The Miami Heat are reportedly going into the February 9 NBA trade deadline looking to address an issue that has been around since the offseason. They want to add more big man depth to this team, not just as a potential new starting PF next to Bam Adebayo but also off the bench. Caleb Martin has been serviceable as the starting PF this year, but injuries and up and down play has still left a hole in that position.
It is very possible that all these nagging injuries that Martin has been going through is the result of him being an under sized PF. He is banging bodies with big guys on opposing teams night in and night out. It’s not that he doesn’t have the ability to do that and keep up with bigger guys, it’s just doing it consistently that causes some issues.
Team’s have taken advantage of Miami’s smaller front court all season long, as the team has struggled in the rebounding department. There is no knock on Martin whatsoever, he’s a solid role player and fans have seen flashes of his potential. However, he excels much more as a natural wing player. He does a better job at using his length to defend smaller guys like guards and small forwards.
With all this being said though, it is rumored that Martin could be involved in a deal to bring in PF John Collins of the Atlanta Hawks.
The Heat discussed a deal with Atlanta that would send Duncan Robinson, Caleb Martin and potentially a protected first round pick for John Collins, per @SeanDeveney— NBACentral (@TheNBACentral) January 18, 2023
“There is concern among some with the Heat that Collins and star big man Bam Adebayo would not be a great fit.” pic.twitter.com/stPoNBvbCF
A deal like this could finally pair Bam Adebayo with an all-star caliber big man. Even though there is “concern” among people in Heat brass regarding the fit with Collins and Bam, Collins is a name that is worth taking the risk in that regard. Atlanta has reportedly lowered the asking price for Collins, and seem motivated to move him. The 25 year old PF has been linked to Miami for quite some time, and it has always seemed like he would welcome a trade to South Beach.
Collins is a player that is willing to do the dirty work; grab boards, play strong defense and rack up some blocks. Not to mention he has a nicely polished offensive game, he can affect the game inside and outside on that end of the court. The young PF has career averages of 16.1 PPG, 8.3 RPG AND 1.1 BLKS on 55.4% shooting and 35.8% from downtown. He is in the middle of a down year for the Hawks, currently putting up stats of 13.3 PPG, 7.8 RPG and 1.4 BLKS on 50% shooting.
He hasn’t wanted to be in Atlanta all year though, as both sides mutually have been working on a trade for a while now. When healthy and engaged, this is a potential 20 point, 10 rebound a night guy. His best season came just a few years ago, in 2019 he had averages of 21.6 PPG, 10.1 RPG and 1.6 BLKS on outstanding efficiency with 58.3% from the field and even 40.1% from the 3 point line.
As versatile as Caleb Martin can be, Collins is just like that as well. Except he is more dominant and stuffs the stat sheet in the process. Heat Nation should be rooting for this trade to happen, as this is deeper than just the casual “3 and D” role player pick up. This is a potential season changing move, and could have an extremely formidable all star trio in the starting front court for years to come.
The rumors don’t end here, as not only are Miami looking to acquire a starting caliber PF, but they are looking for back up big depth to play behind Adebayo as well. It is no secret that Dewayne Dedmon has not planned out well this season, I wrote an article recently on how he is indeed on that trading block.
There have been numerous names linked to the Miami Heat to provide those back up big man minutes. Such as Nerlens Noel, Saddiq Bey, and a few others that were more recently reported.
Could Kelly Olynyk be in for a Miami reunion? It definitely could be an option… he wasn’t necessarily an ideal fit as a starter back when he was on the roster on 2021. In the bubble though the year prior, he played as the back up big instead of starting and performed very well. Olynyk provided some valuable minutes and hit some big shots on route to the 2020 NBA Finals.
The trade deadline is right around the corner, and it does feel refreshing to know that Heat front office are acknowledging the front court needs some help.
Only time will tell who eventually lands in a Heat uniform if anyone at all, but with rumors like Collins, there is plenty of room for optimism for the future.