Erik Spoelstra could be the next Miami Heat GM the moment Pat Riley steps down from his front office job. In a podcast interview with Adrian Wojnarowski of the Vertical of Yahoo Sports, Spoelstra expressed his desire to fill the void to be left by his mentor if he decides to quit his executive role with the Heat. Spoelstra, who views himself as a disciple of Riley, will not think twice in terms of grabbing the position, although his mentor’s retirement is not imminent.

“The short answer would be, I’m a Pat Riley disciple. He’s always pushed me and nurtured me for the next step,” said Spoelstra, who led the Heat to two NBA championships since taking the head coaching job from Riley in 2008.

FA Update on Dion Waiters, James Johnson

It looks like Waiters and Johnson would have to sign short-term deals if they want to stay with the Heat next season. Ira Winderman of Sun Sentinel reported that the Heat’s limited cap flexibility could hinder any long-term commitment this offseason. However, the Heat are very much interested in re-signing Waiters and Johnson, who both outperformed their contracts last season.

“So, yes, the preference would be short deals that would get James Johnson and Waiters to their Heat Bird Rights (more on that below). But that's the Heat preference," said Winderman, who stressed that these two players are unlikely to accept bargain deals unless Riley changes their perspective.

After subpar seasons in Cleveland and Oklahoma, Waiters put up his best statistical year with the Heat, as he averaged 15.8 points on 42 percent FG shooting and 39 percent from beyond the arc. He also tallied 3.3 rebounds and 4.3 dimes in 30 minutes per game.

Johnson, on the other hand, averaged 12.8 points, 4.9 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game.

Unlike Waiters, Johnson hinted that he would take a paycut to stay in South Beach, but teams are expected to offer him more money this offseason.

Second-tier free agents

The Heat’s cap situation will prevent the team from landing a max-level free agent while retaining their corps at the same time. However, Dan Favale of Bleacher Report thinks the Heat have a better chance getting second-tier free agents to improve their roster.

“Resident free-agent whisperer/team president Pat Riley may decide to set his sights lower. Fixating on second-tier possibilities such as Danilo Gallinari, Joe Ingles and C.J. Miles probably leaves the Heat with enough leftover green to re-sign one of Johnson and Waiters in addition to Reed,” said Favale, who thinks the Heat should resolve the Chris Bosh contract situation first before they set their sights on free agents.

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