Heat Looking for Trade Reunion With Big Man After 3-Year Departure: Sources

Kelly Olynyk of the Utah Jazz guards Rudy Gobert of the Minnesota Timberwolves. Olynyk has been linked to the Miami Heat.

Getty Kelly Olynyk of the Utah Jazz guards Rudy Gobert of the Minnesota Timberwolves. Olynyk has been linked to the Miami Heat.

With less than a week until the NBA Trade Deadline, the Miami Heat have yet to make any moves. However, that doesn’t mean that they haven’t been tied into their fair share of rumors.

Most recently, Heavy SportsSteve Bulpett reported that the Heat, as well as the Boston Celtics, were interested in trading for Kelly Olynyk of the Utah Jazz. The 6-foot 11-inch forward has had previous stints with both clubs, playing for Boston from 2013-17, and Miami from 2017-2021.

Bulpett explained that a source indicated to him that Miami is interested in bringing back the Canadian.

“A source close to the Heat tells Heavy Sports the club is interested in a reunion with Kelly Olynyk,” he wrote.

While both teams may be interested in reuniting with the big man, Bulpett’s sources don’t believe a deal will get done.

“An Eastern Conference source whose club has been working the market for a center/power forward doesn’t believe the Heat or Celtics will be able to meet what Utah wants for Olynyk,” he revealed.

One league scout detailed the impact Olynyk’s versatile skillset could have on either of the two teams.

“With Olynyk, it’s not about him being a great player or anything; it’s the fit,” the scout told Bulpett. “Because of his ability to shoot and pass, he can play a shooting 5 or a shooting 4 with a non-shooting 5. The versatility is unique.”

Olynyk has been a solid contributor for a surprising Jazz team this year. He’s appeared in 41 of Utah’s 53 games, starting in each of his appearances. The former lottery pick averages 11.7 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 3.2 assists. His efficiency has been impressive to say the least. Olynyk shoots 49.5% from the field, and knocks down 40.6% of his attempts from deep.

Heat in the Hunt to Acquire Bulls’ Zach LaVine at Trade Deadline: Insider

The Canadian sharpshooter isn’t the only player that the Heat have been linked to this winter.

According to Yahoo Sports’ Jake Fischer, Miami has been “consistently” interested in Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine.

“Zach LaVine, the Bulls’ two-time All-Star who’s in the first season of a five-year, $215 million maximum contract, would have no shortage of suitors if Chicago decided to move the 27-year-old guard before [the] deadline — despite some concern about his recovery process from offseason arthroscopic surgery on his left knee. The [Los Angeles] Lakers, Heat, [New York] Knicks and [Dallas] Mavericks have consistently been mentioned by league personnel as holding motivations to land LaVine if the time does arrive.”

Heat Looking to Cut Costs at Trade Deadline: Insider

While there has been no shortage of rumors about players the Heat have interest in trading for, the Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson believes they won’t look to make a splash.

He reported that the front office will likely look to avoid the luxury tax this season, rather than boost their title hopes.

“Heat owner Micky Arison historically has expressed willingness to pay a luxury tax only if his team is a legitimate championship contender,” Jackson explained. “He has paid the tax seven times, with a $52.9 million total payment over his nearly three decades of ownership.”

He added that the 2022-23 roster isn’t looking like it will compete for a title.

“This year’s team is less than $200,000 below the tax, and very likely will remain under it. With its current roster construction, the Heat cannot add a 15th player and stay below the tax line until late March, about 10 days before the final day of the season.”

Jackson explained that the next year or so could be pivotal for the Heat.

“Miami has 14 months to figure this out, he said. “But it’s a lot easier to achieve it before the looming trade deadline; any deal done in June or beyond would help Miami only if its trade partner has the cap space to absorb a lot more money than it’s sending the Heat.”

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