Pat Riley ‘Happy Right Now’ With One Star, Has ‘Shown Restraint’ With Targeting Others

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Miami Heat team president Pat Riley has continually looked for ways to improve his team, a search that included the offseason deal to acquire Jimmy Butler.

Yet, despite persistent rumors of trades for big names like Chris Paul and Bradley Beal, Riley appears content to enter the 2019-20 season with Butler as his lone star.

Riley spoke to the media recently and offered his opinions on different topics, though he offered no predictions for the upcoming campaign. However, he left open the possibility of a deal at some point during the season.

“I’m happy right now,” Riley said. “The fact that Jimmy Butler wanted to come play in Miami, that’s a start. … As far as getting somebody else, we’re going to go to training camp with the team [we have], and I think we showed restraint as much as we can, and as much discipline as we can with our roster. But if something presents itself, then we’ll always take a look at it.”

One of the reasons that Riley is catching his breath in such trade discussions is that previous attempts to deal for either Paul, Beal or both players, have come up short. A key reason has largely been due to the fact that acquiring such quality veterans would require the Heat to give up some of their young, talented players. In addition, trying to work within the constraints of the team’s salary cap remains a challenge.

That latter situation will change when the annual free-agency period arrives next year, since some large Heat contracts will come off the books. It will allow for some greater flexibility when it comes to bringing in key players for the future, though a real free agent push could be held off until 2021.

Riley has never been the type to patiently wait for a team to develop. That past history means that making a trade is his best way to speed up that development, especially if the chances of obtaining Paul, Beal or any other top player improves.

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Brad Sullivan is a freelance writer for, having been an avid fan of NBA basketball for more than four decades. During that time, he's watched the Heat evolve from gestation period to expansion team all the way to three-time NBA champions. He'll follow their quest toward again reaching those lofty heights, and do so by offering some perspective along the way.