Live updates: What Pat Riley is saying, by the minute, in his annual press conference

Heat president Pat Riley held his one annual news conference on Monday, and no topic was off limits. And usual, there were fireworks.

We will update this every few minutes; please keep checking back. Fresh updates will be placed under the more recent ones.

▪ Riley began the news conference, unprompted, by lamenting the Heat’s problem with game availability issues.

“Until you change the way you go about doing the things that are necessary to win, whatever they are, those things you are doing, if they aren’t working, [they] must change,” Riley said.

“There are a lot of elements that go into a culture, the erosion of a culture, problems in the NBA that are league-wide when it comes to health and players missing games, when it comes to availability.”

He mentioned OKC players play most games, while Heat players don’t.

“That’s a deep dive for us this summer, player availability. We must change some things but we aren’t go to rip anything apart.”

▪ Riley said “here we get eliminated again in the first round. There are things you have to look at. Who moves the needle the most on our team [is] Jimmy. He is an incredible player. What I said about change, is he’s going to have to give some thought for what we really want it to be.”

Translation: Butler must promise he will play more games. He traditionally misses at least 20 every season.

▪ Riley said: “Our organization is not about rebuilding. We will retool to try to make it better. ... Offense and defense, you have to look at.”

▪ Though Butler wants an extension this summer, Riley was non-committal about whether one will be given.

“We don’t have to” extend Butler for a year, Riley said, even though Butler’s camp wants one this summer.

Butler is under contract for two more years, with a player option for 2025-26.

“If he requests [an extension as he will], we can accept or say we’re going to think about it,” Riley said. “We’ve not made a decision about it. We have not discussed that internally.”

The Heat has until June 30, 2025 to decide whether to extend Butler. But if the Heat delays the decision by a year, it’s unclear how Butler would respond.

And then Riley added this when asked about a Butler extension: “Unless you have someone who’s really going to be available every single night.”

That didn’t sound like a good sign regarding a Butler extension this summer, though Riley said no decision has been made.

“It’s a big decision on our part to commit those kinds of resources, unless you have someone who is going to be available every night,” Riley said.

▪ Riley said Butler missing games “was discussed thoroughly” with his agent a year ago. The Heat thought it would improve but it did not.

▪ Asked if he would need to consider a Butler trade if their non Bam Adebayo and, non Butler assets can’t land a star, Riley said no but then said “there are a possibility a lot of things are on the table. It’s not about getting another star. You get another star, your bench gets weaker.”

▪ Riley said: “Going into the tax, and way about the tax, you better be damn right about the guy you’re going to get...There were eight teams in the tax; six are home” after one round. One is the Heat.

▪ Riley said Erik Spoelstra needs “to take a deep dive into the offense and defense.”

▪ Riley said Bam Adebayo needs to continue to improve his game and take it to another level. “He’s an All NBA player.”

▪ Asked if a goal is to cut payroll this offseaon, Riley was non-committal but said they’ll need “to figure out the collataral damage of going over the tax. It’s a business.”

The Heat is $10 million over next season’s tax line without even accounting for Caleb Martin and Haywood Highsmith.

▪ Riley continued to repeatedly bring up games missed; it irks him.

“Give me 72 games; I would take 72 games,” he said of nobody in particular.

▪ Was the culture eroded this year? “No. Is it the way it was 20 years ago? No. It’s not that way anymore, [when] players played 78, 79 games. Did it erode? That’s something we’re going to talk about. And where is the erosion?”

▪ Has the gulf between the Heat and Boston expanded to the point that something dramatic must be done?

“This year, they are, I think, the best team in the league, the best roster in the league. Brad Stevens did a great job of getting [Jrue] Holiday and [Kristaps] Porzingis.”

The Heat tried to get Holiday last September, but Portland liked Boston’s offer more.

▪ Riley, asked about Butler trolling the Celtics on the Internet and in TV interviews when he couldn’t play in the series: “If you’re not on the court playing against Boston or the Knicks,... you should keep your mouth shut in your criticism of those teams.”

Riley said he couldn’t tell if Butler meant it or was trolling: “For him to say that, I thought, is that Jimmy trolling or is that Jimmy serious?”

