Heat Notes: Riley, Waiters, free agency

Pat Riley of the Heat says the team is primed to move up the Eastern Conference playoff ladder.

Pat Riley has a grand idea to cure tanking, also known as the concept of losing on purpose for a better draft pick.

“What I’d like to have is a two-out-of-three lottery playoff,” the Heat president said, via the Miami Herald. “So the season ends on Tuesday, the playoffs start on Sunday, and from Wednesday to Saturday, the lottery teams play a tournament for the pick. Now, that’ll stop all that [garbage], of guys tanking and all that stuff. So the 14th team and the first team, there’s equality here now. So no more tanking in the end.”

Commissioner Adam Silver and the NBA have long talked about revamping the lottery, but the league has continued on with its ping-pong ball system.

Riley isn’t the first to come up with a playoff-format suggestion that awards the winner the No. 1 overall draft pick. And maybe if enough people suggest it, it will actually come into play.

“Maybe it’s a one game,” Riley said. “I think you’d draw a tremendous amount of fans and great interest. But because of the way it has been for long, the history of the lottery, is that people would go crazy, they won’t get used to it. So play for it. Let’s have a little playoff for the top pick in the draft, instead of working on ping-pong balls and all that stuff. ”

Here’s more out of Miami:

  • Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald suggests the Heat are more likely to land their next big star via trade than in free agency. While LeBron James thanked Miami for the memories in an Instagram post, the Heat don’t expect a return. Other 2018 free agents such as Carmelo AnthonyIsaiah ThomasChris PaulPaul GeorgeDeMarcus Cousins and DeAndre Jordan are unlikely to be pursued for a variety of reasons. According to Jackson, a more relaistic candidate: Russell Westbrook, who may or may not remain with Oklahoma City, depending on what George does.
  • Dion Waiters just signed his new four-year contract with the team and is already recruiting help. The target: No less than Dwyane Wade. Waiters and Wade had an exchange on twitter that got fans talking, with Waiters basically telling Wade to come back to the organization. Of course, Wade just signed a large deal with the Chicago Bulls — but some are speculating a buyout will take place before mid-season. If that happens, Wade’s top two destinations are speculated as being Miami, with Waiters, or Cleveland, with James.