MIAMI – Pat Riley has said he regrets saying in the past that he's "always looking for a whale," likely because new NBA rules make it tough to lure big-time free agents away from their current team.
But according to a report on Friday, at least one team is very concerned about losing its "whale" to Riley.
Marc Stein of ESPN tweeted on Friday that "Volume is rising on the whispers that the team worrying Utah in Gordon Hayward's free agency is Miami as much as Boston."
Boston has been perceived as Utah's biggest threat to re-signing Hayward because current Celtics coach Brad Stevens coached Hayward in college at Butler.
Stein's report comes months after Frank Isola of the New York Daily News also linked the Heat to Hayward.
If Hayward chooses to leave Utah, he'll be leaving a ton of money behind as the Jazz can offer their 2010 first round draft pick a five year deal worth over $179 million, while the Heat can only offer a four year, $132.9 million contract.
Hayward is 27 years old and will be one of the top free-agents available this offseason after posting career-bests in points (21.9) and rebounds (5.4).
Free Agency Scuttle: Volume is rising on the whispers that the team worrying Utah in Gordon Hayward's free agency is Miami as much as Boston— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) June 9, 2017