The Miami Heat were supposed to be contending for a championship, with visions of a blockbuster trade putting them over the top. Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo need a third star in South Beach.
And while those rumors are still circulating — Bradley Beal, Victor Oladipo, Lonzo Ball — there is a new report indicating the Heat might just cash in their chips and be sellers at the trade deadline on March 25.
The leading candidate to move would be veteran forward Andre Iguodala who could net a first-round pick (highly protected, of course) from an “elite contender,” per the Sun-Sentinel’s Ira Winderman. He also didn’t rule out the Heat making a move for Sacramento Kings forward Nemanja Bjelica.
Miami is in dire need of draft capital since they have no first-round pick to trade until 2025. Iguodala, a three-time champion and NBA Finals MVP, would be a nice rental for a team making a playoff push. Plus, team president Pat Riley probably would prefer to get his contract — another $15 million from the two-year extension he inked last year — off the books.
— KD 🕋 (@therealRAFIKI__) February 14, 2021
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Possible Buyout Candidates for Miami
Meanwhile, the Miami Herald‘s Anthony Chiang ran through some options to consider after the trade deadline. Detroit Pistons forward Blake Griffin, Cleveland Cavaliers center Andre Drummond, Oklahoma City Thunder forward Trevor Ariza are all potential buyout candidates seeking employment elsewhere. They lack “superstar appeal” but all three guys could be reliable rotational pieces for Erik Spoelstra.
Odds for Blake Griffin’s next team if traded:
Miami Heat: 7/2
OKC Thunder: 4/1
Boston Celtics: 5/1
Charlotte Hornets: 6/1
LA Lakers: 6/1
Portland Trailblazers: 15/2
Chicago Bulls: 11/1
Brooklyn Nets: 12/1
Golden State Warriors: 12/1
Philadelphia 76ers: 12/1
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) February 16, 2021
Keep in mind, the Heat applied for the disabled player exception on Meyers Leonard and can use $4.7 million on a free agent. The 28-year-old center is out for the year after undergoing shoulder surgery, but they can get the money and keep Leonard if the league grants them the exception.
The deadline to use it is April 19. Chiang explained:
The disabled player exception of $4.7 million that the Heat applied for is worth half of the disabled player’s salary, which in this case is Leonard’s $9.4 million salary for this season. If granted, the disabled player exception can be used by the Heat to sign a free agent on a salary up to $4.7 million for the rest of the season, to trade for a player in the final season of his contract worth $4.7 million or less, or to claim a player on waivers who is in the final season of his contract worth $4.7 million or less.
Triple Doubles from JB & Bam and the Heat W. You gotta love it. Let’s go! Keep believing!
— Meyers Leonard (@MeyersLeonard) February 19, 2021
Leonard’s Wife Puts on Shooting Clinic
Leonard’s wife, Elle, went viral on Saturday after she posted a video swishing buckets in her backyard. She captioned it with “I’M BACKKKKKK” and her husband immediately chimed in to reveal that the couple’s first date was actually on the court. The two met in college and shot jumpers at Ubben Basketball Complex at the University of Illinois.
I’M BACKKKKKK 🎉 pic.twitter.com/yug6A6h9Rn
— Elle Leonard (@elleleonard) February 20, 2021
This wasn’t the first time Elle went viral for hooping. She hit 19 mid-range jumpers in a row last year while showing off her basketball skills on Instagram, including some over-the-back trick shots. Maybe the Heat should give her a jersey.
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