Proposed Trade Adds High-Scoring Forward to Heat’s Frontcourt

Bam Adebayo Heat-Celtics

Getty Miami Heat big man Bam Adebayo looks on during a playoff bout with the Boston Celtics.

Thanks to the Boston Celtics’ attack fizzling to close out the NBA Finals, the Miami Heat saw their offense move up in the final playoff rankings. Instead of finishing ninth offensively, Jimmy Butler and Co. wound up at No. 8 with an O-rating of 110.3.

And while it might feel better to be in the top half of the postseason bunch than the bottom half, neither of those spots scream “championship team.” Indeed, if the Heat hope to move closer to the upper crust of the Association, additional creators will be required.

In particular, the team could use a legitimate scoring threat to pair with Bam Adebayo in the frontcourt. Sure, Adebayo is dangerous on the block, adept in the midrange and a solid screener/dribble-handoff guy, but when you’re starting him alongside a 37-year-old PJ Tucker and a non-three-point shooter in Butler, things are bound to get clunky.

Enter Sacramento Kings forward Harrison Barnes, who may just be the trade target to unlock Miami’s offensive potential.

Deal Brings Barnes to South Beach

Harrison Barnes 20 Minute SUPERMIX | 2021-22Watch all of Harrison Barnes best plays from the 2021-22 season!2022-05-12T19:11:02Z

In an effort to get Butler some help by adding another point of gravity for opposing defenses to contend with, we’re pitching the following pact with Sacto:

  • Sacramento Kings receive G/F Duncan Robinson and a top-10 protected first-round pick in 2023
  • Miami Heat receive F Harrison Barnes

Barnes’ name has been bandied about in trade rumors for several years running, and there’s little mystery as to why. He has developed into one of the better playmaking bigs in the Association and a high-level floor-spacer over the years, and his talents are being wasted with the Kings.

This past season, the 6-foot-8, 225-pound veteran averaged 16.4 points, 5.6 rebounds and 2.4 assists per outing while connecting on 39.4% of his triples. Having just turned 30, he should have a few years of solid production left in him, too.

A Kyle LowryTyler Herro-Butler-Barnes-Adebayo starting five should be able to light the scoreboard up at a significantly higher rate than what we saw in 2021-22. At the absolute least, Barnes would be a much better way to use $17-20 million and a roster spot.

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Why the Deal Works for the Kings

Sacramento should be motivated to move Barnes as his current contract will expire after next season and it’s hard to see him resigning himself to a rebuilding project that could extend for multiple more seasons. The time is nigh for Monte McNair to get something out of him before he bolts.

Make no mistake, Robinson is coming off a rough campaign for Miami. He was a sub-40% shooter overall during the regular season and fell completely out of the rotation once the playoffs began. Still, he holds intrigue due to his three-point shooting ability.

By bringing him into the fold, the Kings would retain a trade asset, as well as a significant salary slot to use on another difference-maker down the road when/if they’re closer to actually competing in the West. There’s also the chance that Robinson rediscovers his stroke in a low-pressure/high-usage situation with the Kings.

The first-round pick, which became movable thanks to Miami’s February trade of KZ Okpala, is another quality asset that could be used to bring in another prospect or, if an opportunity arises, to pull off a trade expediting the Kings’ timeline.


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