How will Dwyane Wade help the Miami Heat? Let Pat Riley explain …

MIAMI — After the 3 p.m. trade deadline, Heat president Pat Riley spoke to the media in a conference call Thursday about acquiring Dwyane Wade and Luke Babbitt. Here’s what Riley had to say …

Miami Heat president Pat Riley and Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra at Miami Heat training camp at FAU in Boca Raton, Florida on September 26, 2017. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

* On how the trade for Wade came together: “This was a relatively short notice situation. I do think there’s at least a couple of weeks of discussion about a lot of things. Andy [Elisburg] and I, when we get to the trading deadline, to the time, we sit around, we hypothesize and put together deals. We try to talk about deals that will work, what kind of ramifications they have for short-term, long-term, tax-wise, etc., etc., etc. and then we start to vet the player and then we begin to put them on the board and then we begin to call, without offering anybody, to find out if there’s any interest. And when you do all this kind of calling and talking and work, that sometimes at the end of the process, when other teams are trying to trade for the same players that you might be interested in, a player like Dwyane’s name will beam up and so this was on short notice. But it’s something that happens all the time when you’re active in the market, listening and talking.”

* Does trading for Wade serve as closure for the messy Heat-Wade divorce in 2016?: “For all of you who know me, I’ll just read you this: ‘Warriors don’t live in the past. The past is dead, life is now and the future is waiting.’ Based on what happened with Dwyane and us the last couple years, there’s no bitterness and there’s no regrets. We’re moving forward. We’ve always talked about that. Micky is very pro Dwyane, Nick is very pro Dwyane, coach Spo is very pro Dwyane and I am. It was a sad day when Wade left and it’s a beautiful day now that he’s back. I do believe he has his work cut out for him because I’m not so sure that in the last two stops that he might not be in Miami Heat conditioning. But we have enough time to get him up to speed on that. So no, there’s no hangovers here at all. And I’m just glad that we can get him because as I mentioned earlier, it’s about now, it’s about today, it’s about tomorrow, it’s about the next couple of months, it’s about competing for a favorable playoff spot or even just to get into the playoffs. That’s what this is about, and I couldn’t think of a better player to bring in here without having to give up a lot of assets or young assets and be able to get Dwyane back to help us in that role. I think it was a very good deal for us.”

* Riley has been in communication with Wade since the trade was made: “I talked directly to Dwyane via text and also via my own raspy voice. And I said to him, ‘You just ate your last meal of pancakes with syrup and with whip cream and strawberries on top. We’re back to veggies.’”

* On where Wade fits in with the current Heat roster: “Well, once Dion went down, we felt a real need to do something at that spot with a front-line player. The cost of a front-line player was too expensive for us from the standpoint of them asking us for one of our young players that we don’t want to trade. So, I would probably say Dwyane will be coming off the bench, Josh will be at the three. I’m going to leave this up to Spo. We haven’t talked a lot about lineups. What Dwyane has done over the last couple years, there’s still things he can do from an offensive standpoint. He can get to the rim. He can make plays. And he can make shots. He has an uncanny ability to do that when the pressure is put on him, not a second or third option. He’s going to have to gear himself up a little bit more to that situation. He still has a lot left in the tank and I’m excited about that. I’m going to leave that up there, Spo can work it out. Right now, with Dion out and Dwyane back, he’s a perfect fit for our team. Tyler has done a great job for us. He hasn’t been the same since his ankle injury. Putting him in a starting role has been a lot for him. I think he’s done a great job. But we get back to somewhat of a normalcy with these changes.

“All of us have to realize he’s not Dwyane Wade of 2006 against Dallas. He’s a facsimile of that. Being in Chicago, the fact that he decided to come off the bench in Cleveland has minimized and also limited his opportunities to do certain things that he’s always been capable of doing. So I would imagine he would morph right back into the role of being a front-line scorer for us, a crunch-time scorer for us, a defender on the ball in need situations. You just take a look at his numbers across the board. … He can still play and he can play in a lot of areas, getting to the rim, getting to the free throw line, creating plays for bigs, he’s still great in the open court. There’s something about Dwyane at the end of games that is unique and special. I don’t think you lose that. I think over the next couple of weeks as he gets re-indoctrinated back into our system, gets himself beck into that kind of condition mentally and physically, he may be a go-to guy for us at the end of the game.”

* Riley expects Wade to play in Friday’s home game against the Bucks. He’s expected to arrive in Miami on Thursday night.

* Riley on acquiring Luke Babbitt from the Hawks for Okaro White: “Well, we liked Luke. We wanted to sign Luke again last summer but really ran out of roster spots. Spo loves Luke and loved the fact that he spaces the floor. He’s a no-nonsense player. When you take a look at his numbers from 3-point range this year even though it’s a small sample size or a smaller sample size, from all areas of the court he’s above average and I think way above average. Of a lot of the guys that were traded today, he was the very best 3-point shooter out there. So we’ve been talking about Luke and others for a while.”

* Riley on where the Heat stand: “I think we are a playoff team. I thought we had broken through a couple weeks ago and started to solder games and become a little more consistent in certain areas. There’s no doubt the last 10 games have been a downer for a lot of us — a lot of close games we weren’t able to finish, a lack of inconsistencies on both ends of the court that I think can be corrected. We have a team that’s pure, that wants to win big time and put a little more pressure on themselves that we need to. I do think moving forward, we have a tough schedule ahead of us with Milwaukee, Toronto and Philly on the road before we come back. So it’s going to be tough. But there’s six or seven teams just like us all frothing at the mouth and we want us. I think teams like us that are fighting to get into the playoffs, any of us that get in there are going to be formidable and I think the teams at the top know that.”

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