The Miami Heat aren’t making much in the way of moves at the NBA trade deadline outside of an unforeseen blockbuster.
Pat Riley and the Heat just don’t have much in the way of movable pieces right now. What the front office could do to improve, though, is wait for another team to buy out a player and swoop in with an offer.
According to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, the Heat might do just that with one of Joe Johnson or Kevin Martin:
As for upgrades this month, the Heat is handicapped by not having a No. 1 pick available to trade until 2023; picks can’t be traded consecutive years and Miami isn’t even allowed to trade a future pick until after this year’s draft. Joe Johnson and Kevin Martin would be of interest if bought out, but the Cavs and Spurs could be more appealing to Johnson.
Again, it’s a pretty drastic situation for the Heat. There’s zero guarantee either of those guys actually become available, though both make sense. The Minnesota Timberwolves might want out of Martin’s contract with Andrew Wiggins playing well and Ricky Rubio and Zach LaVine handling the other guard opportunities. He’s averaging 11.3 points and shooting 38 percent from the floor and 36 percent from deep, so he’d fit well with the Heat.
The Brooklyn Nets, given the wealth of changes in the front office and along the coaching staff, might be changing the way they do a rebuild, meaning major contracts such as Johnson’s have to go. He’s 34 years old, sure, but still averaging 11.5 points on 40 percent shooting from the floor and 37 percent from deep. The production and veteran leadership certainly couldn’t hurt.
The only problem, of course, is that the Heat wouldn’t be alone in pursuing these potential buyouts, which is why Jackson brings up contenders such as the Cleveland Cavaliers and San Antonio Spurs. The Heat, by comparison, sit fifth in the Eastern Conference at 29-24.
With Tyler Johnson injured, none of this potential Heat interest should come as a surprise. The bigger the name, though, the more it might fall under “wishful thinking.” Better contenders have just as much to offer veterans such as Martin and Johnson, if not more. Not to say the Heat aren’t contenders or won’t make a run in the postseason, but it’s a matter of logistics.
Even if the Heat don’t end up with a big name, though, it’s quite clear the front office intends to make a move sooner or later to address the sudden depth issue. Once the deadline passes, look for the Heat to start picking at the pieces of the market in an effort to make the best possible move.