The Miami Heat have had an up and down season, struggling to find consistency. Even though Miami has played well as of late, the losses show that there is still some tweaking, at the very least, that needs to be done. To quote the famous Pat Riley, the team could use some “re-tooling, not rebuilding”. This team has showed glimpses of just how good they can be, with some standout wins. However, there has also been some bad losses. With about a week and a couple days until the NBA trade deadline at 3:00 PM ET next Thursday on February 9, the Heat currently stand at 28-23. That record is good for sixth place in a loaded Eastern Conference.
Miami has a strong core in Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro that they can build around for at least a few more years while Butler is still in his prime. They have a nice future with Adebayo and Herro aboard even post Butler era. This front office though, needs to acknowledge sooner or later that they need to take advantage of these last few strong year’s from Butler. The time to compete is now, and they only fell one single shot short of reaching the NBA Finals just a season ago. They finished 1st place in the 2021-2022 season, and it has left many of Heat Nation wondering what is the difference? The stats show that it could very well be the 3 point shooting.
NEW: How much is Heat’s three-point shooting hurting the offense?— Anthony Chiang (@Anthony_Chiang) January 30, 2023
-Heat offensive rating would be ranked 12th if it shot league-average on threes
-Heat would have top-five offense if it replicated its league-best three-point percentage from last seasonhttps://t.co/bGaZAEDDjG
The Heat have went from being the best three point shooting team just a season ago to one of the worst. Many of the Heat’s shooters have taken steps back in efficiency this season. Tyler Herro’s 3 point shooting has dipped from 39.9 percent in 2021-2022 to 37 percent in 2022-2023. Max Strus has gone from 41 percent to 33.9 percent, Kyle Lowry from 37.7 percent to 33.5 percent, Duncan Robinson from 37.2 percent to 33.1 percent, Gabe Vincent from 36.8 percent to 32.6, and lastly Victor Oladipo is shooting just 29.8 percent on 4.8 three point attempts per game this season. The biggest issue in those stats, has to be Kyle Lowry, who is getting paid way more than all the other names mentioned. Which brings me into the next topic... who could possibly be on the move for the Miami Heat before the deadline?
Duncan Robinson has been involved in trade rumors for quite some time now. Dewayne Dedmon and Kyle Lowry joined them as of recently following inconsistent play and stats being down from across the board. Max Strus and Caleb Martin have also been names that were thrown around.
Report: Teams continue to call Miami Heat to gauge Kyle Lowry’s trade status https://t.co/Th7N2Ugdks— NBACentral (@TheNBACentral) January 29, 2023
Report: Suns seeking Max Strus in a potential Jae Crowder trade https://t.co/zOEr4LrJPW— NBACentral (@TheNBACentral) November 12, 2022
Some teams like the LA Clippers could want a veteran PG like Lowry in what could be a “missing piece” kind of pick up to a team with championship aspirations. The Phoenix Suns wanted both Max Strus or Caleb Martin in a trade for Jae Crowder. Duncan Robinson and Dewayne Dedmon could be two players that end up being packaged with second round picks to dump salary. Both have had struggles remaining in the Heat’s everyday rotation.
