The NBA trade deadline is less than three weeks away and rumor season is in full swing. While the Miami Heat remain devoid of draft assets to give up, this isn’t a franchise that has traditionally rested on its laurels. Pat Riley will find a way to get a deal done if he feels like it’s necessary.
That could include trading Duncan Robinson in a more far-fetched scenario. But the more likely option is to find a diamond in the rough who is playing on an expiring contract. The perfect fit appears to be swing forward Dorian Finney-Smith of the Dallas Mavericks. Bleacher Report called him the “dream target” for Miami.
“Finney-Smith is making just $4 million on an expiring deal and can play either forward position off the bench,” Greg Swartz wrote. “Getting him now would also allow Miami to go over the cap to re-sign him this offseason, something the Dallas Mavericks may not be able to do with Jalen Brunson in line for a juicy new deal as well.”
Finney-Smith is known around the league as a “3-and-D specialist” and those guys are invaluable in the postseason. The undrafted kid out of Florida (via Virginia Tech) is averaging 10.3 points and 4.9 rebounds per game while shooting 36.9% from three-point land. More impressively, Finney-Smith has morphed into a savvy dribbler and the third best ball-handler in Dallas behind Luka Doncic and Jalen Brunson.
His defense? That’s probably his best asset, something that bodes well for Heat Culture. Finney-Smith has helped the Mavericks take the NBA lead in defensive rating in January – 98.8 points per 100 possessions, according to the Dallas Morning News. He’s eligible for a four-year, $55 million extension.
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Caleb Martin Continues to Shine
The emergence of two-way player Caleb Martin has helped make Robinson expendable. He dropped 15 points in 23 minutes on Sunday night against the Los Angeles Lakers and played lock-down defense on Russell Westbrook in the fourth quarter. His steal on an inbounds pass with seven seconds left iced the game for the Heat.
Martin’s defense has been poetry in motion during the month of January. According to Brady Hawk, Martin has held offensive players to 29% shooting in the fourth quarter. He has matched up against elite guards over that stretch like De’Aaron Fox, Steph Curry, Chris Paul, Trae Young, and Fred VanVleet.
The ‘Remarkable’ Jimmy Butler
Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra is running out of adjectives to describe Jimmy Butler. He called him “remarkable” on Sunday night after the All-Star forward topped LeBron James’ Heat record for franchise triple-doubles. He has recorded 10 of them in 139 career games, compared to nine for James in 294 games.
“I still just think that’s remarkable, and it just shows you his skillset,” Spoelstra said. “That he’s able to impact the game in so many different ways. He’s really developed into a great playmaker for us. He can set up guys for easy baskets in a myriad of ways whether it’s off the drive, in the post, in the mid-post, at the elbows … it’s just a really great luxury for us.”