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Riley ready to build around Jimmy, Bam

Heat President President upbeat despite poor finish to the season

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MIAMI – Heat President Pat Riley gave his annual state of the Heat talk on Thursday.

Riley started off by saying that “it doesn’t really make any difference what happens to you, it’s really how you deal with it.”

Riley said the Heat got crushed in two games by the Bucks and never were able to bounce back.

He said the team has flexibility to go in many different directions.

Riley said, “The market will determine a lot of that as we move forward.”

Riley made it clear that he likes the core of the Heat’s team.

Riley said, “We got a great core with Jimmy and Bam. And regardless of how they performed in the Playoffs we didn’t make a mistake on those guys, that’s for sure.”

Restricted free agency with Kendrick Nunn and Duncan Robinson will be part of Riley’s focus as the team gets ready to retool for next season.

On the idea of hunting for a whale, Riley said “We’ll see” and added “we made a decision last year that what we would do was try to preserve room.”

He says they won’t have a max salary slot, but have a lot of room if they want to use it.

Riley said he hasn’t had any discussions yet with Jimmy Butler about a max 4-year contract extension.

However, Riley does plan to have a conversation with Jimmy when the time comes.

In terms of how the Heat plan to use Bam Adebayo, Riley said, “I think Spo has to evaluate a bit how he uses Bam.” Riley talked about balancing facilitating the offense and being the primary scorer.

Riley added, “Bam will learn from this. He will learn a lot from this failure.”

As for his own future, Riley said “as far as I go, I’m ready to roll forward and try and make this team better.”

Tyler Herro, the Heat’s guard out of Kentucky has been a big conversation pieces because of some of his struggles in his second year.

Riley said, “Tyler Herro is a core player for us.”

Concerning the Victor Oladipo trade, the guard who only played four games for the Heat before sustaining an injury, Riley said they knew the risk at the time of the trade.

Riley said the Heat will see how Oladipo is doing and have a discussion later in the summer.

The Milwaukee Bucks tweeted after beating the Heat “This ain’t the bubble.”

Riley addressed the tweet.

Riley said, “I wouldn’t have tweeted something like that.” Riley said the Heat were the best team in the East and earned their Finals trip. They dealt with the circumstances, made big shots, found ways to win.

Riley added, “People wanna say some negative, that’s their problem.”

Riley also had a message to disappointed Heat fans, “Just hang in there. Keep the faith. We’ll be back.”


About the Authors:

David Lang is executive producer of the Local 10 sports department.

Will Manso came back home to South Florida when he joined Local 10 in March of 1999. During his time here, Will has kept busy by working in sports, news and he's even dabbled in entertainment. He is now Local 10's sports director and also enjoys the chance to serve as host for special shows on Local 10.