With the trade deadline nearly a month away we have officially reached NBA Rumor Season. Hurrah!
The Miami Heat currently sit 7th in the Eastern Conference with a record of just 16-21. They now face an interesting dilemma: play for this season or plan for the future. Miami owes their 2015 first round pick to the Philadelphia 76ers if it falls outside the top 10, meaning that they need to finish among the 10 worst records and miss the playoffs.
Last week, the Grizzlies called the Heat with regard to trading for Luol Deng, a move that would have clearly signaled that the Heat were letting this season go and looking towards the future. The Heat passed, and the Grizzlies moved on to Jeff Green.
With the emergence of Hassan Whiteside, many Heat fans are wondering if perhaps they should go in the opposite direction and become buyers instead of sellers (I can't believe this is a real sentence). While the Heat are unlikely to contend for a title this season, they could definitely win at least one playoff series if they get a few things figured out (the game continues after halftime, for instance).
ESPN's Ramona Shelburne is reporting that the Heat have had discussions about Denver's Arron Afflalo.
Afflalo would make sense for the Heat - the Heat currently don't have a shooting guard to back up Dwyane Wade (sorry, Mario) and Afflalo is a career 38.7% three-point shooter, an area the Heat really need help in. Afflalo's contract doesn't flow in to the summer of 2016, meaning he wouldn't impact Miami's long term plans. Afflalo hasn't come off the bench since the 2009-10 season, so it is worth asking whether or not he would accept a bench role if he were traded to Miami.
For the season, Afflalo is averaging 15.5 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game.
AUTHOR'S OPINION: I like the idea of Afflalo, but I'm not really in favor of trading any future first round picks to try and make a run at this season. The Heat aren't a true contender right now, and Afflalo doesn't change that. I wouldn't trade any piece of the future for somebody who doesn't move the needle on that.