Pat Riley Rumors
Tyler Johnson: “I remember [Pat] Riley telling us after the trade deadline he wanted to keep the team together just to give us a chance. He wanted to give us the opportunity to compete and try to make the playoffs. Obviously we fell short of that goal. But with the way that team was headed and the way we bonded and the way things have been going this summer, all I was hoping for during free agency was that we brought back the guys who were in the trenches last year.”
“It is a great, great, day to have Udonis Haslem sign a contract for his 15th season with the Miami Heat,” Heat president Pat Riley said in a statement released by the team. “He isn’t just Mr. 305, he is a true patriarch of the team. Today we are proud to announce that he is back to lead the Heat again.”
With Haslem signed, the Heat has 14 players on the roster and only one open spot left to fill. The team still owns its $4.3 mid-level tax exception, something Riley said the team would likely hold onto.
It wasn’t easy, though, as the Heat faced a July 7 deadline to make a decision on Ellington and barely had enough salary cap space to bring him back. To create enough room for Ellington’s $6.3 million salary, Miami traded away Josh McRoberts and shaved off additional money from the cap hits of Waiters and Olynyk by including bonuses in their contracts that don’t count against the team’s salary cap. “I was just patient and relaxed, honestly, because I understand at the end of the day that I had to listen to what Pat told me and I had faith in that,” Ellington said Tuesday during an appearance at the Heat’s summer youth basketball camp at Nova High School.
Pat Riley is thinking outside the box – way outside the box – when it comes to tanking. Riley recently was asked about seeding teams 1 through 16, regardless of conference, for the postseason, an idea that has been floated because the number of stacked teams in the West has caused an imbalance between the two conferences. “One through 16, whatever they want do to with that, yes,” he said. “It’s workable.”
Riley’s proposal: A four-day postseason tournament in which 14 lottery teams participate to determine the draft order. The deeper a team goes the higher the pick and the team that wins the tournament gets the first pick. He is calling it a “lottery playoff.”