The Miami Heat are gearing up for what many believe will be a very active offseason. Team president Pat Riley teased as much in his end-of-year Zoom call with reporters. Riley told everyone to have a good summer, then quickly added: “There will be a lot of news coming along the way.”
The first key date to watch is Aug. 1 when the organization must make tough decisions on Goran Dragic and Andre Iguodala. Both players are likely gone, but not definitely. That will be followed by possible bidding wars for restricted free agents Kendrick Nunn and Duncan Robinson. But free agency is where Miami could make the most noise.
Bleacher Report mentioned Kyle Lowry and Doug McDermott as two guys who could put them “over the top.” The Heat flirted with Lowry at last year’s trade deadline, but opted to give Victor Oladipo a test drive. Now the six-time All-Star point guard enters free agency, with the expectation he could net a two- or three-year deal worth $20 million annually.
Count Miami in on the Lowry sweepstakes, along with the Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Mavericks. Dan Favale wrote the following:
Select teams can and should be willing to foot a supersized bill for the next two or three years. Lowry is among the stars who can at once shape and conform to identities.
He has the off-the-bounce ability to send defenses scrambling with his jumper and full-fledged drives and remains someone willing to initiate, finish or pass through contact. But he can also take up secondary duty as a spot-up threat, pump-and-driver and even screen-setter.
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‘Dougie McBuckets’ Fairly Attainable Option
McDermott is an even more interesting option for the Heat to consider. His skillset matches much of what Robinson brings to the table, although his burgeoning game inside the paint makes him slightly more valuable.
The 6-foot-7 forward averaged a career-high 13.6 points per game last season – up from 10.3 points in 2019-20 – while scoring a “typo-looking 1.57 points per possession on cuts” (via Bleacher Report). He is shooting 40.7% from deep in seven NBA seasons, too.
“Coming into this year, I just wanted to be as aggressive as possible,” McDermott said on Jan. 31, via Forbes. “Not trying to be so perfect out there, just really have that gunslinger mindset. Whatever happens, happens.”
The Los Angeles Lakers, New York Knicks, Philadelphia 76ers are all rumored to be in the running to land McDermott. He’ll likely be looking for the non-taxpayer mid-level exception which could be as much as $10 million per year. Again, the Heat are one of the few teams equipped to take that on.
Introducing Nnamdi Vincent
Gabe Vincent has played in South Beach for two seasons on a two-way contract. While he has yet to earn a guaranteed spot in their long-term plans, he has found another way for people to notice what he can do. Vincent scored a game-high 21 points for Nigeria in their upset win over Team USA in pre-Olympic exhibition play.
The 25-year-old guard also has been going by a different name: Nnamdi. It was the name Vincent was given during a recent trip to Nigeria, the birthplace of his father and the country he’s trying to lead to a gold medal. Call it his alter ego.
“It’s almost like an alter ego of sorts. I almost become a different person,” Vincent said of the name change, via NBA.com. “That’s very much part of my culture. When I put on that jersey, that’s the name I put on my back because that’s how people recognize me.”