Yesterday, Marc Stein wrote in his Substack that the Miami Heat and Los Angeles Clippers would have interest in John Wall should he agree to a buyout and become a free agent. A few days ago, fellow Hot Hot Hoops writer Matt Pineda wrote about a report in The Athletic saying that Miami has been “persistent” in pursuing Houston Rockets center Christian Wood.
Neither of these additions make sense.
I wrote back in October that adding John Wall wouldn’t fill a role with the Heat because Miami has Kyle Lowry signed to a three-year deal and Victor Oladipo on a minimum contract. We now have seen Gabe Vincent admirably fill in for Lowry when he’s missed games.
Gabe Vincent is not going to be Kyle Lowry, but he's molded himself into the type of player who slots perfectly and seamlessly into the starting lineup when Lowry is out.— Couper Moorhead (@CoupNBA) January 27, 2022
Do we even know if Wall is a better player than Vincent at this stage of their careers? Vincent has shot 38 percent from 3-point range on 4.5 attempts per game. In 40 games with Houston last year, Wall shot 31.7 percent from 3 on 6.2 attempts per game. Moreover, Wall isn’t the defender who made the All-Defensive Team in the 2014-15 season anymore. Vincent has played superb defense for Miami this season.
SOUND ON— Brady Hawk (@BradyHawk305) January 20, 2022
The Miami Heat's Defense is Legit
One 3rd quarter Erik Spoelstra match-up adjustment won them this game, as Bam Adebayo, PJ Tucker, Caleb Martin, and Gabe Vincent led the way@5ReasonsSports pic.twitter.com/eUmRPri1iQ
As for Wood, why trade for someone — and have to give up one or two of their young players out-performing their contracts — who won’t get crunch-time minutes? Bam Adebayo will be the center, and either P.J. Tucker or Caleb Martin will play power forward. Dewayne Dedmon and Omer Yurtseven have both exceeded expectations in their time this season. There’s no need to get another big.
The Heat’s biggest midseason splash will be Oladipo’s return, which could come in February.
Last season, Miami desperately needed to shake up their roster. The additions of Trevor Ariza, Dedmon and Oladipo were meant to plug those holes. (Oladipo, of course, suffered a season-ending injury after just four games.) Even two years ago, the trade for Jae Crowder, Andre Iguodala and Solomon Hill exchanged three players who had fallen out of favor with the Heat — Justise Winslow, Dion Waiters and James Johnson — for three who all played during Miami’s Finals run.
But this year? The Heat don’t need a big midseason trade or a high-profile free agent pickup.