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Heat ‘Feverishly’ Pursued Trade For Nikola Vucevic

Nikola Vucevic gives the Heat fits, having twice gone for at least 20 points and 20 rebounds against the team after tonight's 25-point, 21-board performance. The second-year Magic center could have been putting up those numbers for the Heat instead of against them if Miami had been willing to part with either Mario Chalmers, Norris Cole, or both, according to John Denton of (Twitter link). Denton tweets that the Heat were "feverishly" trying to trade for Vucevic when he was with the Sixers last season, but apparently they weren't willing to give up their top two point guards to make it happen.

The Sixers dealt Vucevic to the Magic in August as part of the four-team Dwight Howard/Andrew Bynum blockbuster. The 22-year-old native of Switzerland has blossomed in Orlando, where he averages 12.1 points and 11.2 rebounds per game as the starting center. He's seeing twice as many minutes per game as he did last year with Philadelphia, which made him the 16th overall pick in the 2011 draft. Vucevic saw even less time in the playoffs, notching just three minutes during the Sixers' run to the Eastern Conference semifinals.

The Heat had evidently seen enough to believe he could address their deficiencies in the paint. Miami has grabbed the fewest rebounds of any team in the league, and certainly the addition of Vucevic would have helped remedy that. Money likely wasn't an inhibiting factor for the Heat, since he's on a rookie-scale contract that pays him just $1.7MM this season. Still, Heat president Pat Riley and the rest of the team's front office probably didn't predict Vucevic would develop as well and as quickly as he has. If they had foreseen it, they might have had pause about dealing away both of their top two point guards, though they're apparently confident enough in the ballhandling abilities of Dwyane Wade, LeBron James to go without a third point guard this season. 

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7 thoughts on “Heat ‘Feverishly’ Pursued Trade For Nikola Vucevic

  1. FlaveFlava

    Wow. If they could have packaged Cole and their first for Vucevic, they should’ve jumped on that.

    • Alex M

      Wow. Does anyone really think Vucevic would get the developmental commitment from a title contender to be the player that he is today? Better yet – the HEAT, a team known for not committing to young players that aren’t close to being NBA ready.

      Re: the article

      It dumbfounds me that people love to take a player on a rebuilding team then say “What if a title contender had gotten him” and think that the player would be the same or that team would have won the title for a longer stretch.

      The Heat got plenty of talent to win for a long time, Vucevic would not make a difference.

      • FlaveFlava

        Yes, I do. I guess Dwayne Wade and Mario Chalmers did it by themselves – good players don’t need coaches!

        It’s absurd to think someone with the ability Vucevic has wouldn’t be doing exactly what the Heat NEED – rebounding.

  2. Michael Nguyen

    so apparently everybody saw talent in Vucevic except for the Sixers. way to go Doug.

  3. jstiles23

    Obviously not too “feverishly” if they wouldnt give either cole or chalmers

  4. Of course the Heat wouldn’t trade their only two young proven point guards for an unproven young big man on a contending team that can’t wait. But knowing what they know now… heck yeah they’d do it in a second! They would have kept either Terrel Harris or Garret Temple and with Ray Allen, Wade and LeBron you don’t need a point guard. That’s their lineup along with Battier and Bosh at the end of most close games anyways. i agree with Nguyen, Sixers messed up royally. That’s why Collins sounded so depressed after losing to ORLANDO.

  5. Nisvan

    Greedy ass heat. Just last season they said they don’t need a true center. I had my on vucevic since day 1.

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