The Miami Heat could be looking at an unexpected upgrade at the trade deadline.
As currently constructed, the Heat hold the best record in the Eastern Conference at 31-17. Despite prolonged absences from two of their best players, Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, and extended absences of many of their other key players, Miami has emerged as the best team in the East halfway through the season.
Many have assumed that due to the Heat’s lack of tradeable assets that they’ll be silent at the trade deadline on February 10. However, according to Bleacher Report’s Andy Bailey, the Heat could make an unexpected acquisition in Los Angeles Clippers forward Marcus Morris — the brother of Heat veteran Markieff Morris.
“In theory, Marcus’ brother Markieff Morris is such a player (big-bodied forward), but he’s been out for most of the season with a neck injury,” says Bailey. “P.J. Tucker will be 37 in May. And Jimmy Butler is already shouldering a heavy responsibility on offense. Another player in the Morris-Tucker mold would help, especially if Morris can continue to shoot the way he has the last three seasons (42.5 percent from three since the start of 2019-20).”
Heat Would Trade Robinson for Morris
Bailey goes on to mention how the Heat would dangle 3-point sharpshooter Duncan Robinson and a 2025 first-round draft pick in order to acquire Morris.
“In terms of future draft assets, the Miami Heat are in a similar situation to the Bucks (though not quite as depleted),” says Bailey. “They owe the Rockets a first-round pick swap in 2022 and owe the Oklahoma City Thunder their lottery-protected first-round pick in 2023. They also have second-rounders outgoing in each year from now until 2027.
Still, if the injury-rocked Los Angeles Clippers were to become sellers ahead of the deadline, Miami might be able to entice them with a package that includes Duncan Robinson and a 2025 first-round pick.
Moving Robinson shortly after his breakout might seem rash, but the emergence of Max Strus has opened that possibility. Robinson is on a very movable contract, and the Heat probably wouldn’t mind another big-bodied forward to throw at Eastern Conference stars like Kevin Durant and Giannis Antetokounmpo.”
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Why Move Could Make Sense for Heat
Robinson has struggled drastically since inking a five-year, $90 million deal with the Heat in the offseason. The 27-year-old Robinson is averaging 12.1 points while shooting just 40.2% from the field and 36.6% from beyond the arc in 27.7 minutes per game.
By comparison, the 32-year-old Morris is averaging 15.5 points on 41.7% from the field and 36.4% from beyond the arc.
The Heat would essentially be giving up a starting shooting guard for more size on the front line, which could help in a potential playoff series against teams with bigger lineups. Miami is lacking size with Dewayne Dedmon and Omer Yurtseven as the only players on the roster over 6-foot-9.
Bailey also explains how the Robinson acquisition could help the Clippers as he might be an ideal complement as a shooter for Paul George and Kawhi Leonard.
“With his (Robinson) off-ball movement and the ability he showed to hit catch-and-shoot threes in 2019-20 and 2020-21, he might be an ideal complement to a healthy George and Leonard in 2022-23.’
The move may be a risky one given Morris is five years older than Robinson. But it might be a risk worth taking if the Heat really want to separate themselves from the rest of the pack in the Eastern Conference.