The voices of doubt crept into Heat territory after a few lackluster off-seasons.
Questioning of the Riley way.
Dismissal of Heat Culture as a burden not a springboard.
Those voices now must remain quiet, in order to catch their breath.
This team was deemed unsalvageable and lost by local and national media alike.
Now they have done this.
Pat Riley just pulled off the absolutely impossible.https://t.co/ZsT06sAS4i
— Five Reasons Sports Network (@5ReasonsSports) July 1, 2019
The mutual interests of Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat were an open secret.
In seasons past that smoke would not turn into fire.
Miami did their best to lure free agents such as Gordon Hayward to Heat Nation.
They just had something missing.
Fast forward to the present and Butler used his leverage to get out of Philly, despite new reports he had a 5-year max offer.
I’m told that Jimmy Butler did receive the 5-year full max offer from Philly and he turned it down to go to Miami. https://t.co/RqmYcHLD8c
— Tom Haberstroh (@tomhaberstroh) July 1, 2019
Butler wanted to be the number one guy, rightfully so.
The Heat needed that exact piece and made it happen.
Dallas did not want to add Goran Dragic, instead vying for Derick Jones, Jr and Kelly Olynyk.
Meanwhile, J-Rich was already ditching Heat Culture for some cheese steaks (there’s a joke in here somewhere).
Where da cheesesteaks.?
— Josuélito (@J_Rich1) July 1, 2019
In the end it will be mostly forgotten, a slightly embarrassing footnote to an otherwise fantastic deal.
Within the same deal and lost in the Butler frenzy is a trade that Heat fans have been longing for since 2016.
Miami dealt Hassan Whiteside to Portland for Meyers Leonard and Mo Harkless.
They then flipped Harkless and a future first rounder to the Clippers to free up cap space for Butler.
Andy Elisburg is still the GOAT.
Dallas might regret losing Dragic, and he will be perfect for the same role next year as last.
If he isn’t traded next.
— Greg Sylvander (@Lefty_Leif) July 1, 2019
Regardless, the Heat have returned to relevance quickly, shedding bloat and keeping the young core mostly intact.
And they may not be done.