The Miami Heat, coming off their second appearance in the NBA Finals in four seasons, believed for the most of this summer that they would eventually acquire Damian Lillard through trade.
But in the end, the Milwaukee Bucks, one of the Heat’s main rivals in the Eastern Conference, received him from the Portland Trail Blazers.
To make matters worse, the experienced player Jrue Holiday, who the Bucks had sent to Portland in exchange for Lillard, was later dealt to the Heat’s main opponent, the Boston Celtics.
Miami thus enters the 2023–24 season feeling slightly dejected since it doesn’t seem like they have a way to return to the championship series.
However, Howard Beck says that they and their club president Pat Riley still pose a danger to snag another superstar if one becomes available through Dru on Twitter.
Riley, a 78-year-old icon of the sport, has more experience dealing with superstars than any other athlete in any sport.
He was a member of the 1972 Los Angeles Lakers team that won 33 straight games to win the NBA championship together with Wilt Chamberlain and Jerry West. He then led the Lakers to five world championships, including four as their head coach, in the 1980s with Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar at his side.
Riley has had notable players on his team since taking over the Heat in the middle of the 1990s, including Alonzo Mourning, Dwyane Wade, Shaquille O’Neal, LeBron James, and now Jimmy Butler.
They will need to significantly increase their offensive in order to compete with the Milwaukees and Bostons of the East, however, since they finished last in the NBA in scoring last season.