The offseason began earlier than expected for the Miami Heat after they were swept by the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round of the playoffs, and according to multiple reports, the franchise has wasted no time in exploring possible free agency moves this summer.
With only five members of the Heat contractually guaranteed to return next season, Miami will be saying goodbye to a lot of familiar faces, and hopefully, adding players who can help rebuild the franchise.
On June 10, Yahoo Sports‘ Vincent Goodwill reported that the Miami Heat already has their eye on Golden State Warriors’ Kelly Oubre Jr.
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While the 25-year-old Kansas alum started off the season on a cold streak, Oubre finished the year averaging 15.4 points and 6.0 rebounds per game while shooting 43.9% from the field. His long ball leaves much to be desired. After only scoring one three-pointer in his first 21 attempts of the season, Oubre closed the year shooting 31.6% from beyond the line.
Possibly giving the Heat pause to making Oubre a priority in free agency, his decrease in production from last year. During the 2019-20 season, while playing with the Phoenix Suns, he averaged 18.7 points while shooting 35.2% of his three-pointers.
Oubre Is Expected to be a Hot Commodity in Free Agency This Summer
Aside from the Heat, Goodwill reported that the San Antonio Spurs and New York Knicks are also interested in adding the 6-foot-7 small forward. However, Goodwill noted that it’s “certainly feasible” to see Oubre “playing next to Jimmy Butler with Bam Adebayo underneath the rim… As a defender, long and active arms mean he’s apt to get plenty of defections in the top 10 among wings.”
Bleacher Report‘s Blake Schuster also sees Oubre fitting into Heat culture next season. Schuster wrote, “It appears suitors won’t get too hung up on his stint with Stephen Curry and Co. when free agency opens in August. With contenders like the Knicks and Heat reportedly jumping into the race for Oubre, he could be fighting for a championship in 2021-22.”
Oubre has previously played with the Suns and Washington Wizards. While he spent a brief stint with Oklahoma City Thunder, he never actually suited and played for the franchise.
Heat President Pat Riley Spoke About Adding a Third Big Name for Next Season
The Heat would greatly benefit by adding another All-Star to complement the team’s core that is Butler and debayo. With Victor Oladipo‘s future still up in the air, and anywhere from $22 million to $28 million in cap space, Riley could make a blockbuster move to sign a top-tier free agent this summer.
The Heat could unleash an additional $34 million in cap space if they release both Goran Dragic and Andre Iguodala. Riley could then make a blockbuster move to sign a top-tier free agent such as Kyle Lowry, Chris Paul, or even Bradley Beal or Kawhi Leonard, should the latter two become available.
“We’ll see,” Riley said. “The market will determine a lot of that as we move forward. I like the nucleus of our team. We have a great core with Jimmy [Butler] and Bam [Adebayo]; regardless of how they performed in the playoffs, we didn’t make a mistake on those guys.”
Despite not having any picks in the year’s draft, the Godfather is not worried. “I guarantee you we’ll probably get a couple of good players out of this draft, somehow.”