea.

“I appreciate him thinking that,” Wade said. “Could I be swayed? I don’t think so. Not at this point.”

Beyond the sentimental value Wade has to the Heat organization, he remains a productive player. In the 10 games he has played this season, he is putting up a 13.4/3.8/2.8 line in about 24 minutes per night.

Wade is looking forward to retirement to spend more time with his family, including his newborn daughter. She’s too young for an airplane trip, and Miami’s schedule won’t give Wade much free time for the rest of the season.

Wade admits that Riley can be very persuasive, saying “It’s always a chance of everything,” but adds, “I know the chance is very, very, very, very, very slim. I’ve got my mind made up.”

“I’m just going to finish this year out,” he said. “I want to get back into the groove I was in before I left, just for my body feeling great, and just continue to enjoy the game and play the game the way I know I can, even at this age, even in my role, even in my minutes.”

Wade also noted that this isn’t the first time Riley has brought up the idea of playing until 40.

“The one thing is, he said that a long time ago,” Wade said. “He always said he wanted me to play until I was 40. And even when I was 30 I laughed at him, like, ‘It’s no way possible.’ So he continues to have that. I appreciate that.”

Southeast Notes: Riley, Whiteside, M. Williams, Carter

Heat president Pat Riley told his players just before the season started that he was pulling out of trade talks with the Timberwolves involving Jimmy Butler, according to Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. Riley held a team meeting October 14 in which he acknowledged that negotiations had been going on and apologized to players whose names became public in trade rumors. That was just days after the teams nearly completed a deal that would have sent a package that included Josh Richardson and a protected first-round pick to Minnesota. However, Riley didn’t guarantee that negotiations with the Wolves wouldn’t resume.

Today’s trade that sent Butler to the Sixers eliminates that as a possibility. With about $130MM in salary, Miami is hovering above the $123.7MM luxury tax threshold and would face a $9.7MM tax payment if the team can’t trim $6.3MM by the end of the season. Riley said Thursday that the team isn’t currently active on the trade market, but tax concerns may change that before the February deadline.

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • Heat center Hassan Whiteside, who has reportedly been on the trade block for several months, is “changing his mindset to be great,” teammate Bam Adebayo tells Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press. Whiteside posted his best game in a long time Wednesday with 29 points, 20 rebounds and nine blocked shots. “I think a lot of people had written me off,” Whiteside said. “That’s fine. I don’t need anybody’s justification. But I feel like if I do those things for myself, it’ll put me in the conversation of being an All-Star, being defensive player of the year.”
  • Marvin Williams says the players were thrilled this summer when they learned that Tony Parker was leaving the Spurs to join the Hornets as a free agent, writes Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype. Parker brought championship experience to Charlotte, having won four titles in San Antonio. “He’s so willing to teach everyone and he’s very patient with all of us,” Williams said. “He’s obviously been in certain situations that a lot of us haven’t been able to experience yet, so that knowledge and that wisdom really helps us.”
  • Williams believes the way the game has changed in recent years has helped the HawksVince Carter stay productive at age 41, relays Brendan Marks of The Charlotte Observer. Carter still displays his vertical leap on occasion, but he has prolonged his career with a deadly jump shot. “As the league has evolved, he’s almost benefited from it because he still can guard multiple positions, and he can still really shoot the lights out,” Williams said.

Pat Riley On Trade Rumors: “We’re Not Actively Pursuing Anything”

Heat president Pat Riley spoke today in front of fans and media personnel, answering questions about the team’s reported pursuit of Jimmy Butler, his decision to address the players, and where the team currently stands from a competitive viewpoint. Riley made his comments at an event created to help renovate the homes of two veterans, with the longtime Heat executive being joined by Glen Rice, Alonzo Mourning, and others.

“I’m not looking, I’m listening and [general manager Andy Elisburg] and I are … we’ve been doing this all the time,” Riley said, according to Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald. “We’re not actively pursuing anything, we’re listening. But you have to be part of what’s going on in the conversation in the NBA, and there’s a lot of hypotheticals from that standpoint.”

Riley also added that he “never called anybody with an offer, but there’s always conversations — probably more Andy than myself because he loves to talk. So he has a brethren out there, and his brethren are great. He’s got 29, 30 GMs that they all like to talk, and so they need to talk to one another. You listen, and I think that’s how things happen is you just sort of listen.”