Butler said the Heat would have beaten Boston if he were healthy and that the Knicks wouldn’t be in the playoffs if he were playing.

▪ On Nikola Jovic and Jaime Jaquez Jr.: “They’re two great pieces for us. We like those two guys a lot.”

On Jovic: “You could see 70 to 80 percent of his game; this guy is going to have some talent. It’s a new way of conditioning for a 20 year ago guy that has to cardio more than anything else. He’s a great athlete. Got great instincts. Unselfish. Good rebounder, coast to coast guy....

“In Jaime, if had not gotten hurt with the groin, he would have played 82 games. He ended up playing 75 games. He’s a proud young warrior that will play every night for you. He hit a wall somewhat with the first groin injury,.. came in and out. That doesn’t help a player.”

▪ He said Tyler Herro Herro “played 42 games. He has been fragile a little bit, broke his hand last year in the playoffs [that sidelined him for nearly all of Miami’s run to the NBA Finals], had injuries earlier in his career....

“His major injuries are real. We hope to get through a season where he’s playing in that 72 to 82 game basis. Maybe one day he will surprise us and play every game. I remember [former Lakers star] James Worthy went through some injuries in his first and second year. It happens sometimes.”

Riley then commended Herro’s work ethic: “There isn’t anyone who works harder at his game. He puts the time in. He puts the time in the weight room. He might need to go to another calorie level [to keep the weight on]. He’s gotten stronger. He’s got to make some adjustments definitely.

“He’s a shot taker and maker. We have to do more to give him that kind of space. But he has to do more to be able to deal with a defense that is committed to stopping you.

“He got overloaded [with Boston’s defense] with [Jrue] Holiday and [Derrick] White and [Jaylen] Brown and [Peyton] Pritchard. They were like, ‘no, not him.’ Anyone else can beat us, but not him and Bam [Adebayo], especially after Game 2,” when Herro had 24 points and 14 assists, his only standout game of the series.

“It’s always going to be about getting stronger and getting your body ready for that kind of physicality,” Riley said.

Does Riley agree with Udonis Haslem that Tyler Herro is better as a sixth man?

“That’s a narrative out there. Tyler is a starter. Is that something you are going to ask a player one day? That’s where a coach has a job to do. ... Whether it be [Herro or Rozier], he may. Whatever is in the best interests of the team. We won’t know until we have everybody available.”

Riley said he told Haslem he shouldn’t have said that on television. “He probably should have kept that to himself. We have one voice and that voice is Erik.”

▪ Regarding Terry Rozier’s neck injury, Riley said: “It’s a process; it takes time. He said he feels good. When you’re dealing with a spine, you’re not going to mess around with it. It’s going to heal. Doctors convinced us and him that in time it will heal and go away... Terry was everything I expected.”

▪ I asked Riley this: Even though most teams would gladly take what the Heat accomplished the past five years, with the struggles during the past two regular seasons (two 8th seeds, a mediocre home record this season, blowout losses to good teams at home, 2-12 against good teams down the stretch), do he and the Arisons ever turn to themselves and say ‘we need major changes’ and does he believe major changes are needed?

Riley’s answer:

“No, not right now. Not the changes you’re suggesting. We just want to try to control some of the things that maybe we lost control of, or lost a little control of. But I am always open, ears wide open, or I’m not doing my job. If anything were ever to happen, I would listen and convey to them....

“We’ve got a really good group of guys. The No. 1 issue is player availability and having your guys healthy to play every night. We have to wrap our arms around that notion.

“Look it, when I talk to Micky and Nick [Arison], they understand this as well as I do now. They want to win. If I bring something to them where they go ‘wow, it’s let’s go.’ It’s always ‘let’s go.’ It’s ‘let’s go with Zo and... Tim [Hardaway] and Shaq. You have to be sure when you go all in .. I’m not going to bring them something that’s going to make us a little bit better and cost us a lot more” in terms of assets, as opposed to something that makes them much better.

Riley said there’s two or three players in the league who would get the Heat to “go for it, shoot the moon.” He didn’t name them, obviously.