While the Miami Heat have been linked to no less than 10 free agents over the past month, a new report revealed the franchise may be secretly showing interest in Sacramento Kings’ power forward Harrison Barnes.
“The Boston Celtics have been the only opposing team we’ve heard linked to Barnes, though others are certainly out there,” wrote Sam Amico of FortyEightMinutes.com. “The Miami Heat may be one such team,” a source revealed to the outlet.
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The Heat have already been linked to Kings’ forward Nemanja Bjelica, but according to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Barnes is definitely on the move. “No way he’s there after the (March 25) trade deadline,” Charania said.
Barnes is delivering a solid performance thus far this season. He’s averaging 16.7 points, 6.1 points, and 3.6 assists. At age 28, the University of North Carolina alum is also in his prime. He could possibly fix the Heat’s gaping hole — a solid fourth.
The former first-round pick, who stands at 6-foot-8, isn’t exactly the big man the Heat are looking for to balance out All-Star Bam Adebayo, but merely having a dependable forward is better than anything currently sitting on Miami’s roster.
It would make sense if the Sacramento Kings, who are 14-21 and sitting in the 12th seed in the Western Conference, shifted their focus to rebuilding for next year and they can get a huge return if Barnes is on the trade block. According to Forbes contributor Morten Jensen, it’s a win/win situation for Sacramento.
For the Kings, it puts them in a somewhat rare position of power when it comes to trade negotiations. If the franchise is willing to take a step back in their process, they can move off Barnes by getting a substantial haul for him near the March 25th NBA Trade Deadline. If they wish to move forward with him, they can stay the course. There’s really no downside to either scenario.
Would Bjelica Be a Better Fit?
While the Heat’s roster has pretty stayed the same since last season, when they came within two games of winning the Championship title, they haven’t replaced the talent that was Jae Crowder, a 6-foot-6 power forward who was traded to the Phoenix Suns.
Bjelica, 32, is a big man – he’s 6-foot-10, and he can shoot. The former Euroleague MVP shot 41.1% from the 3-point line in his first two years in Sacramento. While he can help replace the hole left by Crowder, his defensive skills and level of toughness fall short of what Crowder offered.
Bjelica is capable of stretching the floor, which can help create space for Jimmy Butler and Adebayo.
Heat Have Been Linked to 10 Other Free Agent Options
Name an available forward becoming available, and there’s likely a report linking them to the Heat. The franchise is trying to avoid the embarrassment of coming off an NBA Finals run only to miss out on the playoffs entirely the following season. And the focus is on obtaining a power forward.
Aside from Barnes and Bjelica, the Heat have their eyes on more than a few players around the league. Big names tossed around thus far include:
- Detroit Piston’s Blake Griffin
- Houston Rockets’ DeMarcus Cousins, P.J. Tucker and Victor Oladipo
- San Antonio Spurs’ Rudy Gay
- Cleveland Cavaliers’ Andre Drummond
- Toronto Raptors Kyle Lowry
- New Orleans Pelicans’ Lonzo Ball
- Atlanta Hawks’ John Collins
- Chicago Bulls’ Thaddeus Young