Miami’s Missing Link: Heat Nearly ‘Locked In’ Clippers Power Forward

Marcus Morris heat

Getty Marcus Morris Sr. #31 of the LA Clippers during the first quarter against the Denver Nuggets in Game One of the Western Conference Second Round during the 2020 NBA Playoffs at AdventHealth Arena at the ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex on September 03, 2020.

The Miami Heat have recently been linked to numerous possible trade options as they continue to struggle in replicating their successful run to the NBA Finals last season. Unfortunately, the Heat’s issue is not figuring out a solid starting lineup, but that their roster is lacking a big power forward.

According to 5 Reasons Sports Network’s Adam Clutch, Miami knew that they needed to find a replacement for Jae Crowder, who opted to sign with the Phoenix Suns, and “went hard” after Los Angeles Clippers power forward Marcus Morris Sr.

Amid the Heat’s matchup against the Clippers in Los Angeles on February 15, Clutch tweeted, “Perfect time as any to say this: Heat went hard after Marcus Morris this past offseason. They thought they had him locked in. Would imagine the struggles at the 4 spot this season wouldn’t be so apparent if he was in Miami.”

GettyMarcus Morris Sr. #31 of the LA Clippers grabs a rebound against the Dallas Mavericks during the first half in game five of the first round of the 2020 NBA Playoffs at ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex on August 25, 2020 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

While the Clippers were without four of their starters, Miami still couldn’t get it done on Monday night. Morris, however, absolutely shined during their 125-118 win over the Heat. The 31-year-old scored 32 points, three rebounds, two assists, and one steal, in 26 minutes of play.

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Sports Illustrated Analyst Balked at the Clippers Offering Morris a 4-Year $64 Million Extension

While Morris had a slow start with the Clippers last season, Los Angeles resigned the former first-round pick with a 4-year $64 million contract extension.

While Sports Illustrated’s Rohan Nadkarni graded Morris’ extension with a “C” grade, the generous and respectful offer is clearly paying off.

“The biggest difference, is just, having that exact — you know, from T. Lue, just talking to me and telling me exactly what he want me to do,” Morris said. “Last year, I felt like I was a lot of times in no man’s land; I couldn’t really put my finger on my role. This year, I’m coming off — I’m coming off to be aggressive, coming off to bring energy, shoot the ball. The guys I’m playing with, I’m just playing off them.”

The Heat Never Intended to Start The 2020-2021 NBA Season With Their Current Roster

Erik Spoelstra

GettyHead coach Erik Spoelstra of the Miami Heat reacts during the second half against the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center on January 25, 2021 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.

On February 1, Clutch tweeted out some sobering, albeit not shocking news about the Heat’s current roster, which perfectly matches up with his report on Morris he revealed on Monday night.

Clutch tweeted, “The Heat never intended to go into the season with this roster. They had multiple bigs they wanted to sign but those players took larger deals elsewhere. They’re searching the trade market for a starting caliber 4. This team will look different after the deadline.”

It would be a huge blow to miss the playoffs after making it to the NBA Finals last season, and according to Clutch’s report, they’ve been trying this whole time to add a forward in order to avoid that embarrassment.

While there was a lot of talk of James Harden joining the Heat through a blockbuster trade earlier in the season, the eight-time All-Star landed with the Brooklyn Nets.

There were also a lot of rumors swirling that Wizards star Bradley Beal would be traded to the Heat, but the Washington All-Star has since made it clear that he wants to stay in D.C.

READ NEXT: Blake Griffin Breaks Silence on Trade: Will Miami Snatch Him Up?

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