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Are the Heat in play for Kawhi Leonard?

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Could Miami acquire the premier wing defender after his sour relationship in San Antonio?

NBA: San Antonio Spurs at Miami Heat Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Heat probably need to shake up their roster if they want any shot at competing in the East in the near future. They are getting older and will be cap stuck for years unless they make a major trade.

They have some assets as well.

And the whole situation with Kawhi Leonard has us thinking that maybe, just maybe Pat Riley can use his skills to orchestrate something to get a premier player to South Florida. But it won’t be easy.

First, let me say: I don’t know what it going on in San Antonio. Leonard and the Spurs have been quiet and we aren’t even sure if a departure is probable. But something isn’t right there. And if they decide to move on, ESPN.com says that the Heat could be a preferred destination.

Of 4 plausible landing spots for the forward, Miami was listed along with Boston, Philadelphia and the Lakers.

Here’s the possible trade that could make it happen.

Heat get: Kawhi Leonard and Patty Mills

Spurs get: Goran Dragic, Josh Richardson, Justise Winslow and Bam Adebayo

Here’s what the article says...

The Heat can put together an intriguing mix of an All-Star point guard and three young players with upside in exchange for Leonard and Mills, whose outsized salary is guaranteed for three more years.

Dragic, a Spurs draftee in 2008 who was traded to Phoenix, is a proven producer at the Spurs’ biggest position of weakness. His aggressive scoring style with a strong jumper and pick-and-roll game would mesh well with LaMarcus Aldridge. Adebayo came out of the 2017 lottery with an impressive rookie season and would give the team a young, talented big man to develop behind the aging Pau Gasol.

Winslow and Richardson are both Spurs-style wings -- long, athletic and defensive-minded. Both would be significant upgrades from what the Spurs currently have on the wing, and Winslow in particular has the tools to potentially replicate Leonard’s defensive contributions from his early years.

Now, this is a lot for the Heat to dump for Kawhi. I think Miami is OK parting with Dragic at this point. He is a culture guy, but it’s clear he’s done going to be the guy to get them to the next level. However, parting with the other three is hard. Winslow showed great promise in the playoffs, Adebayo has a ceiling that most around the league are excited about, and Richardson was just given an extension for what they see in him.

The question is, will a soon to be 27 year-old Kawhi Leonard be worth that? Last year Leonard averaged 25.5 PPG, shot 48% from the field and 88% from the line. He was the 2014 Finals MVP, and is one of the best players on the wing for both sides of the floor.

Kawhi would embody Heat culture like no one else.

If the Heat were to make this trade it would leave them with a starting lineup that looked like this: Patty Mills, Dion Waiters, Kawhi Leonard, James Johnson, Hassan Whiteside

The Heat would have a little bit of room to add in some other pieces but not much thanks to Tyler Johnson’s contract jumping to $19 million next season.

Leonard would have one year on his contract with an additional opportunity with a player option.

Personally, I think you pull the trigger. I think the roster needs to be shaken up and even though those are good pieces, Kawhi is a premier talent and those are not easy to come by. Please just don’t send a draft pick with it.

Tell us what you think?

Poll

Would you make that trade for Kawhi Leonard?

This poll is closed

  • 60%
    Yes
    (791 votes)
  • 39%
    No
    (527 votes)
1318 votes total Vote Now