As for players that the Heat are interested in, there has been a plethora of rumors in that regard. Over the course of the last season and more as of late, Miami has been linked in some sort of way to the following players (whether it's slight interest, strong interest, monitoring, etc.):
- Jae Crowder: (When playing) in 21’-22’- 9.4 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 1.4 STLS, 39.9% FG, 34.8% 3P
- John Collins: 13.5 PPG, 7.7 RPG, 1.2 BLKS, 51.3% FG, 25.9% 3P
- D’angelo Russell: 17.6 PPG, 6.3 APG, 1.1 STLS, 46.1% FG, 38.6% 3P
- Jarred Vanderbilt: 8.5 PPG, 7.9 RPG, 1.0 STL, 55.7% FG, 34.5% 3P
- Josh Hart: 9.3 PPG, 8.2 RPG, 4.1 APG, 1.1 STLS, 50.5% FG, 32.3% 3P
- Serge Ibaka: (16 GP) 4.1 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 48.1% FG, 33.3% 3P
- Kelly Olynyk: 11.9 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 1.1 STLS, 50.0% FG, 41.4% 3P
- Naz Reid: 10.1 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 0.9 BLKS, 53.9% FG, 32.0 3P%
- Jakob Poeltl: 11.8 PPG, 9.0 RPG, 3.0 APG, 1.2 BLKS, 62.0% FG
- Nerlens Noel: (13 GP) 2.5 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 1.0 STL, 42.9% FG, 50.0% 3P
- Saddiq Bey: 14.6 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 1.0 STL, 40.2% FG, 34.3% 3P
- Terry Rozier: 21.7 PPG, 5.1 APG, 4.2 RPG, 1.0 STL, 41.7% FG, 33.9% 3P
- P.J Washington: 15.1 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 1.1 BLKS, 44.3% FG, 35.6% 3P
- Fred VanVleet: 19.2 PPG, 6.5 APG, 4.3 RPG, 1.6 STLS, 39.5% FG, 34.1% 3P
- Cam Reddish: 8.4 PPG, 1.6 RPG, 1.0 APG, 44.9% FG, 30.4% 3P
- Gordon Hayward: 13.8 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 3.7 APG, 44.8% FG, 31.0% 3P
Some players make a lot more sense than others and some are a lot more realistic than others. I would like this team to add both Terry Rozier and P.J Washington, I think both players are Heat guys and can make an immediate impact in the starting 5. Maybe the Hornets take on Lowry’s contract for picks or get a 3rd team involved (like the Clippers, who have interest in Lowry) to get a deal done. Rozier is a playmaking point guard who is young and can fill it up offensively; a capable 20 PPG scorer to go along with 5 assists or so on good efficiency. Washington then also adds a 3 and D PF, someone that can make shots from downtown and affect the defensive end with his length.
Another player I have been rooting for Miami to acquire is John Collins. He has been avaiable for quite some time and I think he would welcome a move to South Beach, finally pairing Adebayo with an all star caliber big man. Collins, when healthy and engaged, is also capable of putting up 20 and 10 and can score and defend in different ways. The versatility between that front court of Butler, Adebayo and Collins could wreck havoc on both ends.
As for who the Heat could realistically get, I have to say Jae Crowder or Jarred Vanderbilt. Both players have been on Miami’s radar multiple times throughout this season publicly. I would welcome either of those players as well, as they're another pair of guys who could flourish in the Heat’s system. We all know what Crowder brings to the table as another 3 and D threat, and Vanderbilt is a tenacious rebounder and defender that could just bleed Heat Culture. Adding big bodies who aren't afraid to do the dirty work could be big for this team and give them a little edge, similar to the impact P.J Tucker did all last season.
I could also see Miami find a way to land a player like Nerlens Noel or Kelly Olynyk; low-risk, high-reward type of guy who would be cheap to get and be able to add to the front court depth. They could both back up Bam Adebayo better than Dedmon has thus far. The only question mark with adding a back up big comes down to what the plan is with Omer Yurtseven. Yurt has underwent successful ankle surgery and is fully healed, looking to return to game action following the all star break. Yurtseven should be a shoe-in for those back up big minutes as presently constructed, and the Heat still have the services of rookie center Orlando Robinson, who has played well.
Miami’s goal is to somehow recover from their rough start and make a return to the NBA Finals. They need to take advantage of Jimmy’s window and bolster this rotation. Currently, they have the 6th best odds to win the East at +1800. I think a simple move or two could help increase those odds, and depending on who they get exactly, can catapult them into the top 4 at the very least. The Cleveland Cavaliers, Philadelphia 76ers, Milwaukee Bucks, Brooklyn Nets and Boston Celtics all lie ahead of them at the moment.
- Southeast Division Winner: -295
- Eastern Conference Winner: +1800
- NBA Champion: +4000
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