The February 9 NBA Trade Deadline is just over a week away, and the Miami Heat have yet to get any deals done. There have been rumors circulating around the team for the past month and a half, but the hammer has yet to fall.
In the spirit of trade season, Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley proposed the following four-team mega-trade:
Los Angeles Lakers Receive: Bojan Bogdanović, Kyle Lowry and Ish Smith
Detroit Pistons Receive: Russell Westbrook, Zeke Nnaji, a 2028 first-round pick swap with the Denver Nuggets, a 2028 second-round pick from the Miami Heat and a 2029 first-round pick from the Los Angeles Lakers
Miami Heat Receive: Michael Porter Jr., Bones Hyland, Marvin Bagley III, a 2027 first-round pick from the Los Angeles Lakers and a 2029 first-round pick from the Denver Nuggets
Denver Nuggets Receive: Jimmy Butler, Alec Burks and a 2027 second-round pick from the Los Angeles Lakers
Buckley made the pitch from a Miami perspective, explaining that dealing Butler and Lowry may be the way for the front office to get value for the aging stars, before it’s too late.
“Cashing in on Jimmy Butler’s value and whatever is left of Lowry’s could land a huge return (like this one) and put Miami in position to compete for a title when some of the aforementioned stars are on the wrong side of their prime,” he wrote.
According to Buckley, Miami would be getting a great return for the duo, even if it’s not in the form of draft picks.
“Now, you might say that two firsts isn’t enough for Butler, considering the massive prices paid for Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert this summer, but at least two of the young players coming back should be every bit as valuable as a pick (and maybe even more so),” he said. “Michael Porter Jr. is a 6’10”, 41.7 percent career three-point shooter with a high, seemingly unblockable release. He’s only 24 years old and just over a half-decade removed from being the No. 2 high school recruit in the nation. Of course, multiple back surgeries at Missouri and in the NBA raise concerns about MPJ’s longterm durability, but he looks healthy now, and #HeatCulture has a knack for keeping guys upright.”
He concluded his pitch, by reiterating that the deal would allow the Heat to move on from the aging talents, while rebuilding on the fly.
“Ultimately, though, this is about getting high-pedigree talents who average 23 years old. Butler and Lowry are 33 and 36, respectively.”
Heat’s Jimmy Butler Makes Bold Championship Claim
Even though he was a part of Buckley’s hypothetical trade, Butler has not been one of the players whose name has been thrown in all sorts of rumors.
He actually sounds like he plans on being in South Beach for quite some time.
Butler made a bold claim about Miami’s future, during a recent interview with Uproxx.com’s Jackson Frank.
“Honestly, I see a lot of myself when you talk about the career path and trajectory of everything,” Butler said. “They’ve figured it out. They realized that they belong in this league. They’re constantly proving that they belong in this league. Not only that, they’ve gotten better every single year, and they’re gonna continue to get better every single year. And before you know it, we’re all going to end up winning a championship together because I don’t plan on going anywhere. Tyler (Herro) doesn’t plan on going anywhere. Bam (Adebayo) doesn’t plan on going anywhere, so we’re gonna have to figure it out.”
Bam Adebayo Discusses Recruiting Free Agents to Heat
If not through a trade, the Heat can always add talent through free agency (if they have the cap space). Should Miami look to do so, it sounds like Adebayo is willing to do what he can to help recruit.
The star center recently discussed the potential of luring other top players to South Beach with the Sun Sentinel’s Ira Winderman.
“It depends, it depends,” he told Winderman when asked whether he would actively recruit for the franchise. “I don’t know how to answer. But for the greater good of the team, if we needed this one guy, I’d reach my hand out because it’s for the greater good of the team, and I’d want to make that situation better.”
Adebayo explained that any recruitment he does, will be solely centered around the team’s success, rather than teaming up with friends.
“So, for me,” he said, “it would be if it results in winning, and not, ‘Oh, we just want to be on a team just so we can play together.”
He again stressed the importance of team success.
“No, I’m not built off of that. I’m built off of if you’re going to buy in, buying in to win and see some greater good than you see in your previous situation, then yes, I’m there for that.”