Pat Riley and the Miami Heat are currently in the midst of what figures to be a highly important offseason for the future direction of their franchise following the team's disappointing first round loss to the Boston Celtics in Game 5 of this year's playoffs. While both Jimmy Butler and Terry Rozier were out of the lineup for that series, the reality is that the Heat looked underwhelming all year in 2023-24, putting the pressure on Riley to make a big move this offseason to maximize however many years Butler has left with the franchise.

Despite his reputation as “The Godfather” who established a no-nonsense Heat culture with which the organization has become so associated over the years, Riley is also viewed as one of the most caring figures in the NBA, and recently, former Heat player Brian Grant told a touching story about Riley's loyalty to him and vice versa during his time with the franchise after his tenure with the Portland Trail Blazers

“I had to go through 30 days of basically not doing anything until something cleared and then they could offer me the one year (deal) when 30 days was up,” said Grant, per Legends Lounge with Trill Withers. “…I was saying, I'm going to Miami to sign, and Pat calls me. He says you spoke to your agent? I go, no, he said, give him a call. I think you're gonna like, what we did for him. I said, oh my God, I don't believe this. Right? It's like, Riley doesn't do this for anybody. I mean, he set it up where you get this, you're going to make this amount of money.”

Grant then spoke on his emotions when learning that Riley was essentially turning his 30-day deal into an $86 million contract.

“When I spoke to him and I was telling him, I'm grateful, he goes, you know what? Your loyalty, there's not, there's not a whole lot of loyalty in this league no more. And your loyalty really impressed me. And I watched how you handled yourself during those 30 days he said. Well, we're going to, we're going to get it done. And they got it done,” said Grant.

The story is just another reminder of what a caring figure Riley is in addition to his stern no-nonsense approach to running his franchise.

What should the Heat do?

Miami Heat president Pat Riley speaks during the jersey retirement ceremony for former player Udonis Haslem during halftime of the game between the Miami Heat and the Atlanta Hawks Kaseya Center.
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The Heat right now are faced with more questions than answers as to how they should maximize the remaining years of Jimmy Butler's prime, if any exist (Butler will be 35 next season).

Several names have been thrown around as potential trade targets for the Heat, including Donovan Mitchell of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Trae Young of the Atlanta Hawks, both of whom are coming off of early postseason exits and could theoretically ask out of their respective franchises at any time.

From Miami's perspective, the most obvious “odd man out” name is that of shooting guard Tyler Herro, who struggled mightily in the Celtics series without his co-stars by his side.

In any case, the trade market will open back up once the NBA Finals conclude in late June.