All the players linked to the Miami Heat in trade rumors
The Miami Heat are usually one of the more active teams ahead of the trade deadline every season. They’ve made a mid-season deal in each of the previous five years, ranging from small financially motivated deals to ones involving rotation players.
This season they seemed primed to at least make a small deal, such as one involving Dewayne Dedmon. As mentioned in HoopsHype’s trade guide, the Heat are just $192,895 below the luxury tax and could use some more breathing room so they can do other things around the margins, such as converting Orlando Robinson to a standard contract.
But knowing the Heat, they’ll always be in the mix for adding players who can improve the roster since they’ve been committed to chasing a title since bringing in Jimmy Butler. Depending on the player, they will have the challenge of coming up with a framework that sends trade partners assets while also remaining below the luxury tax. Miami can trade up to three first-round picks now which are likely reserved for an All-Star pursuit. They also have just three second-round picks to offer in smaller scaled deals.
Below is a list of players they’ve been linked to and what a potential framework for them could look like.
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Kyrie Irving, who has requested a trade after he and the Nets couldn’t come to terms on a long-term extension, has already been linked to the Heat. According to HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto, Miami would like to move off Kyle Lowry in a trade for Irving. A framework including Lowry and one minimum salaried player would match Irving while factoring in his 15 percent trade bonus. The Heat would presumably include first-round draft compensation and may need to assure Irving of a long-term contract via free agency.
However, the Nets may not be interested at all in a Lowry and picks-based package. They want to compete for a championship and trading Irving for Lowry significantly reduces their title odds. According to Scotto, the Nets are more interested in Bam Adebayo, Jimmy Butler, and Tyler Herro, all of whom are likely non-starters for the Heat to include. Both sides just seem too far apart with the type of frameworks they’re interested in for a deal between them to happen.
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Zach LaVine is probably not available for trade this season but could be worth keeping an eye on in the future. According to Scotto, the Heat, Lakers, Knicks, and Mavericks are all teams who can potentially be interested in LaVine should the Bulls decide to blow up their core. Miami could offer a package featuring salary fillers like Lowry or Duncan Robinson and additional role players to match for LaVine along with draft picks.
Out of all the teams mentioned, the Heat may have the most valuable asset the Bulls could covet in Tyler Herro. He is a player with many similar skill sets as LaVine and would represent a younger and cheaper alternative. But should the Heat trade Herro for an older and more expensive version of him who he can one day match in skill? If the Heat believe Herro can be as good or better, then they’re better off holding onto him.
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The Heat are a team that could have interest in Fred VanVleet in their pursuit of point guard help. As discussed in potential destinations for VanVleet, he would be an excellent fit for the Heat and a framework including bringing back Lowry with first-round draft compensation could make sense.
The big question for the Heat is if VanVleet is the player they’re willing to sacrifice future draft picks for, while the Raptors need to weigh the idea of helping their Eastern Conference rival again. A framework consisting of VanVleet and a player signed for next season like Otto Porter Jr. or Khem Birch for Lowry and picks would keep both teams under the tax this season.
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The Heat still have a massive hole at the four that John Collins could fill. The six-year veteran has seen a much lower usage this season and has struggled to get his shot going. Collins could represent a buy-low opportunity for Miami, but it’s hard to identify a framework that makes sense for the Hawks.
Even with future draft picks included, it’s hard to imagine the Hawks having the appetite to take on the likely matching salary required in Lowry or Robinson. One other way the Heat can match for Collins is by sending back Victor Oladipo, Caleb Martin, and Dewayne Dedmon with draft picks. But even if the Hawks were interested in that framework, it would put the Heat into the luxury tax this season.
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If the Heat cannot acquire a long-term solution at the four like Collins this year, they could look for a most cost-effective one like Jae Crowder. The Heat remain interested in a reunion with Crowder and have reportedly offered players like Robinson and Martin to the Suns in exchange for him. A swap involving Robinson doesn’t make sense for the Suns, but one involving Martin could be a good fallback option if they can’t find anything better on the market. The Suns could take a Crowder trade up to the last minutes of the deadline in case they need his salary for a potentially bigger deal.
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Kelly Olynyk is another former Heat player they reportedly have interest in. If they cannot add an All-Star, address their point guard situation, or add a power forward, at the very least they could add a new backup big man. Olynyk is familiar with this core and head coach Erik Spoelstra so he would fit in and would be really depended on with no healthy backup centers right now.
The Jazz will likely have a high price tag for Olynyk that could include a first-round pick. If the Heat are willing to meet it, perhaps they could get off Robinson in the process and the three years, $57.4 remaining on his deal after this season.
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