‘Realistic’ Miami Heat Trade Proposal Lands $222 Million All-Star

Pat Riley, president of the Miami Heat

Getty Pat Riley, president of the Miami Heat

When it comes to out-of-left-field Miami Heat trade rumors, give the folks at Bleacher Report some credit: They’re bold. Certainly, their latest effort qualifies as such.

The headline tabs the trade as ‘realistic’ and it is certainly something the Heat would have to consider if it were on the table. But, with Karl-Anthony Towns at the center, it is the longest of longshots for Pat Riley and the Heat.

The proposed trade, from B/R’s Zack Buckley, goes like this:

Karl-Anthony Towns to the Miami Heat for Tyler Herro, Caleb Martin, Nikola Jović and a 2028 first-round pick

In terms of establishing a higher talent level on the team, that is a Miami Heat rumor most fans could get behind. Towns is a super-talented big guy and three-time All-Star who averages 21.2 points and 9.0 rebounds, and is on the verge of the coveted 50-40-90 shooting status. He is shooing 49.8% from the field, 39.8% from the 3-point line and 91.9% from the 3-point line.

“The Heat could use more scoring, creation and long-range shooting, though, and Towns checks every box,” Buckley wrote. “He could widen the offensive end for Miami’s downhill attackers, and the team could provide him with a more defensively versatile frontcourt partner in Bam Adebayo.”

That $222 Million Karl-Anthony Towns Extension Looms Large

All of that is true. But there are three major issues that stand in the way of a Miami Heat trade rumor of this magnitude, two of which Buckley does, at least mention.

The first is that the Timberwolves are not exactly in a seller’s position at the moment. The Wolves are 13-4 and the best team in basketball. Towns has long chafed at the role of being a No. 1 option, and now that Anthony Edwards has seized control of that team, Towns is in a more comfortable complementary role. There’s not much incentive to move him—other than to dump his contract. More on that in a moment.

The second is that Jimmy Butler, the Heat’s cornerstone piece, and KAT have a deep and mutual loathing for each other that dates back to Butler’s brief time in Minnesota in 2019, when he was so unimpressed by Towns’ work ethic that he forced a trade.

“An in-season trade of Towns feels highly unlikely, and a reunion with Jimmy Butler feels even harder to imagine,” Buckley noted.

Third, and arguably most important, is the Heat’s unwillingness to take on the four-year, $222 million extension Towns has on the books starting next season. The Heat are interested in streamlining their payroll going forward, not bloating it. If the Timberwolves want to get rid of Towns because of his contract, then the Heat would not want him for the same reason.

Miami Heat Trade for a PF Is Possible

Still, when it comes to Miami Heat trade rumors, Buckley may be hitting on something that most miss. Yes, the Heat would like more scoring, but the presumption that they’re eager to find a guard and a playmaker is just not quite accurate when you ask around the NBA. They’re OK with Kyle Lowry finishing out his contract this season, and they have not seen anything realistic on the market that is a significant improvement from him.

If the Heat want to make a move, it is likely going to be for a versatile power forward, one who can guard multiple positions out to the perimeter and provide a little offensive pop, as well. A 3-and-D big man would suit the roster well.

Miami does have Caleb Martin back from injury, and that helps. But the Heat would like to upgrade at that spot. Towns would be an upgrade, no doubt, but personally and financially, he is not a fit.

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