The NBA draft is over and the off-season is upon the NBA, and it appears the Woj vs. Stein fight is only beginning. There certainly has not been a lack of entertainment in the first few weeks post-Finals – the Cavs parting ways with David Griffin, Dwight Howard and Jimmy Butler being traded, the Knicks imploding.
However, things in South Florida seem to be pretty quiet.
Heat fans should not be too worried though, as Pat Riley and the Heat front office have been known to work in the dark. There are a lot of free agents and opportunities this summer and come July 1 and beyond, there are some things fans can look forward to.
Miami Heat Off-season Update
14th Pick in the Draft: “Bam” Adebayo
The Heat selected big man Edrice “Bam” Adebayo out of Kentucky with the 14th pick in the draft. He is 19 years old and entered the draft after one year in college under Coach John Calipari. Marc Spears of ESPN’s The Undefeated reported that this was the big man the Heat were seeking. Adebayo’s athleticism and energy will be beneficial on both ends of the floor and it will be interesting to see how he and Hassan Whiteside play together. With Bam standing at 6’10” and Whiteside at 7’0″, one can expect it will look a bit like a blockade on the defensive end.
To learn more about Adebayo and his potential, his draft profile can be found here: http://lastwordonprobasketball.com/2017/05/15/bam-adebayo-nba-draft-profile/
Free Agency in MIA
After the draft, Riley had a press conference to discuss the state of the Heat. He discussed picking up free agents, but also looking to keep those from last year who are still uncommitted. “We’re concerned, but we’re also very confident,” Riley made clear. “We have a Plan A. We have a Plan B. There’s no D, E, F or G.”
Looking at the current roster, Dion Waiters and James Johnson are free agents, and Wayne Ellington has a team option. Riley said he feels good with the roster if everyone can re-sign with the team. This had some Heat fans on Twitter questioning what the future looks like, and others angry (but that’s Twitter, right?). Nevertheless, free agency has not officially started yet, so it’s too soon to tell how things will play out.
“Plan A”: Gordon Hayward
The name that has been thrown around for the past few weeks regarding the Heat is Gordon Hayward. With all of the discussion, it is probably safe to say this is Riley’s “Plan A.” Hayward is an unrestricted free agent and according to reports from ESPN, his current team, the Jazz, along with Boston and Miami, are in the mix for the pursuit.
Hayward may be the missing piece for this Heat team to take back a playoff spot. He is a versatile forward that could provide Miami with another scoring option. Not to mention, a starting lineup of Hayward, Winslow, Waiters, Johnson and Whiteside sounds hopeful to a team that barely missed the playoffs last year. The Heat will have the money to sign him after unloading Chris Bosh‘s contract. It is going to be a matter of if Hayward decides he really wants to leave the Jazz, and if so, who can offer him the best opportunity.
So, Heat fans, sit back, relax, and let the off-season run its course. After all, if anyone can work a little magic, it’s Pat Riley.
BROOKLYN, NY – December 11: Kentucky Wildcats forward Edrice Adebayo (3) during the second half of the NCAA Men’s basketball game between the Kentucky Wildcats and the Hofstra Pride on December 11, 2016, at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)