In order to successfully propel the Heat into making back-to-back NBA Finals appearances, Miami has their eye on Sacramento Kings power forward Nemanja Bjelica, according to 5 Reasons Sports Network. While the Heat’s roster has pretty stayed the same since last season, when they came within two games of winning the Championship title, they haven’t replaced the talent that was Jae Crowder, a 6-foot-6 power forward who was traded to the Phoenix Suns.
The Heat are in the market for a big forward and Bjelica fits the bill. He’s capable of stretching the floor, which can help create space for All-Stars Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo.
Bjelica, 32, is a big man – he’s 6-foot-10, and he can shoot. The former Euroleague MVP shot 41.1% from the 3-point line in his first two years in Sacramento. While he can help replace the hole left by Crowder, his defensive skills and level of toughness fall short of what Crowder offered.
The 76ers Also Have Their Eye on Bjelica
The Heat have competition when it comes to possibly obtaining Bjelica, as the Philadelphia 76ers have also shown interest, as reported by The Athletic‘s Sam Amick. While the Sixers first had their eye on former first-round pick Buddy Hield, 28, they’ve since shifted their focus to Bjelica, according to Amick.
Bjelica started his NBA career with the Minnesota Timberwolves, where played for three years before joining the Kings. In Sacramento this season, he’s averaged 10 points and 5.9 rebounds in 24 minutes of player per game.
However, the Serbian star has been pushed out of the starting lineup this season in order to provide more playing time for a healthy Marvin Bagley, 21, the Kings’ first-round pick from the 2018 NBA draft. Sacramento currently sit near the bottom of the Western Conference with a 12-12 record.
The Heat Never Intended to Start The 2020-2021 NBA Season With Their Current Roster
On February 1, the NBA Insider reporter for 5 Reasons Sports Network tweeted out some sobering, albeit not shocking news about the Heat’s current roster.
He 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 Adam 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 was 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.