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Heat make no moves at the NBA trade deadline, now buyout market becomes a factor

Miami one of only three teams to not make an acquisition prior to deadline.

NBA: Miami Heat at Phoenix Suns Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports

After being involved in plenty of trade rumors and possibilities all season long, Miami doesn’t make a single acquisition to bolster the roster prior to today’s 3:00 PM ET deadline. The inactive day makes the Heat arguably one of the biggest losers of the deadline. There were more than enough options of guys out there that could have a made a real impact on this current Miami Heat roster. To go along with countless reports linking Miami as suitors for players for months, just for the day to end with not even 1 trade to show for it.

Yes, the Heat were able to unload Dewayne Dedmon earlier this week, but they got nothing back except cash considerations. Not only that but Pat Riley had to even get rid of a 2nd round pick just to let go of Dedmon. Definitely not ideal knowing there’s now open roster spots and a bit more financial flexibility to add some help. Guys that could have been the best fit have to be John Collins and Jarred Vanderbilit among plenty others.

Even reunions with guys like Jae Crowder and Kelly Olynyk could have been nice, which both were very possible. Seeing Crowder especially wind up with a playoff rival in the Milwaukee Bucks after being in Heat related rumors since the off season has to hurt. It’s no secret that the Heat wanted to beef up the front court and make a move for a PF and/or back up big, and some of those names could have been big additions.

Collins and Olynyk didn’t end up being traded at all even though they were available. Vanderbilt wound up getting traded to the LA Lakers. Most importantly, it’s a shame to not obtain that help that Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo have needed for years now.

Both those guys have put their whole heart and dedication towards this franchise, just for Riley and co. to stand pat and not take advantage of Jimmy’s prime years and championship window. Making it to the Finals and ECF in the last 3 years have raised expectations for this group, and even a simple move or two for a solid role player could have done wonders.

With the trade deadline now coming and passing, the only possible thing Heat fans can look forward to is the buyout market. Teams can pick up players that aren’t signed basically like free agency for a discounted price during this time. There are plenty of potential options out there.

Out of them there’s for sure more that are more realistic than others. Russell Westbrook, John Wall, Serge Ibaka, Nerlens Noel and Patrick Beverley are all players who have came up in Heat rumors in the past. Beverley would be welcomed here, as a defensive specialist and gritty type of player usually fits in well with the Culture here. However, it was reported that the Minnesota Timberwolves are very interested in bringing him back. Noel and/or Ibaka could be nice in a back up center role to play behind Adebayo.

Even Reggie Jackson and Terrence Ross could be interesting as well. Two players that could probably help Miami in the 3 point shooting category.

A report also came out that former MVP Russell Westbrook would have pretty significant interest in joining the Heat off the buyout market. He could be another gritty hard worker to have, as he brings a lot of passion and strong defensive abilities as well. He can also play make and set up shooters for easier 3 point buckets.

The LA Clippers are another team interested in Westbrook’s services. The thing with that though is that the Clippers just traded for 2 new guards in Eric Gordon and Bones Hyland prior to the deadline. That team could have already addressed their needs at the guard position with those pick ups. As much as Westbrook still can show flashes of what he once was and be a serviceable player, he is a strong personality to bring inside the locker room.

Regardless, Westbrook is still a player who has been able to put up 15.9 PPG, 7.5 APG, 6.2 RPG and 1.0 STL in a bad situation and fit over with the Lakers this season. It will be intriguing to see if Heat front office wind up making an addition from the buyout or if they truly are committed into making this currently constructed roster contenders. It’s also unknown what Kyle Lowry’s role will be on this team moving forward.

All in all, this year’s NBA trade deadline was a missed opportunity.