There’s been no shortage of speculation about how the Miami Heat can improve ahead of the February 9 NBA Trade Deadline. Miami has faced a plethora of injuries so far, leaving them stuck in the middle of the East. As they head into a January 20 matchup against the Dallas Mavericks, the Heat sit at sixth in the Eastern Conference. That like isn’t where they envisioned themselves being at this time of year, after finishing first in the East last season.
Luckily for the Heat, there’s still plenty of time to swing a deal before the deadline. In a January 19 article for the Miami Herald, Barry Jackson listed some possible moves Miami could make to improve their roster.
One specific thing that Jackson mentioned was the possibility of the team dealing Max Strus.
“With Max Strus playing better recently, that could incline the Heat to keep him and sign him this summer, though Strus could be put in play for a high-quality starter,” he wrote.
Strus has appeared in 44 of Miami’s 46 games this season, playing 31 minutes each time. He’s averaging 13.2 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 2.3 assists, on 40.3% shooting from the field 33.9% from beyond the arc.
He’s taken a step back this year in terms of shooting, which traditionally has been the best aspect of his game. Strus broke into Miami’s rotation last season and became a staple, thanks to his efficient 41% clip from deep.
Heat ‘Not Going To Go Too Far’ To Resign Max Strus
If the Heat don’t deal Strus before the deadline, then they’ll be faced with the decision of whether or not they want to resign him. An anonymous Eastern Conference Executive gave Heavy Sports‘ Sean Deveney some insight to Miami’s feelings about bringing back the sharpshooter.
“They want to keep him but they’re not going to go too far to re-sign him,” the executive told Deveney. “He has been disappointing this year as a shooter, which is too bad because I think he has actually gotten better as a player overall. But if his shots aren’t falling, he is not bringing a lot to the table. If they could do a deal in the range of the Caleb Martin contract (three years, $20 million), he could stay put. If someone wants to go over that, they’ll move on. He is not going to be their top priority, though.”
Heat Could Deal for Spurs’ Zach Collins or Doug McDermott
Later in his article, Jackson listed a few players that the Heat could target via trade this season. Included in the group were two sharpshooting members of the San Antonio Spurs, Zach Collins and Doug McDermott.
The pair has been knocking down threes very efficiently in the Lone Star State this year. Collins has shot 37% from deep and McDermott has shot 41%.
Neither player makes an astronomical amount of money either. McDermott is owed $13.7 million next season in the final year of his contract, and Collins’ deal includes a $7.7 million team option.
Miami could certainly use the extra shooting. They’ve been pretty poor from 3-point land this season, ranking 25th in the league in terms of percentage. Last year was a completely different story. The Heat were the NBA’s best 3-point shooting team, knocking down 37.9% of their attempts from distance.