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Report: Ray-Ray suspended; Riley addresses draft, free agency and Heat's future in late-night press conference

Friday afternoon update: UM is declining to comment on an InsideTheU.com report that safety Ray-Ray Armstrong has been suspended indefinitely for discussing interaction with a booster on Twitter. UM often comments when a report is inaccurate. Armstrong's father said he doesn't know anything about his son being in trouble.

Also, Chris Bosh has pulled out of the Olympics to rest his abdominal injury. Please see my story on the home page and sports home page.

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Heat president Pat Riley held his season-closing news conference after midnight Thursday night. Some of the highlights:

### Riley said the Heat traded the 27th pick in Thursday's draft to Philadelphia for the 45th pick and a future first-rounder in order to acquire a first-rounder that “could be 10 or 11 picks better than this year.” The Heat used the 45th pick on LSU 7-0 center/power forward Justin Hamilton.

The first-rounder from the 76ers is lottery protected through 2015. But if Philadelphia makes the playoffs again next year, the Heat would get the 76ers’ first-rounder in 2013. The Heat does not have its own first-round pick next year; Cleveland gets it as part of the LeBron James sign-and-trade.

“The trade had nothing to do with the luxury tax,” Riley said. “We wanted to defer our asset to next year. The players we had on the board were not there at the time [at 27], and we felt we had a great option with Philly to get a lottery-protected first next year. So we’ll have back to back first-round picks and all our second-round picks.  Roster spots are very valuable. We wanted someone who can fill a roster spot. We weren’t sure somebody” picked 27th would make the team.

### Riley compared Hamilton to former Heat center Michael Doleac but said there’s a possibility he will play overseas. He reportedly has been working on a Croatian passport.

Hamilton is “a big body 7-footer that can go into the pipeline with our other bigs and keep developing them. There’s a possibility [of going overseas]. You want that flexibility with a second-round pick. He has quick feet, big, takes up a lot of space. Not an above the rim player. Has a nice touch from 15 feet. Smart player, played in a good program. We had him in for workouts and he had a great workout.”

### Riley said a decision has not been made on whether Mike Miller will have back surgery and won’t be for at least a couple weeks. “He has been examined. There hasn’t been any real prognosis. We are going to treat it and rehab it before the doctor makes a final decision. Mike is going to go through a summer of real rehabilitation.”

### The deadline to amnesty players is July 19 but “we’re not looking at amnestying anybody,” Riley said. “If Mike Miller could guarantee me a seventh game in the Finals, I would let him sit out all year.”

### On free agency, which starts Sunday: “We have five or six guys earmarked. We go into free agency with an open mind. We’re encouraged we can talk to some players that may be interested in taking a little bit less. There’s a lot of room out there but not many teams that have a chance of winning a title. It depends on the name, whether it’s a big or a shooter or a versatile three-point shooter/defender that’s long. Whatever the name is, and the experience and the talent level, will determine [what we do].

“If we can add a shooter, that would help us. If we can add a real big, we might try to go in that direction. If there’s a three-point shooter who is long and can defend, we might go in that direction. We want to find as much space on the floor with Chris and Dwyane and LeBron to operate.”

### Riley said the Heat will guarantee Dexter Pittman’s contract by Friday’s deadline. “Big guys, when you draft them late – it’s a two or three year project. He’s going into his third year. We expect improvement.”

### Asked about interest in re-signing Eddy Curry, Riley said: “Everyone is open to the possibility” of keeping him. “He’s motivated. It’s a shame he didn’t get a chance.”

 ### On Dwyane Wade’s decision to have knee surgery and miss the Olympics: “It is in his best interests. We had a conversation about that. It’s a big year for Dwyane. We want to make sure what’s ailing him will be corrected this summer. He’s got to re-center everything. There isn’t anyone that’s played the game like him for nine years that hasn’t had issues.”

### Though the luxury tax becomes more punitive in 2013-14, “If you give [owner Micky Arison] the right name and that right name can lead the team to the promised land, in the past he has always said yes.”

### RIley said, "I’m confident this team is ready to compete at a very high level every year. I felt great about the team last year. I felt great about the team this year. We’ve got a compelling team and it excites me to try to make it better. As long as you can improve this team, that’s what it’s about. The championship felt great. Everybody celebrated to the limits. I’m over it. We’re over it. Coach Spo is going to be over it. We’ve already talked about getting ready. It’s a short two months.”

### Riley said he hasn’t spoken to Bosh about whether he will play in the Olympics, but “Chris is still nursing an injury. He had a significant abdominal injury. If we weren’t in the playoffs against Boston, he probably would not have played for another three or four weeks. Chris has represented his country already. That’s up to him.” (Friday 12:45 p.m. UPDATE: Bosh has pulled out of the Olympics. See my story on the sports home page.)

 

Note: Please see our last post for this week's media column, including what Charles Barkley, Shaquille O'Neal and others say the Heat must do to win multiple championships.  

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