When the Boston Celtics eliminated the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals, the Heat were expected to add a star this offseason. It was clear they needed a player to help take the pressure off of their star Jimmy Butler. However, Miami’s biggest addition this summer was rookie forward Nikola Jovic. While they added Jovic, they lost a major piece of their rotation with the departure of starting forward PJ Tucker, who came up huge for the Heat last season. That leaves them with a hole in their starting rotation.
So far this season, Caleb Martin has been the player to fill the Tucker role. Martin is an undrafted player that joined the team after performing well at an open scrimmage for the team after being waived by the Charlotte Hornets. Martin made major strides last season and earned a new contract with the Heat. However, there are some question marks if he is the long-term answer for the Heat’s starting lineup. He is undersized and under-experienced. He hasn’t been awful, but it has been a downgrade from Tucker last season.
Potential Power Forward Acquisition for the Heat per Exec Source
The Heat have some quality assets that they could trade if needed to help upgrade themselves at power forward, and one Eastern Conference Executive told Heavy Sports’ NBA Insider Sean Deveney, who he thinks Miami could trade and when.
“They have known they have a hole there and the first option was always, ‘Let’s see if we can fix it from within.’ They’re trying that with (Caleb) Martin, but that might be asking too much of him. Martin could wind up being a key to it because they can’t trade him until January because he just signed, but he has some value. They’ve tried to see what’s there for Duncan Robinson but there really is not much of a market unless you get a team willing to play him for a year and try to flip his contract next summer. They tried with Phoenix for Jae Crowder, but Phoenix did not want Robinson,” an Eastern Conference Executive told Deveney.
After being unable to find a trade with Duncan Robinson to reunite Crowder with the Heat, Deveney came up with some potential trades he could see for the Heat to upgrade their starting lineup, including a trade with the Washington Wizards headlined by Kyle Kuzma.
Heat Receive: Kyle Kuzma and Taj Gibson
Wizards Receive: Duncan Robinson and a first-round pick (2027)
Deveney cites the Wizards’ need to focus on their future for the reason they made trade Kuzma, who is in a log jam in the Washington frontcourt.
“The Wizards have been loathe to rebuild as long as they have Bradley Beal on the roster, and perhaps that will continue. But should they begin looking to the future, Kuzma would find himself on the block. He is not the bruiser the Heat might like at power forward, but he’d add a scoring dimension to the position that the team lacks,” Deveney wrote.
Other Potential Heat Moves
Kyle Kuzma and Taj Gibson aren’t the only potential moves that the Heat have been linked to recently. Deveney also links them to PJ Washington from the Charlotte Hornets as well as finalizing a reunion between Crowder and the Heat. But another has been Bojan Bogdanovic from the Detroit Pistons, and Lauri Markannen from the Utah Jazz.