The Miami Heat just put together one of their most important wins of the season on Wednesday, beating the Celtics, 106-98. As a result, they now sit at the top of the Eastern Conference standings with a one-game lead over the No. 2 Bucks and two games separating them from the Cs and the Sixers.
Still, questions linger about whether the team has the right mix to make a real run at an NBA championship this season. Especially after its recent four-game losing streak, not to mention the weird bench scuffle involving Jimmy Butler, Erik Spoelstra and Udonis Haslem.
If the Heat do end up disappointing during postseason play, you can bet that team president Pat Riley will do everything in his power to correct course. He has done it before, after all, adding players like Shaquille O’Neal, LeBron James and Chris Bosh to boost the club’s title prospects.
To that end, one league executive believes that Riley and Co. could make a run at a certain star pivot this offseason.
Myles Turner a Potential Trade Target
Pacers big man Myles Turner is a player whose name has featured prominently in trade rumors in recent years. And while the now rebuilding club could explore dealing him this summer, an Eastern Conference executive told Heavy.com’s Sean Deveney that his foot injury could affect his value.
“He is obviously a risk now. I think any time you get a big man who has a foot problem, a stress fracture kind of thing, those can be recurring. You can come back but they take you down a notch. You think of Yao Ming or Zydrunas Ilgauskas; worst-case scenarios,” the exec said.
“So, they can put him back on the market for a trade but you’re talking about a reduced price.”
That price may just be one that the Heat can actually afford, assuming there’s a level of interest in Turner.
“If you can get the salaries to match, then you add a first-round pick, it can be late first, it can be protected. But if you’re willing to give up a pick, the Pacers would have to take that.”
Would Turner Help the Heat?
As the exec sees it, Turner would make for an intriguing addition to the Heat this summer. In particular, the club could see a major uptick on the defensive end by plugging him in next to Bam Adebayo.
“For Miami, obviously, if this season comes up short, if they lose in the first or second round, they will have to take a hard look at the roster and getting another big man with Bam could be the answer. They’d be a monster defensively,” the exec said.
Alas, bringing Turner to South Beach could cost Miami a pair of fan favorites, his reduced asking price notwithstanding.
“You’d have to ship out Robinson and Yurtseven,” the exec opined. “It is a lot to give up but if they don’t play well in the postseason, Robinson is likely going to be the one who is on the block. If you can be sure Turner is healthy, it becomes a really interesting team.”