The Miami Heat lost their “Big 3” in the last three seasons and team president Pat Riley admits that it’s time for rebuilding the Florida franchise around the young guys in the team.
“Now, we’re onto rebuilding, really rebuilding, but at the same time coach’s and my attitude is that we want to win. And we don’t know what we really have. But we love Hassan [Whiteside], we love Josh [Richardson] and Justise [Winslow], and Tyler [Johnson] and a lot of the other young players we have,” Riley told the Miami Herald days before the new NBA season opens Tuesday.
“From that standpoint, its wait and let’s see what happens — and then we’ll go from there.”
The Heat open their season against the Orlando Magic on Wednesday, Oct. 26.
Big 3 – LeBron, Wade, Bosh gone
The Heat let go of Dwyane Wade in free agency with their former franchise player choosing to go to the Chicago Bulls because the Heat and Wade couldn’t agree to a contract early in the offseason. The move was lauded as a good one since Riley did not have to pay a player past his prime big money this summer.
Miami spent on their own free agents signing Whiteside and Johnson to large deals this summer and both will be replacing the production of Chris Bosh and Wade on the roster.
The drama with Bosh is not over for the Heat too. Bosh wants to play but team doctors don’t have plans to clear him in returning to play basketball unless his blood clot injury situation improves. Riley also is adamant that Bosh is not part of the Heat’s future and does not expect him to play for Miami again.
LeBron James, the leader of their big three left Miami two years ago to rejoin his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers. This put the Heat and Riley in a tough position the following years as they made the playoffs but just couldn’t contend for a title.
Expect Miami Heat rumors in trade for a star
With Riley’s admission that the Heat is in rebuild mode, their fans have low expectations of the new NBA season. Dragic and Whiteside will be the new stars for the team with their “Big 3” now all gone.
Miami will be part of the NBA rumors section for most of the season as they are expected to reach out to other teams to acquire another star or be active in free agency in the upcoming offseason to help their rebuild.
Photo courtesy: Keith Allison/Wikimedia Commons