Riley, Heat eyeing playoffs, free-agent class of 2020
While a lot of free-agent prizes are eligible to hit the market this summer, Miami Heat president Pat Riley has his eyes set on 2020.
“In 2020, we’ll have a lot of room,” Riley said in interview with Heat reporter Jason Jackson. “We’ll also have the possibility to have enough room to go after two max contracts, and we’re going to do that. So we’re planning that 2020 will be the room year.”
This year, everyone from Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant to Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard to Boston Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving are expected to enter free agency.
None have been linked to the Heat. But that's not to say Riley will ignore this summer.
“We’re chasing a playoff spot and we’re young, and then we’re going to be chasing some players that could come in,” Riley said, via the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. “If we could get one or two players to come in with this group, this young group, then I think the sky’s the limit for this team in the next couple of years.”
The Heat are coming off a 1267-125 home win over the Warriors off a miraculous banked-in 3-pointer at the buzzer from Dwyane Wade. They are in eighth place in the Eastern Conference -- but just a half-game back of the No. 8 Charlotte Hornets.
Make no mistake, they want to make the postseason.
"It's absolutely essential that they grow with experience, but not only experience with the playing time, but they get to the playoffs," Riley said of the younger players. "And they can experience in the playoffs maybe something that could get them to another level. You make your mark when you get to the playoffs."