Please select your default edition
Your default site has been set for 7 days

Miami Heat president Pat Riley plans to keep team's core intact

Pat Riley pictured with two of the Miami Heat's three NBA  championship trophies
Image: Pat Riley pictured with two of the Miami Heat's three NBA championship trophies

Pat Riley is always looking around for ways to make the Miami Heat better. This offseason has him wondering if that improvement might come from within.

The Heat president said on Friday that the top offseason priority of the Eastern Conference champions "is to take care of the players that we have" such as free-agent-to-be Goran Dragic, all while maintaining salary cap flexibility to add an impact player in a 2021 offseason that could see many stars on the move.

Follow Sky Sports NBA on Twitter

Follow Sky Sports NBA on Twitter

See the NBA's best plays and stay up to date with the latest news

"We have a good idea of what we want to do," Riley said in his annual end-of-season media availability.

No plan can be considered completely firm yet. Simultaneous to Riley speaking, the NBA's board of governors were meeting to discuss ideas about when it might be feasible to start next season - with December 22 as the initial target for a season of about 72 games.

And the financial details for next season remain unclear as well, such as the salary cap and luxury tax numbers. All that will have an obvious impact on every team's plans, Miami's included.

But Miami are already clear on some matters. The Heat have no intention of letting extension-eligible All-Star center Bam Adebayo leave (though it remains unclear when his extension will get done).

Pat Riley watches the Miami Heat in action inside the NBA's Orlando bubble
Image: Riley watches the Miami Heat in action inside the NBA's Orlando bubble

Riley added that the notion of bringing back this past season's team as close to intact as possible has crossed his mind. Kelly Olynyk has a player option for about $12m, while Meyers Leonard, Jae Crowder, Solomon Hill and Derrick Jones Jr are among Miami's free agents.

Also See:

"We know what our priorities are," Riley said. "It is to take care of the players that we have, that we have to make decisions on almost immediately. We know Bam has a decision to make and we do with him. We know the guys that have sacrificed for us that we really like, our free agents, especially Goran."

Jimmy Butler of the Miami Heat reacts during Game Five of the NBA Finals 1:54
Jimmy Butler posted 35 points, 11 assists and 12 rebounds in the Heat's Game Five win over the Lakers

The Heat may have ended up as the surprise of the league this season, with All-NBA player Jimmy Butler's arrival leading a turnaround that saw Miami go from missing the 2019 NBA playoffs to winding up in this season's Finals as a No 5 seed.

Riley raved about what Butler has brought to the Heat, and also lauded coach Erik Spoelstra for doing what he called a masterful job this season.

Join our NBA group on Facebook

Join our NBA group on Facebook

Sign up and join the NBA conversation in our Facebook group

"Spo was the coach of the year, for me," Riley said.

The Heat have long been expected to be a major player in the 2021 free-agent season, when names like two-time NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, two-time NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and many others could potentially choose to hit the market.

Reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo is helped from the court after spraining his ankle in the second quarter of the Bucks' Game 4 win over the Heat 5:55
Mo Mooncey believes if the Bucks bring in a star then Giannis Antetokounmpo will stay, but if they don't, then he could part ways with Milwaukee

What Miami do in this offseason will obviously affect their spending power next year.

"I just think we need to remain fluid," Riley said. "Once we get all the numbers and we get everything down, we get the schedule, we know when the dates are, and what the rules are in everything, once we get all of that, we are going to remain fluid. And whatever presents itself to us, we will look at it."

Get NBA news on your phone

Get NBA news on your phone

Want the latest NBA news, features and highlights on your phone? Find out more

Want to watch even more of the NBA and WNBA but don't have Sky Sports? Get the Sky Sports Action and Arena pack, click here.

Around Sky