Heat president Pat Riley will look for additions that could bring a title to Miami but he pledged not to make drastic roster changes, Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald writes.
Riley met the media for his annual postseason press conference on Tuesday.
“We’re not going to take a wrecking ball to a good team that had some real adversity this year that I felt built some strength. We have a good team, and probably a great team,” Riley said. “And so, running it back? Yes. Doing something that can help you with that last step? Yes, if it’s a possibility and if there’s an opportunity without setting you back while you’re moving forward. It’s just onward with us. It’s onward.”
Of course, the Heat could still make a big trade. They’ve been linked to Damian Lillard and would be considered a strong candidate to land him if the star guard asks out of Portland. They were also considered a possible destination for Bradley Beal before the Suns swooped in for the Wizards’ All-Star wing.
Riley wasn’t at liberty to speak about Lillard or Beal due to tampering rules, nor could he talk about specific free agent targets. However, the Heat could move some big salaries (Kyle Lowry, Tyler Herro, Duncan Robinson) if a superstar talent becomes available.
Riley addressed a number of other topics:
- The Heat are projected to be over the luxury tax threshold next season, which is projected to be $162MM. Riley said that team owner Micky Arison and CEO Nick Arison are willing to pay the penalty for a championship team. “They’re committed to winning championships,” Riley said. “And we’re in the tax. (GM) Andy [Elisburg] has been already making sure that we’re working around the edges of the tax, trying to put together a competitive team, and we have. … [The Arisons are] committed to doing whatever it takes to fulfill his championship dream. It’s been 10 or 11 years, so we’re getting a little anxious here. We’d like to win another one.”
- With Herro’s four-year, $130MM extension kicking in next season, Riley labeled him as one of the franchise’s young anchors along with Bam Adebayo, according to Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel. “Tyler is just an extraordinary scorer and fourth-quarter player, big-time shot-maker. He’s 23 years old. You got to watch (it) with these guys.”
- Riley admits he’d like to take some of the pressure off Jimmy Butler shoulders on offense: “I would love to be able to go out there and pick who I want as a perfect complement to him. It’s not that easy, but we will work toward that and I will pat him on the back the next time I see him.”
- Ideally, Riley would like to get a versatile player with the Heat’s first-round pick at No. 18. “Probably I would say more overall wing size and length. I mean, that’s what I think everybody is looking for and multiple-position players, especially ball-handling players that are two-way kinds of players.”