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Pat Riley says Miami Heat will prioritize Wayne Ellington re-signing

Pat Riley, Wayne Ellington

The Miami Heat will be looking to add, not subtract personnel this offseason, looking to build with their current pieces. Among them is marksman Wayne Ellington, who became the franchise’s all-time single season leader in 3-pointers after railing eight of them in a season finale win over the first-place Toronto Raptors.

President Pat Riley promised to prioritize his return upon his exit interviews, noting his importance as a contemporary player that fits the system well.

“We need to give that some thought. There’s no doubt that we want him back,” said Riley, according to Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. “It’s how do we get him back and deal with that… threshold. The tax threshold. If we signed Wayne, OK, next year and he takes us into the tax, then that guy right over there [Riley pointed to GM Andy Elisburg] has 15 months to get us out.”

Despite the risk involved flirting with the salary cap, Riley doubled down in his desire to re-sign the North Carolina product as an integral part of this Heat bench.

“But we want to sign, we would love to sign Wayne back,” said Riley. “He is pure Heat. He’s a hell of a player. He’s a contemporary player. He’s still young. And I think probably a little bit of what happened with Wayne in the playoffs and also maybe toward the end of the season with the exception of that last Toronto game – God, eight 3s – is you see that. You definitely are going to prioritize him and then we’ll have to work that out. We’re in a currency-trading situation here.”

Riley signed five players to multi-year deals last offseason, giving Dion Waiters and Kelly Olynyk to four-year contracts, while James Johnson, Josh Richardson, and Rodney McGruder received three-year pacts of their own.

Ellington’s addition as the team’s sharpshooter boded well for a team sustaining plenty of injuries throughout the season, but it’ll have to come at the right price if the Heat aren’t looking to sacrifice any of their prior investments.