The 2019-20 Heat squad will go down as one of the best storylines of their storied franchise. Erik Spoelstra has made the most out of a bunch of “misfits,” and turned them into a relentless group of tough, gritty personalities on and off the court.
In terms of the highly-quoted “Heat Culture,” there is no doubt that Pat Riley and the Miami organization have built over the years. Jimmy Butler became one of the best leaders in the league, Bam Adebayo grew into an All-Star, and the team’s young talented players now have a Finals appearance in their resume.
But the East will be stacked again next season, especially with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving returning to full strength for the Brooklyn Nets. The good thing for South Beach fans is that their favorite team is built on sustainable success, especially if they prioritize these moves in the upcoming offseason.
Sign Dragic and Crowder to one-year deals
It’s not a secret that the Heat has already set their sights on potentially signing Giannis Antetokounmpo in 2021. But until then, they have two key cogs who will enter unrestricted free agency this year. Goran Dragic and Jae Crowder have been instrumental in what the Heat does. As they prepare to snag Giannis next summer, the team could offer massive one-year contracts to these two veterans.
Of course, it remains to be seen if Dragic or Crowder will agree to this set-up. Goran is already 34 years old, and he might want to lock up a long-term deal before his performance drastically declines. As for Crowder, his elite versatility on both offense and defense should be rewarded with a huge pay check from any interested contending team.
Riley will have to work his magic on this one and try his best to retain the Heat’s core for next season.
Don’t go hungry for another star
People vastly overlook the fact that Miami already has two All-Stars. There are tons of on-going speculations that the Heat will probably trade for Victor Oladipo or Bradley Beal, and people will continue to ramble about Riley’s inclination towards attracting multiple stars.
Yet, Miami doesn’t need another star to make another championship run. Despite notching his first All-Star appearance, Adebayo is still underrated because he is not the type of scoring big man who could always dominate with his offense. But in today’s positionless basketball, there’s no question that Bam is poised to be a superstar down the road.
Continue to add versatile defenders
Assuming that Crowder decides it’s better for his career to sign a long-term deal with another team, the Heat has to replace him with another excellent 3-and-D swingman. They have secured Andre Iguodala with a two-year deal, but Iggy’s impact on the game is already declining. Derrick Jones Jr. could also be a re-signing priority when Crowder leaves, but Jones’ inability to put up a consistent three-point shot limits his playing time.
Jerami Grant could be an intriguing catch for the Heat in free agency, but the question lies on how much money Grant’s camp will demand, especially considering that the Heat only has little financial flexibility left.