Ri­ley has 2020 vi­sion for Heat

Heat pres­i­dent con­fi­dent he can up­grade for fu­ture

South Florida Sun-Sentinel (Sunday) - - Sports - Ira Win­der­man iwin­der­[email protected]­tinel.com. Fol­low him at twit­ter.com/ira­heat­beat or face­book.com/ira.win­der­man

Heat Pres­i­dent Pat Ri­ley has big vi­sions for the 2020 off­sea­son. But will he also have the needed big money?

MI­AMI — To his credit, Pat Ri­ley thinks big.

And per­haps af­ter 2010 and the cre­ation of the Big Three skep­ti­cism should be put aside when it comes to the grand vi­sions of the Mi­ami Heat pres­i­dent.

But the math — at the mo­ment (which is im­por­tant) — hardly seems to sup­port the sup­po­si­tion that the Mi­ami Heat could pos­si­bly po­si­tion them­selves for two max (or at least ma­jor) free-agent ad­di­tions in the 2020 off­sea­son.

At the mo­ment, the Heat are com­mit­ted to $71.6 mil­lion in salary for

2020-21, when count­ing only James John­son, Kelly Olynyk, Dion Waiters, Josh Richard­son, Jus­tise Winslow and Bam Ade­bayo.

That does not in­clude the salaries of 2019 and ‘20 first-round picks, se­lec­tions still held by the team.

The pro­jected salary-cap for

2020-21, which cer­tainly could change in the in­terim, is $118 mil­lion.

So the math doesn’t seem to add up.

But this also is the no-state-tax Heat, the mes­mer­iz­ing eyes of Ri­ley that can con­vince you to take a lit­tle less, and per­haps some up­com­ing magic from Andy Elis­burg that makes salary melt away as it did on the eve of

2010 free agency with the ma­neu­ver­ing from Shawn Mar­ion, Jer­maine O’Neal, Mar­cus Banks and Dae­quan Cook, among oth­ers.

Fine.

Ri­ley and the Heat front of­fice have the right to dream (and scheme), as Ri­ley of­fered on his video pre­sen­ta­tion to sea­son-ticket hold­ers that the team re­leased Wed­nes­day.

“In 2020, we’ll have a lot of room,” he said. “We’ll also have the pos­si­bil­ity to have enough room to go af­ter two max con­tracts. And we’re go­ing to do that. So, we’re plan­ning that

2020 will be the room year.”

But here’s the rub: The NBA’s Class of 2020 when it comes to free agency ba­si­cally is An­thony Davis . . . and pre­cious lit­tle oth­er­wise.

And con­sid­er­ing we have been talk­ing about An­thony Davis for months now, the odds he re­mains avail­able on July 1, 2020, would be . . . ?

But if the Heat are to whittle away at what cur­rently is on their 2020-21 books — “Want Go­ran Dragic for next sea­son, then take one from col­umn B (John­son, Waiters, Olynyk) as well” — then this is where the 2020 off­sea­son cur­rently stands when it comes to the mar­ket, one that cer­tainly could change if Class of ‘19 free agents take one-year deals:

An­thony Davis (player op­tion):

Some­one will trade for Davis this sum­mer. The ac­quir­ing team cer­tainly will want as­sur­ances about Davis re­sign­ing. But such as­sur­ances can be fleet­ing. (Just ask the Bos­ton Celtics in the wake of Kyrie Irv­ing’s loy­alty pledge and re­trac­tion.)

Gor­don Hay­ward (player op­tion):

It cer­tainly has not played out as ex­pected in Bos­ton. And the Heat were high on his list in 2017. But is the per­cep­tion still of a max free agent?

A fas­ci­nat­ing case study as an ul­ti­mate com­ple­men­tary piece. But the same im­pact with­out Stephen Curry and Klay Thomp­son along­side? Es­pe­cially at this price point?

Dray­mond Green: DeMar DeRozan (player op­tion):

DeRozan turns 31 in the 2020 off­sea­son. Big money and big years at that stage seem­ingly would come with sig­nif­i­cant risk.

The Kawhi Leonard de­ci­sion this sum­mer cer­tainly could im­pact the Toronto Rap­tors’ de­ci­sions go­ing for­ward. But cir­cling back to play­ers of pre­vi­ous in­ter­est seems less likely, with Lowry to be 34 in the 2020 off­sea­son and Ibaka 31.

Kyle Lowy, Serge Ibaka:

Like many who feasted amid the NBA’s pre­vi­ous cap-space binges, this could be a case of a will­ing­ness to take a pay cut. A nice piece, but hardly a cen­ter­piece.

Otto Porter (player op­tion):

Yes, the Phil­a­del­phia 76ers play­maker cur­rently is listed as part of the 2020 class. But it is in­con­ceiv­able a rook­i­escale ex­ten­sion doesn’t change that sta­tus.

Ben Sim­mons (re­stricted): Pas­cal Si­akam (re­stricted), De­jounte Mur­ray (re­stricted), Ja­mal Mur­ray (re­stricted), Caris LeVert (re­stricted):

Again, val­ued re­stricted free agents don’t get away. They just don’t. And ty­ing up cap space with of­fer sheets presents is­sues of its own.

