The Miami Heat front office is unpredictable when it comes to the trade deadline. There are times when very little is changed, but other times Pat Riley can pull a rabbit out of his hat in the form of players like Tim Hardaway and Goran Dragic. As the Heat prepare for a playoff push, with a relatively light schedule ahead, one might wonder if they’ll attempt a coup come February 23rd. With that in mind, it’s worth analyzing who the Heat could trade if they do decide to dip their feet in the pool.
McRoberts has been underwhelming during his time in Miami. Of course a lot of this has to do with his tendency to get injured, as a result we haven’t seen him in a Heat uniform in months and never at his full potential. With that being said his playoff performance last season was atrocious and capped off by unsportsmanlike play.
Miami hasn’t been able to get rid of McBob, and they probably won’t be able to. However, I doubt this will deter them from trying once again, but I wouldn’t expect anything in return except some cap clearance.
Dion has been a welcome surprise for Miami as of late. He’s hit big shots, developed great chemistry with Goran Dragic and developed into the scoring presence that Miami desperately needed earlier in the season. Since then his trade value has skyrocketed and though Miami has him on a great deal, he will no doubt be more expensive if he decides to forgo his player option at the end of the season (hint: he will). Whether or not Waiters is moved entirely depends on how committed the Heat are to make the playoffs. Either way he definitely has trade value, and a proven skill-set more so than say...Buddy Hield.
Like Waiters, James Johnson has undergone a complete career resurgence in Miami and in doing so has morphed into one of the Heat’s most reliable players. His ability to play multiple positions and contribute on both ends is outstanding and incredibly fun to watch. Moreover, he’s a mentor in the locker room and the ultimate team player. Johnson would be a welcome presence on any contender. He has already been praised by coaches like Doc Rivers and is no doubt on the radar of others. Johnson has been open about wanting to stay in Miami, but after this season (like Waiters) will demand more money to stay. Really, Johnson’s Heat future depends on how Miami plans to restructure going forward, but he definitely holds value.
Luke Babbitt is not what the Heat expected when they signed him. While he’s proven in the past to be a capable ball player, and has started many games for Miami he’s just not the consistent floor spacer the Heat expected when they signed him. This season Babbitt is averaging a subpar 4.5 points, 2.0 rebounds, while shooting 38% from three. Regardless, the Heat might be able to package him in a larger trade, but his trade value is definitely lower than it was this time last season.
Ellington has been a solid presence for Miami this season, basically filling the role that many though Babbitt would have. He’s posted a solid stat line of 10.9 points and 2.0 rebounds per game the highest scoring average of his career. I don’t see Miami trading Ellington because he’s too reliable a role player at this moment in time, but he is a good piece if pushed.
Dragic has been Miami’s most consistent player all season and as a result would command serious value if traded. Nevertheless, to trade Dragic, Miami would have to receive more than what they gave up to get him in the first place, which would be hard to match. Miami acquired Goran & Zoran Dragic from Phoenix for Danny Granger, Norris Cole, Shawne Williams and two first round picks when they traded for him in 2015. The Heat have two budding point guards in Tyler Johnson and Josh Richardson, but it will be hard to imagine the Heat receiving an offer tantalizing enough to pull the trigger on a Dragic trade.
It would be very surprising if Miami opted to trade Whiteside. The only way I could see it happen would be in a blockbuster deal. He’s been very good as of late and seems to finally be embracing the gritty style Miami is known for. If he was traded, the Heat do have a suitable backup in Willie Reed, but Whiteside is an enormous part of this Heat team and unless there was a hefty return for him I don’t see him going anywhere.
The only players that I think Miami won’t actively shop on Thursday are the young guns i.e Tyler Johnson (he can’t be traded without his consent anyway) Okaro White (Can’t be traded until May anyway) Josh Richardson, Rodney McGruder, Willie Reed and Justise Winslow. Everybody else could very well be traded (except Udonis Haslem, who would have to give consent).
The Heat are in a stable place right now, so I don’t expect any huge moves to be made, but anything is possible when it comes to Pat Riley’s godfather-like influence.