The Heat nearly reached agreement on a Butler trade with the Timberwolves last month, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, but the deal fell apart shortly before completion. With rumors swirling and players’ names surfacing in reports, Riley made the decision to pull the plug for the time being. He made his plans known to Heat players and assured them they would remain with the team.

“I think it was important. It was about time,” Riley said when asked why he addressed the team. “I let it go for about two weeks, but it was all over the board and when things get out publicly like that, I think your players and names start to hit, you’ve got to talk to them. I always talk to the agents first, but I thought at that time it was best just to sort of, ‘Let’s get the season started. We’re not going to do anything. We shut the thing down, and this is where we are with it.’”

The Heat have started the 2018/19 season with a 5-5 record, and could revisit the Butler talks down the road. For the time being, however, it certainly appears the team isn’t pursuing a trade for Butler or any other player.

Heat Rumors: Butler, Trade Talks, 15-Man Roster

Reports earlier this week on the Jimmy Butler situation suggested that the Timberwolves nearly accepted a Heat offer that included Josh Richardson and a first-round pick, but ultimately asked Miami for more. A subsequent report indicated that Wolves owner Glen Taylor wasn’t responsible for turning down that offer.

During an appearance on Mason and Ireland, ESPN’s Jorge Sedano confirmed both stories, reporting that the Heat and Timberwolves got close to a trade that would have sent Butler to Miami for Richardson, a first-round pick, and Dion Waiters. The two teams even exchanged medical information for the players involved. However, according to Sedano, Tom Thibodeau asked the Heat for more draft picks, at which point Pat Riley called him a “motherf—er” and hung up on him (Twitter links).

For what it’s worth, a source familiar with the negotiations disputes that story, telling Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel that Riley insists he didn’t offer such a reaction. That source apparently didn’t deny the other details of those trade discussions though.

Here’s more on the Heat, including another note on their dealings with the Timberwolves:

  • Both Winderman and Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald report that the Heat aren’t pushing to re-engage the Timberwolves in trade discussions involving Butler. While that doesn’t necessarily mean that a deal won’t happen, Miami sounds ready to move on and prepare for the season. Butler didn’t travel with the Wolves to Milwaukee, with Thibodeau telling reporters that the All-NBA swingman is in Minnesota working on his conditioning, adding that the situation remains “fluid” (Twitter link via Dane Moore of 1500ESPN).
  • The Heat typically carry a full 15-man roster into the regular season, but the team appears likely to open the 2018/19 campaign with just 14 players, as Winderman writes in another piece for The Sun Sentinel. According to Winderman, the Heat haven’t entered the season with fewer than 15 players on standard contracts since 2003/04. Luxury tax concerns likely play a major part in that decision this year — Miami is currently over the tax line by about $6.3MM.
  • In a Q&A with Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated, Chris Bosh explained that he still hopes to return to the NBA because he views his career as an “unfinished painting.” Bosh pointed specifically to his final season with the Heat, noting that he thought the team had the potential to win the East, but he didn’t get a chance to see it through.

Author Claims LeBron Wanted Riley To Coach In Miami

Early in his first season in Miami, LeBron James sent a message to Heat president Pat Riley that he should take over coaching duties from Erik Spoelstra, author Ian Thomsen claims in a new book. That story is among several contained in “The Soul of Basketball: The Epic Showdown Between LeBron, Kobe, Doc, and Dirk That Saved the NBA,” which Thomsen promoted in a recent appearance on Zach Lowe’s podcast (Hat tip to Dane Delgado of NBC Sports).

Spoelstra was in his third year as head coach when a rift reportedly developed between him and James during a 9-8 start. After a loss to the Mavericks, James dropped a subtle hint to Riley that he wanted him back behind the bench.

“[I] asked how things were progressing,” Riley recalls in the book. “They just said, ‘We’re not feeling it, or something like that.’ We talked about the typical things we have to do, have patience, all that stuff. And I remember LeBron looking at me and he said, ‘Don’t you ever get the itch?’

“And I said, ‘The itch for what?’ He said, ‘The itch to coach again.’ I said, ‘No I don’t have the itch.’

“He didn’t ask any more questions and I didn’t offer any more answers but I know what it meant and I always go back and wonder what he was thinking at that time. He walked out scratching at his leg like it was itching.”

Riley, of course, remained in the front office as Spoelstra led Miami to four straight NBA Finals and a pair of championships. James was involved in a similar scenario after returning to Cleveland, where he reportedly clashed with coach David Blatt, who was eventually replaced by Tyronn Lue.

