MIAMI, Fla. — This may be impossible to process at the moment, with Pat Riley on the sort of hot streak that gets you removed by security thugs by, or without, your thumbs.
But the Heat president hasn’t gotten everything and everyone he’s wanted in every summer while serving as the basketball sultan of South Beach.
He didn’t get Grant Hill or Tracy McGrady in 2000, which is why he settled for Eddie Jones and Brian Grant instead.
He didn’t get Michael Finley in 2005, or Mo Williams in 2007.
He didn’t get Lamar Odom in 2009, even though he had gotten Odom out of Clipper hell six summers before.
These days, however, Riley could sell liberalism to Ann Coulter, conservatism to Michael Moore, and season tickets to the most skeptical Dolphins supporter — which, frankly, is something the fine folks in Davie should recruit him to do.
Riley’s ridiculous recruiting run, one that ensnared
LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Mike Miller in 2010 and Shane Battier in 2011, all at less than market value, continued Tuesday.
It continued with the news that appeared inevitable after he wowed Rashard Lewis with a presentation Sunday afternoon.
Riley has added yet another shooter to his Heat stable.
Lewis agreed to terms on a two-year contract, the first season guaranteed for $1.35 million and the second at his option for $1.4 million.
Lewis is expected to sign the contract Wednesday, the first day free agents can do so, and then share the introductory stage with his former Seattle SuperSonics teammate Ray Allen.
Allen was the primary target for the Heat in free agency, which is why he received the mini-midlevel exception, the largest chip that Riley had to play.
Lewis, however, was in the next group of reasonable options, a group that included Marcus Camby and Grant Hill.
Camby expressed interest in the Heat but canceled his visit as it became clear that Miami lacked the resources to entice Houston to consider a sign-and-trade agreement.
So Camby chose to return to one of his former teams, the Knicks, who were able to give the Rockets some cap and trade flexibility in exchange.
But who knows what would have happened, had Riley gotten Camby in a room and shut the door behind?
Riley’s pitch to Lewis was paved by gold — the gold of others, those who made Lewis quite rich over the years.
Since entering the NBA in 1998, straight out of high school in Texas, Lewis has banked more than $150 million, including the $13.7 million the Hornets gave as a buyout parting gift after acquiring him in a cap-clearing deal with Washington, and before he ever played a game for them.
Lewis’ numbers have declined of late, connecting on just 33.1 percent of his three-point attempts in Washington and Orlando the past two seasons after nailing nearly 40 percent in the 12 prior seasons.
But he’s never been as open as he can expect to be in Miami, spotting up in the corners, waiting for passes from James, Bosh or Dwyane Wade whenever a double-team comes to any in that trio.
His presence gives the Heat two of the eight most prolific three-point shooters (with Allen), and three of the top 24 (including Miller) since the NBA started recording the statistic during the 1979-80 season.
It also means Riley has surrounded his stars with five of the 36 most accurate active three-point shooters in the NBA, with Miller, James Jones, Allen, Lewis and Battier.
And that doesn’t include Mario Chalmers, who made 38.8 percent of his attempts last season — enough to represent the Heat along with Jones in the All-Star Three-Point Shootout.
It should be said here that it’s not certain that both Miller and Jones will be around, available and active. Miller is still at least a longshot candidate for the amnesty clause, which Miami must decide whether to use by July 17, though the greater benefit for such a move would come next summer.
Miller also could be shelved for the season, with the Heat receiving a $2.9 million injury exception, if he elects for surgery for his aching back. Jones hinted at retirement, especially if he was traded or the Heat reduced his role further, but he has since backed off from that sentiment.
Either way, Miami will have so many shooters that team owner Micky Arison could open the doors so the public could watch post-practice shooting contests and probably draw more of a crowd than the fading Marlins will on some Tuesdays this summer.
Of course, no one is on a better shooting roll than Pat Riley, a roll that should have those security thugs coming round any minute.
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