Miami Heat Trade Targetsby Jacari McRae March 1, 2021 0 comments
We are less than a month away from the NBA trade deadline. Things are starting to click for the Miami Heat, who have now won 10 of their last 13 games. They’re currently in the fifth spot in the eastern conference standings. Even though the Heat seem to be back on track, there’s still a possibility moves will be made. Five Reasons Sports recently hinted at the possibility a trade or two could be coming.
Spoke today to several people around NBA who have regular interactions with Heat.
Consensus: A deal or 2 is coming, but not a panic deal.
They seem to have more confidence in front office to do the smart thing than many fans currently do.
Will discuss on streams tonight.
— Five Reasons Sports Network (@5ReasonsSports) February 18, 2021
With that said, let’s take a look at six potential trade candidates.
Chicago Bulls forward Thaddeus Young has been playing very well so far this year. He is currently averaging a career-best 4.4 assists per game. Young is making $13 million this season and $14.2 million next season(with only six million guaranteed). There’s no question the Heat’s biggest need is to address the power forward spot next to Bam Adebayo. Young can certainly help as a playmaker and defender. Considering the fit, Young’s shooting struggles do create questions. Young is currently shooting 22.7 percent from beyond the arc. However, his ability to create for others and defensive versatility would help the team.
It’s already been reported that the team is interested in the San Antonio Spurs forward. Rudy Gay is averaging 11.2 points and 5.2 rebounds per game off the bench for this season while shooting 41.9 percent from the field and 36.6 percent from beyond the arc. He’s also been great defensively both on and off the ball. The 34-year-old could play next to Bam Adebayo as a floor spacer and versatile defender. Gay could offer close to what Jae Crowder offered Miami last year.
Gay is on an expiring $14 million contract. This could make it easier to pry him from San Antonio. He might be Miami’s most realistic target given his age and contract.
The perfect fit next to Bam Adebayo doesn’t exist. Or does it? Of all available front-court players, the best fit next to Bam Adebayo is John Collins. Although his numbers are down this season, Collins is still averaging 18.1 points and 7.6 rebounds per game. He’s doing this while shooting 54.1 percent from the field and 39 percent from beyond the arc. A floor-spacing big who can rebound is needed next to Bam. Collins is making $4.1 million this season and has reportedly rejected the Atlanta Hawks extension offer.
A trade for Collins will come at a steep price considering Collins plays in the same division as Miami and his contract situation. But if you’re Miami, you have to at least make an offer for him. There are not many guys available that will fit perfectly next to Bam.
The Raptors have reportedly told Kyle Lowry they’d be open to the possibility of trading him to a preferred destination as long as they can get something of value in return. The Heat, along with the Philadelphia 76ers and Los Angeles Clippers, have been mentioned as potential destinations. Lowry, who’s making $30 million this season, is on the final year of his deal.
Miami and Lowry have had mutual interest in the past. The Heat pursued Lowry back in 2014. Additionally, Lowry is good friends with Jimmy Butler. Lowry is one of the smartest point guards in the game today. He’s a bulldog on the defensive end, which the Heat could use more of. He’s also a good three-point shooter and playmaker.
The last game George Hill played in was on January 24 due to a thumb injury. He had surgery on February 2nd and is expected to be out a month. He is averaging 11.8 points and 3.1 assists on 50.6 percent shooting and 38.6 percent from outside in 14 games. Hill would be a good fit offensively and is a good point of attack defender. Miami has struggled at the point of attack all season long with Avery Bradley out. They could use another player that can help in that area. Hill is making $9.6 million this season and $10 million next season with only $1.25 million guaranteed.
What would it take to get him? Probably not much considering his age and the limited games he’s played in. The team could ask the Oklahoma City Thunder to unprotect its lottery-protected 2023 first-round pick and add filler to the deal. But with the way Kendrick Nunn has played on both ends recently, it might be best to look elsewhere.
I would classify this one more like a dream scenario than a realistic one. Bradley Beal, the most sought-after trade target, has not requested a trade. The Athletic’s Shams Charania and Fred Katz already reported that the guard has no desire to be traded either. If he did get moved, you can bet the asking price would require a near James Harden compensation package. Beal is averaging a league-leading 33.2 points, along with 5.4 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game. He would fit perfectly in Miami’s system alongside Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler.
Additionally, he could focus more on the defensive end. He wouldn’t have to carry as much of an offensive burden in Miami. Out of all trade targets, landing Beal would be the best-case scenario. Especially when it’s hard to find elite three-level scorers like him.
The Heat have improved but a trade would still help. Miami still needs an upgrade next to Bam Adebayo in the frontcourt. The team has tried multiple options and Kelly Olynyk has been inconsistent. We’ll see what happens in the next couple of weeks.
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