The Miami Heat have made plenty of roster changes since LeBron James and Chris Bosh joined Dwyane Wade in Miami in the summer of 2010. After the loss in the 2011 NBA Finals, significant help changes were made to solidify a championship team.
But, from the moment that the Heat became the biggest enemies in the NBA by nabbing the MVP, teams have been very reluctant to trade with the Heat. Only one trade has happened with the Heat since July 9, 2010 when LeBron and Bosh both signed in Miami, and that was the dumping of Dexter Pittman last trade deadline for a future draft pick (Miami has traded draft picks, but no player on the roster has been acquired via trade).
Outside of that, Miami has made all of it's movement via free agency and draft picks. Adding Shane Battier, Ray Allen, Chris Andersen, Rashard Lewis and now Michael Beasley and Greg Oden from free agency shows Pat Riley's ability to recruit. But what about his abilities to manipulate other GMs around the league to help him out?
As the two-time defending NBA Champions, there aren't a whole lot of teams looking to give the Heat more talent or weapons to use against them as they try to halt a dynasty in the making. But as SB Nation rolls out another theme day called, "Trade Season" we look at what Miami may try to do.
First things first: The Heat are buyers.
They are not sellers. Although the Heat did dump Dexter Pittman for roster flexibility, and although that may still happen this year if Beasley, Oden, and Roger Mason Jr. are still on the roster come trade deadline, it's more likely that Roger Mason gets waived before his contract is guaranteed if they don't think he will be what they need. The Heat will look for more pieces to fit into their puzzle. They always have, and they always will as long as they are contending for a championship. There isn't one player on Miami's roster that they are looking to trade - that doesn't mean no one will, it means it's all about who comes in return.
Of the 15 players on the Heat's roster, there are only a handful that could be considered possible trade pieces. Take out James, Wade, Bosh, Chalmers, Allen, Battier, Cole, Andersen, and Beasley as they are rotational players that will be there. It's also unlikely the Heat give up on Greg Oden this early. And although it's not impossible, it would not be fan friendly to trade away local heroes Udonis Haslem and James Jones. That leaves you with Rashard Lewis, Joel Anthony and Roger Mason Jr. Of those, Joel Anthony is the most likely to be sent away for something else.
What are they looking for?
It's been noted that the Heat would like additional roster help for the still recovering Dwyane Wade who isn't playing back-to-backs. Roger Mason Jr. has stepped into that role, but the Heat could be looking for someone a little more versatile and athletic like Wade, and not just another spot up shooter.
There is also discussion and more discussion that the Heat are interested in the Boston Celtics' Jordan Crawford, who could solve some of these issues. But, Crawford is a bit of a wildcard and would need some adjusting to the Heat culture and we aren't sure the Heat have the assets to get him unless they give up more than they should.
Other than that, Miami has fortified at every position. Unless they find a way to trade Anthony for a better center, which is unlikely, this is probably the route they will go.
The Trade Options:
Here's some options with salaries that work to trade with Joel Anthony.
Dion Waiters - his salary matches up and the Heat would be grateful for a gift like this. There's been some discussion that the Cavaliers would like to trade Waiters because of some problems between him and Kyrie Irving. But Waiters is good, and it's very, very unlikely that Dan Gilbert would send more pieces to help the Miami Heat.
Carlos Delfino - his contract is a little longer than what Miami would be interested in, but he can play his position well and could fit in with the team. Again, not sure Milwaukee would like this trade, but don't underestimate Riley.
Brandon Rush - this one could have some traction if the Heat and Jazz talk. Utah could benefit from another big after losing both Jefferson and Millsap this off-season, and they don't use Rush often enough. Rush isn't a dynamic scorer, but he is an athletic guy who could slash and create problems playing alongside LeBron.
That's about it for a straight up trade with Joel, looking for a two-guard the Heat would be interested in. Everyone else is too large of a salary or there's no way their team is trading him. Miami could look to package Joel and Lewis, but the odds of a team wanting both of them is very slim.
The most likely scenario for the Heat has them keeping their current players, waiving Roger Mason Jr. before his contract is guaranteed, signing a player or two for 10-day contracts and then signing someone after the buyout period. It seems to be routine every year for them.
Don't get too excited, unless a team wants to help Miami win another championship - their chances of improving through trade are slim.
What do you think?
What salaries and situations can you think of that would improve the team and have a chance to happen? Give us something good and we will make sure Pat sees it!