Southeast Notes: Robinson, Hornets, Wade, Carter

Despite being invited to participate with USA Basketball in its World Cup qualifying round games, Heat swingman Duncan Robinson has opted to remain in Miami for informal team workouts in the hopes of landing a standard NBA contract for the upcoming season, reports Ira Winderman of the Sun-Sentinel.

“I’m really proud in the fact that Duncan Robinson has been invited to play in the international series,” said Heat team president Pat Riley“but he decided to stay here because he wanted to make our team, he wants to force us into giving him a real (standard NBA) contract.”

Robinson, 24, signed a two-way contract with the Heat on July 10th that would limit him to 45 days in the NBA this coming season and maximum earnings of about $385K, per Winderman. A standard NBA contract at the rookie minimum would pay Robinson just north of $838K.

Robinson says that his goal in passing over the opportunity to play for Team USA is to maximize his opportunities in the Heat developmental program. “I mean the margin between having this job or being overseas or being in the G League, whatever it might be, is so thin,” Robinson said. “And I understand that. I understand I caught some breaks and was able to put myself in a situation to be successful. I’m certainly thankful for that.”

There’s more today out of the Southeast Division:

  • The Hornets have struggled to attract big name free agents since the franchise returned to North Carolina in 2004, but Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer doesn’t think it has as much to do with the city of Charlotte itself as it has to do with the team’s lack of cap space. Per Bonnell, money is the No. 1 factor in free agency and, unfortunately, the Hornets don’t have significant space under the salary cap now or in the immediate future.
  • In another piece for the Sun-Sentinel, Winderman opines that Riley is fully committed to signing Wade to a free agent contract this summer, luxury tax concerns be darned. Riley’s greater concern would be Wade’s level of commitment. Per Winderman, Riley would likely want a commitment from Wade that this season isn’t simply a retirement tour, but that Wade is seriously interested in making the Heat a better team.
  • While Vince Carter could have spurned the Hawks and signed with a serious title contender this offseason, he tells Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that such a quest is “not his style.” Rather, Carter will be relied upon to be a veteran influence over the youthful roster Atlanta has assembled. “Let them see me and let them see how annoying I can be, but in a good way,” Carter said during an introductory press conference. “I’m going to stay in their ear. At least you know at any time throughout the year, whether it’s practice games, any situation, they will have me to fall back on. Or I’ll come up to them and help them out any way I can.”

Heat Want Dwyane Wade Back, Will Meet Soon

Heat president Pat Riley will meet with Dwyane Wade in the near future with the goal of signing Wade for at least one more season, Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press tweets. “We want him back,” Riley said.

Riley also wants to re-sign big man Udonis Haslem. The Heat have been holding roster spots for both longtime veterans.

According to Riley’s ‘gut feeling,’ Haslem will be back. Wade’s return is less certain.

Riley indicated that Wade’s return is not linked to offering the team’s full taxpayer mid-level exception of $5.3MM, according to Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel (Twitter links).

The Heat already have nearly $127MM in salary commitments, which would put them over the luxury tax threshold.

Wade recently stated he wouldn’t play overseas after he reportedly received a lucrative offer from a Chinese team. Haslem has been working out with other Miami players in anticipation he’ll re-sign with the team he’s played for the past 15 seasons.

Southeast Notes: Riley, Howard, Kaminsky, Lamb

Heat president Pat Riley understands some fans are disappointed that he didn’t add any big names this offseason, but he’s asking them to be patient as he works to rebuild the team, relays Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. Miami won’t have the cap space to pursue big-name free agents until the summer of 2020. Riley is trying to lay the groundwork for that opportunity while keeping a competitive group on the court.

“If any fan out there is unhappy or angry we didn’t go out and get LeBron James or Kevin Durant or [DeMarcus] Cousins or whatever else they felt that they would want us to get probably didn’t realize we couldn’t get them anyhow, that we couldn’t trade for them,” Riley said. “There are things I read [where] people are so uninformed about the rules and what we can and cannot do until one of you [reporters] – and most of the time you do that – [say] we couldn’t make that move.”

Riley also confirmed that he has refused to surrender first-round picks in deals to get rid of unwanted contracts.

