Beyond re-signing many of their own free agents, the Heat have remained relatively quiet this summer, writes Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel. Miami enjoyed a successful 2021/22 campaign, and found itself one win shy of qualifying for their second NBA Finals appearance in three years.
Aside from the big fish – Nets All-Star forward Kevin Durant and Jazz All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell – there are many other viable trade candidates the team could look to add this summer after having lost starting power forward P.J. Tucker in free agency, says Winderman. He lists players like Pacers big man Myles Turner, Hawks power forward John Collins, Kings forward Harrison Barnes, Hornets power forward Gordon Hayward, and Suns power forward Jae Crowder – a starter on Miami’s 2020 Finals team – as potentially attainable frontcourt players who could help the Heat replace Tucker.
Winderman notes that Miami has three big pieces it could include in a trade: swingman Duncan Robinson and his $16.9MM salary; extension-eligible 2022 Sixth Man of the Year Tyler Herro; and the ability to send out up to three first-round draft picks, plus this year’s No. 27 pick, Nikola Jovic. Winderman acknowledges that emptying the team’s coffers to get a less starry component than Durant or Mitchell could leave the team’s front office feeling as if it missed out.
There’s more out of South Beach:
- Though the Heat’s competitors in the Eastern Conference have, on paper, made moves to improve their rosters, Winderman wonders in a recent reader mailbag if the gains made by Miami’s East rivals may have been somewhat overstated. Though Winderman concedes that the acquisitions made by the Celtics and Hawks were fairly major, he thinks that the rest of the competitive portion of the conference made merely supplemental moves.
- When the NBA’s full schedule is announced later this month, it will reveal that the Heat are set to play their second Mexico City regular season contest in five seasons, Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel writes in a separate piece. As Winderman details, Miami will play at an elevation even more extreme than the NBA’s normal high, Denver, at 5,280 feet above sea level — Mexico City stands 7,350 feet above sea level. This Mexico City return game is among several international contests the league is scheduling during the preseason and regular season for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Games are also scheduled to take place this year in Abu Dhabi, between the Hawks and Bucks, during the October preseason and in Paris, between the Bulls and Pistons, in January.