Windhorst: I Think Heat 'Will Be Hunters' for Star Player During 2022 NBA Offseason

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIJune 8, 2022

Miami Heat NBA basketball team president Pat Riley laughs as he speaks during his postseason news conference, Monday, June 6, 2022, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee

ESPN's Brian Windhorst said on the Rich Eisen Show Wednesday that he believes the Miami Heat will be aggressive this offseason as they look to improve upon a 53-win team that finished as the Eastern Conference's runner-up (2:00 mark).

" ... They will hunt whoever becomes available, and so we figure today your next question is, 'Well, who's available?' Somebody will be coming available, whether it happens within the next two weeks or whether it happens within six months, Pat Riley will always hunt stars who will want to be in Miami, and they have a good team, and they have good pieces ... "

He later added (3:03): "I think they will be hunters. I do not think they will be satisfied with running it back. We'll see what opportunities may open themselves in the next couple of months."

The Heat took first in the Eastern Conference standings and defeated the Atlanta Hawks and Philadelphia 76ers in the playoffs before losing to the Boston Celtics in seven games in the Conference Finals.

They nearly upended the Celtics in a near-comeback victory in Game 7 but ultimately fell just short. It was a good effort, especially considering that second-leading scorer Tyler Herro was held to just 78 minutes over four games with a groin injury.

Miami should be in the thick of the Eastern Conference race yet again next season, but the East is brutally tough with superstars Giannis Antetokounmpo, Joel Embiid, Kevin Durant and Jayson Tatum always giving their teams a chance.

The Heat have a superstar of their own in Jimmy Butler, who nearly put the team on his back to the NBA Finals. It didn't happen, but the pieces are in place (Herro, Bam Adebayo, Kyle Lowry, etc.) for another run.

The Heat made a big splash last offseason by signing Lowry, a six-time All-Star point guard, to a three-year, $85 million contract. He was a catalyst for Miami's improvement from sixth to first last year.

But Riley and the Heat could apparently be looking to make more moves as they search for a return trip to the NBA Finals after making it in 2020.