Kyler’s Latest: Pelicans, Knicks, Heat

Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld continues to examine potential trade situations for various NBA teams, today focusing on the Pelicans, Knicks, and Heat. Let's check out Kyler's NBA AM piece and round up a few of the highlights….

  • The Pelicans' lack of a "bruising inside player" could be cause for concern, according to Kyler, who says that the team may look into acquiring a true center if Anthony Davis struggles in his minutes at the five.
  • J.R. Smith's health will be one of the big questions for the Knicks this season, as the reigning Sixth Man of the Year recovers from knee surgery. If he's unable to return to 100% health, or has any setbacks, New York could target a replacement via trade, though the club likely wouldn't get aggressive until close to the deadline.
  • Those close to the situation in Miami say the Heat should be more wary of the summer of 2015 than 2014, according to Kyler. LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh each essentially have player options in each of the next two offseasons, so any or all of the Big Three could opt out in either '14 or '15.
  • Kyler views Bosh and Wade as good bets to play out their current contracts, since neither player is likely to receive a raise in free agency. LeBron could obviously land a bigger long-term deal if he opts out, but he's unlikely to leave Miami while Wade and Bosh are still healthy and productive, says Kyler.
  • The Heat have several expiring contracts that could be used to faciliate deals at the 2014 trade deadline, if necessary, and Kyler notes that the team essentially has zero guaranteed money committed for 2014/15, meaning Miami could be in position to add even more talent. I'm not sure how realistic that is though — if we assume Bosh, Wade, Udonis Haslem, and Joel Anthony all opt in, and the Heat pick up Norris Cole's option, that takes team salary for '14/15 up over $51MM, and that's not even counting LeBron.
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