The Miami Heat have been linked to nearly every free agent or disgruntled superstar possibly looking for a fresh start next season. However, without any imminent draft picks to offer up, Miami’s front office will need to offer up their most promising young talent and get creative in order to pull off a blockbuster trade.
After an uneven season and a first-round sweep in the first round of the playoffs, it’s evidently clear the Heat need to add a third star to the core duo that is Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler to be a contender in the Eastern Conference.
While numerous reports have linked Miami to All-Stars such as Kawhi Leonard, Damian Lillard, and Bradley Beal, Bleacher Report‘s Dan Favale predicts that none of these potential blockbusters will come to fruition.
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“Most of the Heat’s primary targets are off the board following a flurry of late-2020 extensions,” Favale wrote. “Kawhi Leonard (player option) never projected as a real flight risk and is even less likely to leave Hollywood after suffering a partially torn right ACL. ”
With Adebayo’s max extension kicking in next season and Butler’s $181 million extension around the corner, “They can’t flat-out max John Collins (restricted),” Favale continued. “It isn’t even clear the money they have available is enough to get them in the running for Mike Conley, Kyle Lowry, and Chris Paul, all of whom could be on the prowl for multi-year deals worth $25-plus million per year. ”
The Heat Have Pulled Off Expensive & Complicated Sign-and-Trades Before
While Favale is doubtful Miami will pull off adding a third big name to the roster this summer, the Heat’s front office knows how to get creative, as they did when acquiring Jimmy Butler in 2019.
“They’ve done it before,” Marks told the Miami Herald of the Heat figuring out a way to obtain Lowry through a sign-and-trade. “The Butler one was as complicated as I’ve ever seen just because of the tax situation they were in. I think it’s based on does Toronto want Goran Dragic? Do they want him at $19 million or maybe they decline the option, and maybe Toronto and Dragic negotiate a deal. Maybe it’s for $12 million in that scenario. I don’t think it’s as complicated as it was from two years ago. It just takes a lot of cooperation from everyone.”
Helping out the Heat in negotiations could be the fact that Lowry is best friends with Butler. In fact, the 14-year NBA vet is the godfather to Butler’s daughter. If Lowry wants to finish out his career playing alongside his close buddy, he may be willing to take a pay cut from his asking price.
The Heat Can Offer Up a Package Centered Around Tyler Herro
In order to acquire a player such as Beal, if decides he’s ready to leave Washington, Bleacher Report‘s Greg Swartz proposed the “perfect” blockbuster trade centered around Tyler Herro.
Swartz said of Beal, “The 27-year-old finished second in the NBA in scoring this season (31.3 points per game) to go along with his 4.7 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 1.2 steals… The threat of him leaving in free agency next year may finally convince the Wizards to trade their star player, with the Heat able to offer a package based around Herro, Precious Achiuwa and future draft picks.”
Teams can start negotiating with free agents on August 2, and officially begin signing free agents on August 6.