The Miami Heat‘s roster may be set for now, but the team continues to be mentioned as a threat to pull off a landscape-altering trade at any moment. Never mind the fact that it lacks the draft capital and trade assets that are probably required to make such a move happen.
It’s a weird spot to be in, but with Pat Riley calling the shots, you almost have to include Miami as a top suitor for any and all stars that hit the block — regardless of what’s actually in the club’s coffers.
Just because the Godfather hasn’t brought in a Kevin Durant, a Donovan Mitchell or even a back-end depth piece on the trade market, though, doesn’t mean that the Heat organization isn’t getting things done.
Wheels are spinning at every level, including the G League where the Heat’s affiliate — the Sioux Falls Skyforce — executed not one but two trades this week, one of which included a member of Miami’s East-leading squad last season.
Smart Gets Dealt
Per an announcement from the team on Thursday, the Skyforce have executed a pair of trades netting players with NBA experience.
Sioux Falls acquired returning player rights to Jared Harper, as well as a first-round pick in the upcoming 2022 G League Draft in a deal with the Birmingham Squadron. The cost: returning rights to former Heat two-way player Javonte Smart and the Skyforce’s third-round pick.
Smart originally signed with Miami after impressing the team last summer; he went on to become an affiliate player with the Skyforce. After briefly joining the Milwaukee Bucks as a two-way signee, the 6-foot-4 guard found his way back to the Heat system, eventually agreeing to a new two-way pact.
The former LSU standout went on to appear in four games with the Heat, averaging 5.0 points, 1.3 rebounds and 0.5 steals while shooting 44.4% from three-point range. During his time in the G League, he had averaged 21.1 points, 4.6 boards, 3.6 assists and 1.9 steals per outing.
Regardless, Riley and Co. opted to waive him last month.
Harper, meanwhile, is a 24-year-old point guard out of Auburn who went undrafted in 2019. Since then, he has spent time with the Phoenix Suns, New York Knicks and New Orleans Pelicans, in addition to his developmental league experience.
In 23 games with the Squadron, Harper averaged 21.2 points, 7.2 assists and 3.9 rebounds while hitting 41.1% of his triples.
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Diallo to Sioux Falls
The other trade that was announced saw the Skyforce acquire big man Cheick Diallo — along with Motor City’s first-round pick in the 2023 G League Draft — in exchange for returning rights to pivot Micah Potter and Sioux Falls’ second-round pick in 2023.
After a year at Kansas, Diallo, now 25, was an early second-round pick of the LA Clippers back in 2016. After a draft-night move to NOLA, he went to appear in 133 games with the Pels over the next three seasons, averaging 5.5 points, 4.6 boards and 0.5 blocks.
Diallo — who boasts a mammoth 7-foot-5 wingspan and nine-foot standing reach — has bounced around since then, playing for the Suns, Detroit Pistons, multiple G League squads, as well as clubs in Russia, Spain, Puerto Rico and Japan.
The 24-year-old Potter put up 17.2 points and 9.8 rebounds for the Skyforce last season and also showed chops as a floor-spacer, converting 44.5% of his attempts from deep. He briefly spent time with the Pistons as a hardship signee in December.