Pat Riley Rumors
Thursday, on an ESPN conference call previewing the network’s coverage of the draft, when asked about the Heat’s scant number of future draft picks because of previous deals, draft analyst Fran Fraschilla warned of not confusing safest pick with best available. “I think at 14, when you’re picking at 14, it’s my feeling that unless you have valued two players almost equally, that you’re best taking the best player possible, regardless of the position,” the former coach at Manhattan, St. John’s and New Mexico said. “Even if they are stacked in the backcourt, let’s say, for example, I just think at 14, it’s not about — to me it’s not about safe or risk. It’s about who you value that you think long-term is going to be the best NBA player.”
Now, 22 years and four make overs later, Mourning, the organization’s vice president, is confident Riley will succeed once again as the Heat officially move on from the Big 3 era. “This is going to be even more special,” Mourning told the Palm Beach Post. “I think this is going to be even more special considering how it all fell apart,” Mourning continued, referencing the departures of LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh’s health.
But Mourning is confident Riley will find the right combination for the Heat to be back near the top of the conference, regardless of the quality of the free agent class. And one reason is what he is witnessing this off season. “There’s enough out there to make it work,” he said. “It’s enough out there to get us back again. Listen, this team and the pieces that we have, the coaching staff, the culture that we have, the mentality of the guys coming here. … unseen before guys coming in this early this summer.