Miami Heat president Pat Riley met with the media on Saturday to discuss topics including Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade.
It has been a tremendously busy offseason for Riley and the Heat. After chasing Kevin Durant and re-signing Hassan Whiteside, Miami saw a franchise player in Wade depart.
"Obviously we've had a tough summer. Period," Riley said near the start of his news conference.
It has been reported that Wade and Riley did not speak even once during contract negotiations. Wade met with owner Micky Arison instead and ultimately took a deal with the Chicago Bulls. That contract ended Wade's 13-year career with the Heat.
"My responsibility to make it happen. I didn't make it happen. I have great regret that I didn't immerse myself in it," said Riley.
While it is likely that Miami will pay tribute to Wade during the season and at the end of his NBA career, there is no question that this new contract changes some future plans. No longer can Wade or the team refer to the All-Star as a "Heat Lifer". Wade will also not go down in history as the longest tenured Miami player. That title is now held by Udonis Haslem who will enter his 14th year with the Heat next season.
"I'm gonna miss what I might have had planned for (Wade) and his future and how I saw the end going for him," Riley added.
In terms of Bosh, Riley didn't provide much new news. The big man is still a question mark heading into next season. A blood clot issue is derailed Bosh's career and the team simply can not count on big minutes from Bosh at this time.
"I know Chris wants to play, and we would be open to that. But this is still fluid. There's not an answer," said Riley.
With the loss of Luol Deng and Joe Johnson this off-season, the Heat find themselves needing a new starting forward. This need is even more evident if Bosh can't play. That points to Justise Winslow getting the nod in only his second season in the NBA.
"Are we ready for Justise Winslow to start at the 3? I am," an emphatic Riley stated.
When Deng was offered a deal from the Los Angeles Lakers, the Heat were still hopeful of signing Wade and even Durant. That made the task of matching or beating an offer on Deng nearly impossible. The Lakers ended up giving Deng a contract that was simply too pricey for Miami's plans.
"When Lu told us he was getting $72M, there was no way-- That train left the station," said Riley on the Deng situation.
Without Wade and the aforementioned other veterans, Miami could take a step back next season. Riley believes the team still has enough talent to make the playoffs however.
"I don't think there's any doubt that we can compete for a playoff spot," Riley added.
The Heat have 17 players on their roster, but more offseason moves remain possible.