The departure of LeBron James in the summer of 2014 took away the Miami Heat’s status as a legitimate title contender in the Eastern Conference. In the last four seasons, the Heat have been in and out of the postseason, and their greatest achievement was reaching the second round. However, Heat President Pat Riley made it clear that they don’t intend to remain as one of the mediocre teams in the league for long.
In a recent interview with Jason Jackson of NBA.com, Pat Riley revealed that the Heat will be aggressive in pursuing at least two superstars in the free agency market in the summer of 2020.
“In 2020, we’ll have a lot of room,” Riley said. “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.”
By the end of the 2019-20 NBA season, most of the Heat players who signed lucrative deals, including Hassan Whiteside and Goran Dragic, will come off the books, enabling Miami to become major players in the 2020 NBA offseason. The 2020 NBA free agency is expected to feature several NBA superstars, including Anthony Davis, Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, Gordon Hayward, Andre Drummond, and Danilo Gallinari. Kyrie Irving, Kawhi Leonard, Kevin Durant, Jimmy Butler, and Marc Gasol could also join the 2020 NBA free agency class provided that they play the final year of their current contracts or sign a two-year deal with a player option next summer.
With the emergence of numerous superteams, Pat Riley knows they need to acquire at least two superstars in order to have a chance of returning to title contention. However, despite not having the salary cap flexibility, Riley and the Heat will still try to find ways to boost their roster next summer, according to South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
“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. “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.”
Riley may have already started talking about the 2019 and 2020 NBA free agency, but that doesn’t mean that they are no longer aiming to earn a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference this season. The Heat recently secured an incredible 126-125 victory over the reigning NBA champion Golden State Warriors, after Dwyane Wade hit a three-pointer at the buzzer. The Heat are currently sitting in the No. 10 spot in the Eastern Conference, only one win behind the No. 8 seed Charlotte Hornets.