Most notably, the Heat signed P.J. Tucker, Markieff Morris, and Kyle Lowry, the latter of whom was voted by NBA’s general managers as “the one player acquisition who will make the biggest impact.” In addition to resining Jimmy Butler and Duncan Robinson to massive new contract extensions, it appeared the Heat were done making moves for the 2021-22 season.
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However, according to Bleacher Report‘s Zach Buckley, the Heat should make one more “last minute” trade to further solidify their starting lineup, and their No. 1 target should be San Antonio Spurs forward Thaddeus Young.
In order to obtain Young, who was acquired by the Spurs this summer in the trade that brought DeMar DeRozan to the Chicago Bulls, Buckley suggests Miami offers San Antonio P.J. Tucker, Markieff Morris, KZ Okpala, and a 2022 second-round pick.
It seems highly unlikely that the Heat would trade two of their main offseason additions, especially for a 33-year-old veteran. However, the former 2007 first-round pick is a solid all-around forward who averaged 12.1 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 4.3 assists per game last season.
“This trade wouldn’t reverse those efforts, but rather reinforce them,” Buckley wrote. “Young looks like he’d be yet another strong fit for #HeatCulture, and he brings a more versatile skill set than Tucker.”
“Young would fill a similar three-and-D bucket, although he’s not quite the on-ball defender or corner-three splasher that Tucker is,” Buckley continued. “The Heat would get the best player in the exchange, though, and the trade cost isn’t too steep. If Miami saw more value in scoring versatility and playmaking, then it could sign off on this swap. ”
There are Rumored Reports that Young Will Soon Be Traded
The 6-foot-8, 285-pound forward is now largely considered the best player on the Spurs team, which also makes him the franchise’s most valuable trade piece if they’re looking to bottom out and rebuild. ESPN‘s Zach Lowe reported in late September that “Young seems like an obvious trade candidate; contenders have already inquired about him, sources said.”
KENS 5 reporter Tom Petrini offered another hint that Young’s stint in San Antonio may be short-lived.
“Unlike the players who San Antonio signed in free agency, there was no announcement welcoming Young to the team,” Petrini reported. “There’s been significant speculation that Young could be moved to a contender before the season begins, and he’s one of the better players available on the trading block around the league.”
Miami Was Suggested as a Landing Sport for Young Back in February
Petrini joined Premium Hoops‘ Mark Schindler on his podcast last month, the latter of whom said of the Georgia Tech alum, “I don’t think that there is a team in the NBA that shouldn’t trade for Thad Young. He can come off the bench or start, he really doesn’t need the ball, and he’s a great locker room guy. There’s very little to dislike about Thad Young.”
Back in February, Schindler noted that “Thad would certainly be an incredible addition to any contender, notably Miami, Utah, and Brooklyn among others.”
However, that was before the Bulls traded him to the Spurs and before the Heat acquired Lowry, Morris, and Tucker.