It has become a ritual of summer.
With limited resources, due to a maxed-out salary cap and increasing luxury tax penalties, Pat Riley has managed to add an attractive piece to the Miami Heat at a lower price than others were offering.
In 2011, it was Shane Battier, the ultimate glue guy, who shunned several suitors (including the Oklahoma City Thunder) because Riley was offering not only a chance for a championship, but also a third year. Battier ended up starting in the 2012 NBA Finals victory against the Thunder.
In 2012, it was Ray Allen, one of the all-time elite shooters, who ditched the Boston Celtics, and turned down the Memphis Grizzlies, to take a sixth man role. Allen went on to hit one of the biggest shots in NBA history, sending Game 6 of the 2013 NBA Finals to overtime.
In 2013, it is Greg Oden, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2007 NBA draft, who was pursued by six teams but decided Miami was the ideal place to resume his rehabilitation.
Earlier in the summer, Riley downplayed his role in Miami's success:
I’ve been apart of nine championship teams I’ve been lucky, very fortunate, I say that with great humility to be part of the Lakers and the Heat, those are the two teams that these championships have come from, two great organizations, two great owners who are willing to win and do whatever it takes to win.
That's true. But you still need to close. And that, Riley repeatedly does.
That's evident in the fact that the three aforementioned offseasons don't rank in the top five for Riley since Micky Arison pulled him away from the New York Knicks in 1995.
Nor does his free-agent pull of 2000 (Eddie Jones, Brian Grant), which blew up when Alonzo Mourning got sick. Nor does his drafting of Caron Butler at No. 10 overall in 2002, though that worked out rather well.
The top five follow.
(All quotes for this piece were collected through the course of the author's coverage of the Miami Heat for The Palm Beach Post.)