Dreams were realized for the players drafted on June 23 at the 2022 NBA Draft. However, there was one major news story that took over draft day and that was Kyrie Irving and the contract negotiations with the Nets. All day, there was a frenzy of rumors around Irving staying and speculation on what it would mean for Kevin Durant if he left. The Miami Heat found themselves linked to the drama.
Kyrie Irving to Miami Heat Rumors
A June 22 report from Marc Stein was the first to link the Miami Heat to Kyrie Irving, stating that there could be interest.
“Miami is believed to have some level of interest in joining the chase for Irving — should the Nets reach the point of actively trying to trade him — and would figure to be a more legitimate landing spot than the teams initially mentioned, given the Heat’s various trade assets. While it certainly ranks as another strain on the imagination to try to picture Irving finding daily comfort in Pat Riley’s rigid South Beach operation, it’s likewise true that the Heat have never shied away from the starriest of stars or personalities painted as challenging.” Stein wrote on his substack.
On June 23, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Heat were the among six NBA teams that Irving would like to play for should he not return to the Nets.
“ESPN Sources: If Kyrie Irving can’t reach an agreement to stay with Brooklyn, he has a list of teams he’d like them to consider on sign-and-trades, including Lakers, Clippers, Knicks, Heat, Mavs, and 76ers. None of those teams have cap space to sign him without Nets’ help,” Wojnarowski tweeted.
However, this might not be the Nets player that the Heat could end up with. The team has also been linked to Kevin Durant.
Heat Could Trade For Durant Instead of Irving
On the June 23 episode of Fox Sports ‘Undisputed,’ Shannon Sharpe predicted that Irving might not be the play for the Heat and that perhaps Durant might be who the Heat move to trade. At the time and from Sharpe, the prediction seemed absurd. However, ESPN’s NBA Insider Brian Windhorst added legitimacy to the report.
According to Brian Windhorst, Pat Riley is keeping tabs on Kyrie’s situation with Brooklyn, not to sign the point guard but to make a move for Kevin Durant.
“The godfather move is not to trade for Kyrie Irving,” Windhorst said. “The godfather move is to let the Kyrie Irving situation blow up and then wait for Kevin Durant to say he wants out of there. That’s the Miami Heat move,” Windhorst said on a June 24 appearance of ‘Get Up.‘
Kevin Durant would undoubtedly be a significant addition to the Heat and would certainly be a godfather move from Pat Riley. The Heat may be most equipped to accomplish a trade for the two-time NBA Champion and former league MVP. They could offer anyone from Duncan Robinson, Tyler Herro, Bam Adebayo, and more should the situation in Brooklyn worsen.