One day after losing LeBron James to the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Miami Heat are continuing to respond like champions. Instead of going into full-on rebuild mode, Pat Riley is doing his best to keep the Heat atop the Eastern Conference. It started Friday with the re-signing of Chris Bosh, and it’s continuing on Saturday with the possible signing of Luol Deng.
Miami’s pursuing free agent Luol Deng with an offer near $10 million per season, on a short deal, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 13, 2014
Miami appears to be the front-runner for the veteran forward at this point. The Washington Wizards were also said to be interested in him to replace Trevor Ariza, but they don’t have the money he’s seeking. Deng’s magic number is rumored to be at $10 million per season, so a partnership with the Heat could just be hours away.
It’s also a pretty safe bet that Dwyane Wade will return to South Beach next season and beyond. So even with the loss of LBJ, the Heat are in decent shape in the weak EC. It’s not like the Cavs are just automatically going to be better than the rest with the addition of James. Many other things will have to fall in place before you can call them the true EC favorites.
Shame on those Miami fans who jumped off the bandwagon after four straight trips to the Finals. Riley is retooling the team just like he said he would. The loss of LeBron was a huge hit, but as of now the Heat are still very much a top-tier EC team, with more moves sure to come.