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Could the Miami Heat unleash the potential of Andrew Wiggins?

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Miami could use some fresh faces, and Wiggins might be one of them.

NBA: Miami Heat at Minnesota Timberwolves Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Heat have been linked to many wild trade rumors, and this season one involves Andrew Wiggins of the Minnesota Timberwolves, per Trey Rodriguez.

“The Miami Heat are among the few teams that have shown some interest in Wiggins.”

Both the Timberwolves and Heat have undesirable contracts on their hands, so what kind of trade would be beneficial for both?

One idea from David Akerman has possibilities aside from problems on the salary front.

“A potential trade could involve sending James Johnson and Dion Waiters to the Timberwolves in exchange for Wiggins, but the issue with that would be that Miami would then be spending more money this season and be adding two more years of salary.”

The contracts are a serious roadblock, yet getting a player such as Wiggins, 24, in his prime deserves some thought and shouldn’t be dismissed out-of-hand.

Minnesota would improve their defense with Johnson and get a shooting guard, while Miami receives a proven bucket-getter for the team.

The biggest benefit for the Heat comes from sliding Josh Richardson into his natural wing position, instead of getting worn out by season’s end battling bigger forwards.

A possible Heat lineup would actually feature two Canadians.

  • Center – Bam Adebayo (age 22)
  • Forward – Kelly Olynyk (age 28)
  • Forward – Andrew Wiggins (age 24)
  • Guard – Josh Richardson (age 26)
  • Guard – Justise Winslow (age 23)

Wiggins and Towns competed as alphas in Minnesota, which benefited neither one of them nor the team.

In Miami, Wiggins might reach his potential as a former number one pick because he could focus on his ideal role as a small forward without interference by the redoubtable Mr. Towns.

In the lineup mentioned above, replacing Olynyk by Derrick Jones Jr. makes Richardson the senior citizen on Miami’s squad at 26 years old.

In this scenario Adebayo, Jones Jr, Richardson, Winslow would cover for Wiggins’ known deficiencies on defense, while Wiggins would become Miami’s primary weapon on offensive.

Other variations and sweeteners could include the addition of a second-round draft pick by Minnesota and/or swapping their 11th pick for Miami’s 13th.

The Timberwolves need help on their defense, and Miami needs scoring punch so perhaps a win-win deal could be put together.

UPSIDE - Locked in a possible difference maker for four seasons in his prime

DOWNSIDE - Stuck with another difficult-to-move bloated contract for four seasons

Where would a draft pick like Romeo Langford, Nassir Little, Sekou Doumbouya, or Bol Bol fit in this picture?

At 19 or 20 years old the Heat could give their choice two seasons to completely heal injuries, and mature both physically and mentally, while the five of Adebayo, Jones Jr., Wiggins, Richardson, Winslow would still be in their prime years on the court.

By the 2021-22 season Miami may have a team of experienced and talented players ready to become true contenders.