Pat Riley and the front office managed to reduce their luxury tax bill after trading away guards Tyler Johnson and Wayne Ellington to the Phoenix Suns for forward Ryan Anderson, but they didn’t improve a team currently positioned in the eighth and final East playoff spot as the deadline came and went without a follow-up move. It did clear up the logjam among the Heat guards, and tonight will be our first chance to see how head coach Erik Spoelstra and his staff divides up the minutes among the remaining backcourt players. Anderson has already joined the team, but it remains to be seen whether he’ll play tonight.
Sacramento also made moves at the deadline, bringing in Harrison Barnes and Alec Burks in two trades while shipping off Iman Shumpert, Justin Jackson and Zach Randolph.
While the Heat started their road trip out West with a feel-good win against the Portland Trail Blazers, they will face a surprisingly improved Kings team that are 17-11 at home this season. Miami, however, improved to 14-11 on the road after beating Portland and would love to grab a win tonight ahead of tough games against the Golden State Warriors and Denver Nuggets that loom on their current trip before the All-Star break.
Heat: Justise Winslow, Rodney McGruder, Josh Richardson, James Johnson, Hassan Whiteside
Kings: De’Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Nemanja Bjelica, Willie Cauley-Stein
TV: Fox Sports Sun
Radio: The Ticket 790AM & The HEAT Radio Network (Mike Inglis)
Spanish Radio: WAQI 710AM & The HEAT Spanish Radio Network (José Pañeda)