The question becomes, “what does Pat Riley have to spend?”
LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade agreed to a framework that gives the Heat president some money to recruit players to join them. PBT heard the Heat were talking $6 million or so when talking to Kings guard Isaiah Thomas (and that may have been less and been the mid-level exception).
That’s not going to be enough to get an All-Star quality player such as Luol Deng, one of the Heat’s top targets but one who isn’t playing at a discount, reports Chris Broussard of ESPN.
The same appears true for Kyle Lowry, a Heat target where the bidding starts at four-years, $48 million and goes up from there. Marc Stein of ESPN:
With what they apparently have to spend, who are the Heat apparently looking at? How about guys such as Shawn Marion, Isaiah Thomas (who may be too expensive), Vince Carter, Marvin Williams, Trevor Ariza, DeJuan Blair, Spencer Hawes, Channing Frye, and Steve Blake.
Not exactly eye popping names. A couple of them with the current Heat core may very well be good enough to get through the Eastern Conference again. Could that team beat the Spurs? Thunder? Clippers?
There’s this kind of hanging expectation that Pat Riley is going to pull a miracle out of his back pocket, but this remains a business. If the money is close then guys start to look at how good the team is, lifestyle, weather and the rest — but only after we talk money.
And the money the big three left Pat Riley may not leave room for a miracle. Maybe some singles and doubles, but not a home run.