After getting swept out of the first round, the Brooklyn Nets are at a crossroads. First, Shams Charania of The Athletic said that Irving and the Nets had reached an impasse over his future. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said that Kyrie Irving has a wish list of teams if he doesn’t reach a deal with Brooklyn. The Heat were on that list. (Wojnarowski also reported in July 2017 that Miami was among many teams to have made an offer to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Irving.)
But Brian Windhorst, also with ESPN, said that the “Miami Heat move” was not to trade for Irving, but to wait for Kevin Durant to stay he wants to leave. (And yes, the Heat met with Durant during his free agency in 2016 before he signed with the Golden State Warriors.)
"The godfather move is not to trade for Kyrie Irving. The godfather move is to let the Kyrie Irving situation to blow up and then wait for Kevin Durant to say he wants out of there. That's the Miami Heat move"— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) June 24, 2022
️ Brian Windhorstpic.twitter.com/6Xo3csG7fk
What does this all mean? Right now, not much. The Heat have previously made pitches to Durant and Irving because they are two of the best players in the NBA. (It should be noted that both players have racked up concerning injury histories since 2016 and 2017, however.) Miami now has more draft picks than they did when James Harden became available in trade talks in December 2020. But we’re still a long way from the Heat trading for either of them.
Pat Riley always swings for the fences. He traded Glen Rice for Alonzo Mourning shortly after joining Miami. He then blew up a fun 2003-04 team to trade for Shaquille O’Neal. We all know about the 2010 off-season, but in 2019, Riley traded essentially traded Josh Richardson and Hassan Whiteside for Jimmy Butler. We’ll see what else he has up his sleeve to try to get one last championship before retiring.