This season has been quite a turnaround for the Miami Heat.
After failing to make the playoffs last year, Miami has defied expectations and will be playing in the Eastern Conference Finals. Much of its success can be attributed to how team president Pat Riley has built the team.
Heat legend Dwyane Wade said that for his work this season, Riley should win the Executive of the Year Award.
“Congratulations to them, man, and all those guys for really going out and making something out of what people looked at from the outside as nothing,” Wade said of the Heat in an interview with the Miami Herald. “With drafting Tyler [Herro] at the pick that we had and then with going to get Kendrick Nunn, and understanding you got certain pieces that fit with those pieces. Executive of the Year definitely goes to Riley.”
Last summer, the Heat took a risk by acquiring Jimmy Butler via a sign-and-trade deal. The move has paid dividends as Butler has been instrumental in the team’s rise to the upper echelon of the Eastern Conference.
So far this postseason, Butler is putting up 21.8 points, 5.6 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 2.1 steals per game.
Aside from acquiring the five-time All-Star, the Heat were able to find underrated rookies in Nunn and Herro. Miami’s trade for Jae Crowder and Andre Iguodala back in February has also provided the team valuable role players.