May. 29, 2020
Why the Miami Heat have a bright future
Regardless of how the 2019-2020 NBA season ends, one thing remains clear, the Miami Heat have one of the brightest futures in the NBA. In this article, I'll give you four reasons the Heat will return to the top of the NBA standings in the near future.
1.) Jimmy Butler
Since losing LeBron James in free agency, the Heat haven't had a star player in their prime. Enter, Jimmy Butler. Butler came to Miami after the 76ers in free agency last year. Before this season, the Heat had been a mediocre team because of their inability to score points and close out games. A lot of that can be chalked up the lack of a star player. With the addition of Butler, the Heat stand at 41-24 and 4th in the Eastern Conference. Butler seems to fit in perfectly with the Miami culture. Some might not think of Butler as a leader but under the right system in Miami, he's showing his leadership qualities. Butler adds great defense, good offense, and a guy who can close games in the 4th quarter.
Not only does Butler make the Heat team better on the court, but he makes them a more attractive destination in free agency. Star players want to play with star players. Butler gives you that recruiting pitch.
The Miami Heat have a good young core. Bam Adebayo, Tyler Herro, Derrick Jones Jr., and Kendrick Nunn are all under the age of 25. Sharpshooter Duncan Robinson is just 26. Bam Adebayo is already an all-star and Tyler Herro showed great flashes in his rookie year.
You could look at the young talent in two ways: 1.) The young core offers you great building blocks for the future. You bet that Adebayo and Herro become stars and that guys like Nunn and Jones Jr. have long successful NBA careers. OR 2.) You trade some of the young core to get stars to win now. At this point, I think Adebayo is pretty much untouchable but the rest of the guys could become trade chips at some point. Regardless, the Heat are in a good place with young talent.
3.) Front Office and the Coaching Staff
Yes, Pat Riley made some questionable moves in the summer of 2017. Signing guys like James Johnson and Dion Waiters to four-year deals was a huge mistake. But Riley is the godfather for a reason. We've heard Riley himself say he's trying to build one last superteam in Miami. Riley still has tons of respect around the league between players and agents. The Heat got in the room with countless star free agents the past few years with zero cap space. Freeing up cap space and getting Butler to the Heat are some of Riley's latest accomplishments. Riley can still pull off big trades and bring stars to Miami.
The stability in the Miami organization also makes it an attractive free-agent destination. Between Riley and Erik Spoelstra, the Heat are a good example of a well-built organization. Speaking of Spoelstra, I believe he's an underrated coach. The Heat's ability to develop young players is an underrated aspect of the coaching staff.
4.) Cap Space
The biggest reason the Heat will rise to the top of the NBA again is because they finally have cap space. I don't think a Miami team with cap space has a hard time getting a few star players. All three of the reasons above will draw star players, but Miami also offers great weather and no personal income tax. The Heat will have some cap space this offseason, but the 2021 offseason is the one to keep an eye on. The Heat will have a lot of cap space and the free-agent class is loaded.
It will be interesting to see what the Heat can pull off in the next couple years. Let me know what you think about the Heat's future.