While the same sentiment has been stated for the past several seasons, the Miami Heat are in the midst of an integral offseason where they have a lot of work ahead of them if they want to achieve their championship aspirations. With that being said, there are a few crucial needs that the Heat have to handle in the 2024 NBA offseason, some that could be taken care of later this month.

Besides needs, priority is to re-sign Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo

Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (22) and center/forward Bam Adebayo (13) talk before a free-throw shot against the Utah Jazz during the second half at Vivint Arena.
Christopher Creveling-USA TODAY Sports

Since the focus will be on the needs, there will not be a focus on Miami needing to re-sign their big stars like Bam Adebayo, which is bound to happen, but the interest lies with Jimmy Butler. He is seeking a new contract extension this summer, but Heat president Pat Riley was non-committal in his end of season press conference citing player availability as being an aspect the team will hone in on this offseason.

“Well, you know, we don't have to do that for a year and so we have not discussed that internally right now but we have to look at that and then making that kind of commitment,” Riley said.

“Well, I mean, if you request we can either accept or we can say we're going to think about it,” Riley said. “We've not made a decision on it and I think you can make too much out of this. You still got two years left on the contract. Theoretically he's got a player option. But that's something that we have to give some real thought to based on a lot of factors. I don't want to go through the litany of factors right now because they all go up into different hypotheticals, but yeah, that's a big decision on our part to commit those kinds of resources unless your somebody who's really going to be there and available every single night, that's the truth.”

Besides all the speculation that comes with the news about the Heat star, let's put the scenario in that Butler is re-signed along with Adebayo. Here are the needs that Miami must address this offseason:

Pairing a star next to Butler and Adebayo

Cleveland Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell (45) looks to pass the ball as Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (22) and center Bam Adebayo (13) defend in the second half at Miami-Dade Arena.
Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports

If there is one thing that has been proven in the past five years since Butler has been with the Heat, it is that he will bring the team to the NBA Finals. However, it has been a struggle to get over the hump and capture a championship which has resulted in the need for another star to compliment the likes of not just Butler, but also Adebayo.

They almost did it last season with Damian Lillard and was in active trade talks with the Portland Trail Blazers when he requested to be traded to Miami, but he eventually went to the Milwaukee Bucks. This season, there seems to potentially be a bevy of options like possibly Kevin Durant if he decided to request out of the Phoenix Suns, or maybe a reunion with LeBron James if they draft his son Bronny.

While those could be considered far-fetched, one that has been heavily rumored for several years has been surrounding Cleveland Cavaliers star Donovan Mitchell. He would be the perfect acquisition for Miami as they bring in one of the most explosive players in the game which is a need alongside Butler and Adebayo. However, he is not a given as according to Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports, there is a “league-wide expectation” that he re-signs with Cleveland.

“Despite a wealth of interest in both Garland and Allen on the trade market, Cleveland is not expected to entertain trade offers for any member of its core four at this time, sources said, while a league-wide expectation only grows that Mitchell will sign a contract extension with the club that acquired him from Utah back in September 2022,” Fischer wrote.

Other star options for Heat, plus Riley's thoughts on “change” 

Another option that fans might not totally buy into, but could work is Atlanta Hawks' Trae Young who also has been heavily rumored in trade discussions. The talk of splitting Young and teammate Dejounte Murray (another Heat target in the past) has been around since last season where Miami could use a facilitating point guard.

In any sense, fans could be erring on the side of caution as Miami has been unable to deliver on bringing in another established star and “running it back” essentially. As said by Riley during his end of season press conference, he addressed that change is “necessary to win,” but also wanted to say that “we surely are not going to rip anything apart here.”

“Until you change the way you go about doing the things that are necessary to win, whatever they are, those things you're doing to try to win, if they aren't working, you must change,” Riley said. “And so that doesn't mean that change is a sinister word here. There's a lot of elements to go into a culture, erosion of a culture, being together for 30 years, generational change, problems in the NBA that our league wide when it comes to health, comes to players missing games and availability.

“You take a look at all the the young sort of up and coming they haven't tasted it yet; OKC, Minnesota, Indiana, Boston with a new group, Orlando, etc, etc.,” Riley continued. “You know, for some reason these guys are playing 70-80 games. It's a feeling more than anything else. But that's definitely a deep dive for us this summer and to player availability but so we do have to change some things. But we surely are not going to rip anything apart here.”

Plethora of options for Miami in draft, including Zach Edey

Purdue Boilermakers center Zach Edey (15) is announced into the starting lineup ahead of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament Championship game between the Purdue Boilermakers and the Connecticut Huskies, Monday, April 8, 2024, at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz.
Grace Hollars/IndyStar / USA TODAY NETWORK

While bringing in an established star fills in quite possibly the biggest need for the roster, there also some that could be filled when the NBA Draft happens later this month. The two needs that the Heat have for the draft are backcourt depth and possibly adding in size.

When looking at the first need, there are already names attached to Miami as besides the fit being seamless on paper, they have already started workouts as confirmed by the team to ClutchPoints. Some or the names that have showed up on mock drafts that could be solid for the Heat are USC's Isaiah Collier, Duke's Jared McCain, and quite possibly the best “Heat Culture” fit in Providence's Devin Carter.

The one X-factor that could be in play for Miami though that has been a controversial one with fans is Purdue's Zach Edey who won back-to-back Naismith player of the year honors. There is no doubt he adds size that the team has been missing for some time standing in at close to seven-foot, four-inches and weighing in at over 300 pounds according to the NBA, but there could be some issues with fit.

Miami has usually played at fast pace since their starting center is Adebayo who doesn't have the typical measurables at the position, but that has been purposeful. If the goal was to pair Edey along with Adebayo, who would be moved to the four spot, it would for sure slow down the team.

Edey's fit with Miami is questionable

On the other hand, Edey provides Miami with rim-protection and a force in setting screens right from the jump, but the concern lies if he can keep up with NBA-level spacing. Someone that brought up the potential of Edey being a fit with the Heat was ESPN's Jonathan Givony.

“Teams say Edey's range appears to be in the Nos. 9-19 range based on the workouts he has conducted and scheduled. He was with the Toronto Raptors this past week, will visit the Los Angeles Lakers, and is in the conversation at Memphis (9), Utah (10), Chicago (11), Oklahoma City (12), Portland (14) and Miami (15).”

“He sets wide, bruising screens at 7-foot-5, 298 pounds and is an outstanding mark rolling to the paint and catching everything thrown his way with his huge, magnetic hands and 7-foot-11 wingspan,” Givony said in Edey's scouting report. Purdue's small guards would often throw the ball up in the general vicinity of the rim under duress and let Edey go catch it. He understands the art of rescreening if his initial pick doesn't achieve the desired outcome, and has improved his ability to operate out of zoom actions/dribble-handoffs, catch-and-make decisions out of short rolls, or mix-in slips to keep defenses off-balance.”

At any rate, it's safe to say the Heat have a lot on their plate this summer if they want to get back to the NBA Finals and ultimately win their first championship since 2013. Last season, they finished at the eighth seed for the second straight season going 46-36 as they were eliminated in the first round by the Boston Celtics.