There’s more tonight from the Southeast Division:

  • John Wall showed off his recruiting skills by convincing Dwight Howard to come to the Wizards, writes Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington. Howard wasn’t considering the Wizards as he was negotiating a buyout from the Nets, but an appeal from Wall changed that. “No lie, when I saw the message on Instagram, I really got so happy,” Howard said at his introductory press conference this week. “I was like ‘John just DM’d me, oh man this is crazy!’ After that, I really just started to put on my thinking cap. I just thought about all the possibilities. I was like ‘Man, this could be the best spot for me.'”
  • Former Hornets lottery pick Frank Kaminsky is entering a vital season for his financial future, writes Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer in a mailbag column. Kaminsky will be a restricted free agent next summer if he can’t work out an extension with Charlotte before the start of the upcoming season. The Hornets gave deals to Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Cody Zeller before they could test the free agent waters, but Bonnell isn’t convinced that Kaminsky has the same value.
  • If the Hornets are looking to unload players at next year’s trade deadline, Jeremy Lamb will be a prime candidate to go, Bonnell writes in the same piece. Lamb has an expiring contract and Charlotte has a lot of wing players on its roster.

Pat Riley Talks Wade, Haslem, Winslow, Whiteside

The futures of Dwyane Wade and Udonis Haslem remain uncertain for now, but Heat president Pat Riley said today on a conference call that he expects both players to make decisions within the next few weeks on whether or not they want to return to Miami. While Wade and Haslem have reportedly received overseas interest, there’s a belief that both players are more likely to either re-sign with the Heat or retire.

As Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald details, Riley said that he expects to have some clarity on both players by the middle of August. The Heat president also spoke specifically about the club’s desire to re-sign Wade.

“I want Dwyane back as a player, a guy who wants to have the greatest year he’s ever had as a player,” Riley said of the longtime Heat star. “I read more articles about Dwyane might not have the same motivation, but I still see a player who can contribute heavily if he really wants to. If he plays, he’s going to want to do it. We don’t want him back as a placemat holder or someone who’s going to be a veteran in the locker room. Dwyane is a great player, a great talent. He can make a big difference for us.”

There have been reports indicating that Wade would want the $5.337MM taxpayer mid-level exception if he returns to the Heat, but Riley deflected an inquiry about whether the team would be willing to offer its MLE, suggesting that’s a question for owner Micky Arison.

Here’s more from Riley, via Jackson:

  • Riley dismissed the idea that he’s frustrated by not being able to make any real upgrades to last year’s roster, telling reporters that “continuity is important” for the club.
  • The Heat have been in touch with Justise Winslow‘s agent, but discussions about a rookie scale contract extension are unlikely to become serious until later in the offseason. “We are going to address that in late August, once everything dies down,” Riley said. “We look at Justise as one of our anchor pieces. We will have that extension discussion in late August. We don’t have to do anything until mid-October.”
  • Riley confirmed that the Heat haven’t been willing to surrender young players and picks in order to trade highly-priced veterans this offseason. “We have had opportunities this summer to do that a lot and it wasn’t worth getting rid of our young assets or picks coming up, so we decided to stand pat with team that we have,” he said.
  • According to Riley, there have been “great discussions” between head coach Erik Spoelstra and disgruntled center Hassan Whiteside. Riley says he expects Whiteside to have a big year in 2018/19 and claimed that the big man “has not been shopped all over the league.”

Southeast Rumors: Thomas, Nored, Whiteside, Hawks

Free agent point guard Isaiah Thomas would be a good fit for the Heat but they probably don’t have the salary-cap space to sign him, Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel speculates. Thomas’ ability to score in bunches would boost a team prone to scoring droughts, Winderman continues. But it’s doubtful that a former All-Star coming off an injury-marred season would take a short-term deal, Winderman notes, as the Lakers guard is more likely to pursue what could be his last significant contract.

We have more from the Southeast Division:

  • The Hornets will hire Ronald Nored as an assistant coach on James Borrego‘s staff, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweets. Nored served as the Nets’ G-League head coach this past season.
  • Pat Riley‘s silence over the Hassan Whiteside situation in recent weeks suggests a trade is more likely than reconciliation, Winderman opines in another blog. Though Winderman believes Whiteside and coach Erik Spoelstra would like to find some middle ground, a separation appears to be in order despite the issue of Whiteside’s contract, which has two years and over $52MM remaining. Whiteside was disappointed with his reduced playing time.
  • The Hawks will bring in six prospects for a workout on Tuesday, according to a team press release. That group includes  Carsen Edwards (Purdue), Kyran Bowman (Boston College), Dorian Pickens (Stanford), Kerem Kanter (Xavier), Tremont Waters (LSU) and Kenrich Williams (TCU).