The Heat could try to improve their bargaining power in a potential Kevin Durant trade by negotiating with the Thunder to remove protections on the 2025 first-round pick owed to OKC, writes Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald.
If Oklahoma City agrees to accept the pick with no lottery protection, Miami will be free to offer Brooklyn first-rounders in 2023, 2027 and 2029 without violating the Stepien rule. Teams aren’t permitted to trade draft picks that are more than seven years away, but the Heat could also include pick swaps in 2024, 2026 and 2028.
Chiang says the Heat are in a “holding pattern” as they wait for the next step in the Durant drama. They haven’t made any moves since reaching agreements to re-sign Dewayne Dedmon and Victor Oladipo shortly after free agency began Thursday afternoon.
The Nets can’t acquire Bam Adebayo as long as Ben Simmons is on the roster and the Heat would prefer to keep Jimmy Butler, so any trade offer would have to be built around Tyler Herro. Chiang notes that Herro, Duncan Robinson and Kyle Lowry are sufficient to match salary, while inexpensive players such as Gabe Vincent, Max Strus and Omer Yurtseven could be added to sweeten the offer. It’s unlikely that would be enough to interest the Nets, who reportedly have received interest in Durant from more than half the league.
There’s more from Miami:
- Haywood Highsmith received a $50K guarantee on his 2022/23 salary by remaining on the roster past Friday’s deadline, Chiang adds. The second-year small forward joined the Heat in late December on the first of three 10-day contracts, then was given a standard deal in March.
- Highsmith has an opportunity for a larger role next season after P.J. Tucker‘s departure to Philadelphia, Chiang notes in a separate story. Highsmith, who scored 11 points in today’s Summer League opener, is working to model himself after Tucker as a three-and-D player.
- Jovic is still adjusting to the speed of the NBA game and that was evident in today’s debut, per Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel. He made just 1 of 6 shots and grabbed three rebounds in 21 minutes of action. “I know he wanted to play better,” said Summer League coach Malik Allen. “I just think it was moving really fast. I told him just to keep his head up. He was frustrated. That learning curve is going to continue to be there for him.”