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The trade deadline is coming up. What should the Heat do?

The Heat have a tenuous hold on the six seed right now.

Miami Heat Draft Press Conference Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images

The Miami Heat just finished a three-game road trip a disappointing 1-2, with bad losses to the Atlanta Hawks and Dallas Mavericks bookending a good win over the New Orleans Pelicans.

The NBA trade deadline is Thursday, Feb. 9. Miami holds the tiebreaker over the New York Knicks for the sixth seed — and therefore a guaranteed playoff spot — but the Heat and Knicks still have all four matchups to play.

As I wrote last month, the Heat have a small window now to improve their roster before we have to write off another season. Giancarlo Navas of Miami Heat Beat tweeted that unless an unbelievable offer comes up, the Heat should hold on to their draft picks.

That makes sense. Miami is not going to tank, but they shouldn’t throw all caution to the wind for a trade that won’t even put them in a position to win a title.

The Heat have been in this situation before — needing to draw a line in the sand. In the lead-up to the 2021 trade deadline, the Toronto Raptors demanded Tyler Herro for Kyle Lowry. Riley held firm, instead utilizing a sign-and-trade — and giving up Goran Dragic and Precious Achiuwa — to acquire Lowry over the summer.

Just prior to the 2020 trade deadline, Riley declined to offer Danilo Gallinari a contract extension that could have buttressed a team that already had Andre Iguodala, Jae Crowder and Solomon Hill on the way.

Now, the Heat gave up two draft picks in a 2015 deadline-day deal for Goran Dragic, but Chris Bosh suffered blood clots the next day. The hopes for a new triumvirate of Dragic, Wade and Bosh were dashed. And it took until Jimmy Butler joined the Heat four years later to return to championship contention.

Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reported Thursday that the Heat would not hesitate to trade Duncan Robinson and Dewayne Dedmon. He added that “at least two others” could be offered in the right trade — Caleb Martin and Nikola Jovic. (Jackson noted a league source said the Heat are not trying to trade Kyle Lowry.)

Miami should look to improve their roster at the trade deadline. Unless a great offer comes along, they should hold on to their draft picks. Herro’s new extension makes it nearly impossible to trade him until the summer. Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo are their franchise cornerstone pieces. A deadline day move should set the Heat up for a strong finish to this season and a championship-contending season next year.