Heat Were ‘Hopeful’ to Land 25-Year-Old All-Star in Blockbuster Deal: Report

Pat Riley Heat

Getty Miami Heat president Pat Riley attends the American Express Teamed Up event with Magic Johnson in 2017.

Ahead of the NBA trade deadline, there was a level of chatter about the Miami Heat making an “over-the-top” move. Despite injuries and a December COVID-19 outbreak, the team had somehow climbed to the top of the East standings, leaving many to wonder whether the time had come to go all-in.

Unfortunately, the market and the Heat’s wild cap situation precluded a major deal from happening. In the end, Miami’s big move was trading KZ Okpala and rewriting the fine print on a previously dealt draft pick.

That’s not to say, though, that team president Pat Riley wasn’t trying to make something happen.

Per a report from Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer, the team actually had its sights set on one of the game’s best young ballers. Namely, Boston Celtics wing and 2021 All-Star selection Jaylen Brown.

Brown Had Multiple Potential Suitors

Jaylen Brown has HUGE 32-PT outing in Celtics’ win 🍀Jaylen Brown notched 32 PTS and added another 7 REB & 5 AST in the Boston Celtics’ convincing 144-102 win over the Washington Wizards. ✔️Subscribe to ESPN+ espnplus.com/youtube ✔️ Get the ESPN App: espn.com/espn/apps/espn ✔️Subscribe to ESPN on YouTube: es.pn/SUBSCRIBEtoYOUTUBE ✔️ Subscribe to NBA on ESPN on YouTube: bit.ly/SUBSCRIBEtoNBAonESPN ✔️ Watch ESPN on YouTube TV:…2022-04-03T19:24:51Z

While the Celtics are cruising currently, the team had the look of a hot mess over the first 40ish games of the 2021-22 campaign. Consequently, questions about whether Brown and three-time All-Star Jayson Tatum can actually coexist became ubiquitous.

As reported by Fischer, Boston wasn’t looking to pull the plug on the pairing but trade talk nonetheless percolated around the Association, not to mention within both players’ respective camps.

For their part, the Heat are said to be among the cadre of teams that were monitoring the situation:

If Philadelphia had not been able to unload Ben Simmons, Brown would have been near the top of the Sixers’ wish list. Atlanta and Miami were often mentioned by league figures as hopeful Brown suitors, too.

In the end, Brad Stevens elected to keep his star tandem intact (for the time being, at least). And that decision has paid off in a tremendous way.

The Cs currently sit at No. 2 in the conference with a record of 49-30. Meanwhile, in the 1,424 minutes that Tatum and Brown have shared the court, Boston has outscored its opponents by 13.7 points per 100 possessions.

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Heat Climb in Power Rankings

On Monday, ESPN put out the latest edition of its NBA power rankings. And, as one might expect after the team reeled off four consecutive wins, Miami finds itself on better footing this time out.

The Heat came in at No. 3 overall in the Week 25 update, just behind the Phoenix Suns  at No. 1 and the second-ranked Memphis Grizzlies.

Wrote Nick Friedell:

Kyle Lowry helped Miami pull off a solid win in his return game in Toronto on Sunday. The Heat have righted the ship after a rocky few weeks — having won four in a row — and are in the driver’s seat for the East’s No. 1 seed. They’ve got games against Charlotte, Atlanta and Orlando to close the regular season and look like a team that is ready to make a push after strong road wins over the Celtics, Bulls and Raptors.


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