Other no­table 2020 re­stricted free agents:

Bog­dan Bog­danovic, Jaylen Brown, Bran­don In­gram, Do­man­tas Sabo­nis, Dario Saric

Other no­table play­ers with 2020 player op­tions:

Ni­co­las Ba­tum, Evan Fournier, An­dre Drum­mond, Tim Har­d­away Jr.

Other no­table un­re­stricted 2020 free agents:

Avery Bradley, Jor­dan Clark­son, Danilo Gal­li­nari, Eric Gor­don, Mon­trezl Har­rell, Joe Har­ris, An­dre Iguo­dala, Reg­gie Jack­son, An­dre Rober­son,

In the lane Mak­ing mem­o­ries:

Los An­ge­les Clip­pers coach Doc Rivers said he had Dwyane Wade on his mind when he stopped his team’s game against the Dal­las Mav­er­icks to make sure Dirk Now­itzki could re­ceive a de­served ova­tion in case it proved to be the icon’s fi­nal visit. “I had a time­out. I didn’t plan it. I just felt like he de­served that,” Rivers said. “Against Mi­ami, I thought we didn’t give Dwyane Wade the right send­off. I wasn’t gonna let that hap­pen again.” Rivers, of course, also was in the midst of a 121-98 loss to the short­handed Heat on Dec. 12 at Sta­ples Cen­ter, a game when Wade drained five 3-point­ers. The re­al­ity on that night was that Wade al­ready was look­ing ahead to the Heat’s next game, his lone game this sea­son against LeBron James and the Lak­ers, hav­ing missed the team’s pre­vi­ous game in Mi­ami in the wake of the birth of his daugh­ter.

And then there was Devin Booker’s Wade take­away af­ter the Phoenix Suns’ Mon­day vic­tory over Wade and the Heat. “He’s changed my life,” Booker told the Ath­letic, “es­pe­cially be­ing a shoot­ing guard in that po­si­tion, with that go-get­ter men­tal­ity that I like to claim to carry my­self with.” The vic­tory was an added bonus. “I beat Kobe on his last game when I played him, and beat D-Wade,” Booker said. “I’m gonna take that to the grave with me.”

More mem­o­ries: Keep­ing up with Jones:

Speculation has James Jones’ time as the Suns’ per­son­nel lead po­ten­tially com­ing to an end, a topic the for­mer Heat cham­pi­onship for­ward found him­self ad­dress­ing on a ra­dio ap­pear­ance on Ari­zona’s Sports Sta­tion. “Like all things, peo­ple on the out­side don’t know what goes on in­side and they guess,” he said. “But it’s in­ac­cu­rate.”

Even be­fore the em­brace he re­ceived upon his re­turn to Amer­i­canAir­lines Arena, for­mer Heat guard Tyler John­son spoke of how he will never for­get the time Chris Bosh com­mit­ted to him when the two were side­lined for the sec­ond half of the 2016 sea­son. “I al­ways tell the story of when I ac­tu­ally hurt my shoul­der and had to miss half the sea­son and Chris Bosh went down with his clots, un­for­tu­nately that whole sit­u­a­tion that hap­pened,” John­son re­called be­fore his re­turn in a Phoenix Suns jer­sey. “We ac­tu­ally spent those 40 games, be­fore ev­ery sin­gle game he’d sit me down and we’d watch a whole NBA game. And I hated it at first, like I hated it. Be­cause I had to watch a whole game, then I had to go watch our game. And dur­ing that, he is quizzing me. He’s ask­ing me ques­tions, ‘What about this? What about this? What do you think here? What are you think­ing there?’ And at the time, it was like an over­load of in­for­ma­tion, but I ap­pre­ci­ated it.”

Heat coach Erik Spoel­stra, hav­ing been through the grinder that was the Heat’s Big Three, of­fered his ap­pre­ci­a­tion of what Steve Kerr has han­dled dur­ing the Golden State War­riors’ dom­i­nance, not­ing how Kerr’s time as a cham­pi­onship player helped. “I think he’s han­dled it as well as any­body can han­dle it,” he said. “He’s been in that kind of storm prob­a­bly his whole pro­fes­sional ca­reer. As a player he was in in­volved in those kind of teams. I think it just helped him men­tally and emo­tion­ally be pre­pared for that kind of team.” He made a point also to add, “No­body’s shed­ding any tears for them. We’ll all swap with them, any day.”

Ad­di­tional thanks: Ap­pre­ci­a­tion of­fered: NUM­BER

Times the Heat have had three 20-point scor­ers in a game this sea­son, with both against the War­riors, Wed­nes­day’s vic­tory at Amer­i­canAir­lines Arena (Go­ran Dragic, Dwyane Wade, Josh Richard­son) and the Feb. 10 loss at Or­a­cle Arena (Richard­son, Dion Waiters, Jus­tise Winslow).

/STREETER LECKA / GETTY IM­AGES

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