The NBA’s free agent frenzy begins Saturday morning, July 1st, at midnight.
Forward Gordon Hayward of Utah will be among the top draws to hit the open market. Miami’s Pat Riley will reportedly have the first meeting with Hayward on Saturday.
Riley has a history of making a big splash this time of year. Will the Heat’s ‘Godfather’ be able to convince Hayward to take his talents to South Beach? Would Hayward’s addition make the Heat a contender?
WQAM’s hosts weigh in.
Joe Rose: “Hayward meets with Miami first, but we’ll find out what’s most important for him: the money he can get from Utah, playing for his former coach Brad Stevens in Boston, or whatever Riley has to say to him.”
Zach Krantz: “With Pat Riley, I still like my chances in that meeting. Even though Miami can’t pay Hayward as much as Utah, and we don’t have his former college head coach, we’ve got Pat Riley to leave in a room with Hayward for an hour. I like my chances.”
To hear more free agency primer from The Joe Rose Show, check out the audio page.
Orlando Alzugaray: “After thinking about it for a long time and seeing all the options, I want Hayward. When speaking to Tony Jones – who covers Hayward for the Salt Lake Tribune – he initially thought the same thing I did a year ago: that Gordon wasn’t a max player. But Jones and I watched over the past year as Hayward raised his level to that of a max player. I would go for Gordon Hayward over all the other options out there.”
Listen to all of Big O’s rants here
Marc Hochman: “I’d love to see Gordon Hayward in Miami. I’d love to see Carmelo here too, to be honest. Anyone who’s considered to be a top notch free agent – I want them here. But do I think Gordon Hayward makes the Heat a top four team in the East? No.”
Check out more of Hoch and Channing Crowder’s sports takes
Alex Donno: “Hayward doesn’t just score. He plays defense. This is a ‘Pat Riley player.’ Riley is foaming at the mouth to make a splash here. Hayward doesn’t make the Heat a champion but he makes them better. After losing LeBron and Wade and failing to lure KD, Riley wants to show the world he’s still the Godfather.”
Listen to more from Donno at his audio page