Two Eastern Conference playoff contenders are believed to have interest in Sacramento Kings forward Nemanja Bjelica. One of those teams is the Miami Heat, a league source tells The Sacramento Bee.https://t.co/qOYullmA5T— Jason Anderson (@JandersonSacBee) February 13, 2021
Though he hasn’t played much this season — Friday marked his first stint of playing time in more than a month — Bjelica averaged 11.5 points per game on 42 percent shooting from beyond the arc in 2019-20. He appears to address an issue that has plagued the team since Moe Harkless didn’t pan out as the Jae Crowder replacement — who starts alongside Bam Adebayo.
The question now becomes whether Bjelica is much of an upgrade over Kelly Olynyk, who has shot nearly 45 percent from 3 over Miami’s last five games. Aside from his 3-point shooting, Crowder was invaluable for the Heat because of his ability to defend opposing power forwards and unleash a switch-heavy defensive scheme.
Last 5 games for Miami (4-1)— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) February 12, 2021
(1)- Defensive efficiency
(2)- Opponent points in the paint
(3)- Opponent fast break points
Jimmy Butler- 20.6 points/9.4 assists/7.4 Reb.
Kelly Olynyk- 13.2 points/44.7% 3FG%
Kendrick Nunn- 17 points/50% FG
The Heat can absorb Bjelica’s contract with a $7.6 million trade exception they have, though Miami has a full roster at 17 players now. The Heat could throw a player into the trade for Bjelica — like Chris Silva, who has a team option for the 2021-22 season — over cut a player like Silva to make room for Bjelica.