Riley: No one on this team is untouchable
The NBA’s timing decision on when to eliminate the one-and-done rule will significantly affect the Heat, which has its 2020 and 2022 first-round pick but not its 2021 first-round selection.
But the Heat might catch a break.
After initial reports that the rule might be eliminated for the 2021 draft, ESPN’s Jonathan Givonoy reported that teams have been privately told by executives within the league office not to expect a change to the one-and-done rule before the 2022 NBA Draft.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnorowski also has reported the change is more likely to occur in 2022.
Regardless, the Heat did not complain to the league about the possibility of the new draft rules going into effect in 2021, according to a source. And from all indications, Miami hasn’t lobbied the league to institute the rule in 2022 instead.
Miami is the only team that has traded its 2021 first-round pick. No NBA team has traded its 2022 first-round selection.
Players entering their freshman year of high school this year would be the first to benefit from this rule if it takes affect in 2022.
The one-and-done rule went into effect following the 2005 NBA Draft. Ever since, top recruits have been required to spend at least one year in college, despite the fact LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett and others thrived after going to the NBA directly from high school.
The Heat’s first-round pick in 2021 was originally sent to Phoenix in the Goran Dragic deal but was subsequently traded to Philadelphia in a draft day trade in June. The 76ers noted at the time that the pick has particular value because it’s unprotected, meaning Philadelphia would get that pick even if Miami misses the playoffs in the 2020-21 season.
But there’s now a decent chance – but far from certainty – that the Heat will avoid missing out on potentially one of the deepest drafts in NBA history.
THIS AND THAT
▪ So how did NBA All-Stars Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving end up playing pickup games against Heat players on the AmericanAirlines Arena main court last week? They needed a place to play, and their representatives reached out to the Heat, who opened the court to everybody.
Meanwhile, Kevin Love is carrying on a LeBron James tradition and gathering nearly all of the Cleveland Cavaliers’ roster for workouts at UM this week.
▪ The Heat earlier this summer was offered a first-round pick by at least one team in a proposed trade for Josh Richardson, according to a team source.
But the Heat rejected that offer and has no interest in trading Richardson, who this season begins a four-year, $42 million extension.
And though Pat Riley publicly said there are no untouchables on his roster, the Heat also showed no inclination in trading Goran Dragic, Kelly Olynyk and Bam Adebayo. And Miami’s preference this summer was to keep James Johnson and Justise Winslow.
▪ An associate who spoke to Dwyane Wade and one Heat official have been left with the impression Wade prefers to play this season, but issues still need to be resolved, as Greg Cote writes here. Wade now has less that two weeks to finalize any play-or-retire decision before training camp opens Sept. 25.
Wade and wife Gabrielle Union have been vacationing in Napa, California, this week. Wade will be back in Miami on Thursday to open a restaurant with Udonis Haslem.
Meanwhile, Haslem has been recruiting Wade to return.
“My mind-set has always been for us to finish it together,” Haslem told AP’s Tim Reynolds this week. “I want us to do a whole season together. Experience the road, dinner on the road, go through that whole process. I want us to experience that together.”
Wade, upon Haslem’s resigning, tweeted: “You are [the] most selfless person I’ve ever met.”
▪ Haslem, to AP on his decision to return: “It’s about my love for the organization and my love for the guys. It wasn’t about me. If I was looking for playing time, I could have gone someplace else or played in China or something. But at the end of the day, would it have made me as happy as being around this organization and being around these guys? No, I don’t think it would.”