A Look at Potential Strength Forward Trading Options for Heat


Miami Heat President Pat Riley practices from the sidelines at FTX Arena in Miami on September 30, 2021.

Miami Heat President Pat Riley practices from the sidelines at FTX Arena in Miami on September 30, 2021.

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With the Heat playing much better – 13 wins in 19 games – any idea of ​​Miami “cannibalizing its roster” went from completely unlikely to improbable.


It also reduces the chance of Kyle Lowry transferring from the Heat, which is hard to come by anyway due to his age (36) and contract ($28.3 million this season, $29.7 million next season). While a deal for Lowry cannot be ruled out, a league source said Miami is not trying to deal with him.

So, basically, the Heat have two players they likely wouldn’t hesitate to trade – Duncan Robinson (because of his contract) and Dewayne Dedmon – and at least two more that could be offered in the right trade, Caleb Martin and Nikola Jovic. Miami could also offer one or two protected first-round picks.

With Max Strus playing better lately, that could lead to Heat keeping him and signing him this summer, although Strus could be put into action for a quality start. Imminent free agent Omer Yurtseven may be a chip, but he’s still weeks away from returning from ankle surgery.

So what’s a power spin player achievable for Robinson, Desdemon and maybe an asset or two between Martin and Jovic and a first-rounder?

Among the options as the February 9 trading deadline approaches:

John Collins from Atlanta. Longtime NBA writer Sean Devaney of reported this week that the Heat would be receptive to dealing with Robinson (who has 3 1/2 years in his $90 million five-year deal), Martin (per year The first of a three-year, $20.5 million deal) and the protected first for the Atlanta power forward.

But ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowksi said, “Starting next year, he still owes another $25 million a year, basically $75 million over the next three years. I think that’s been a drag in the trade market. There are some teams, like Utah, Landry Fields, Atlanta’s new general manager, doesn’t see John Collins as a dump of cash.”

Since Collins’ production did not match the contract, the question becomes whether Atlanta should include a carrot for dealing with him (which Fields seems reluctant to do) or whether the Hawks should order a draft carrot to trade him off.

That’s a big red flag with 6-9 Collins, and why this might not be worth pursuing for Miami: The Heat love to play the fourth inning alongside Bam Adebayo, and Collins’ three-point shooting has slipped badly to 24.4 percent this season (29-vs. 199) down from 40.1, 39.9, and 36.4 in the previous three seasons.

This is a big reason why his scoring average has dropped to 13.3 per game, from 16.2 last season. That would be a lot of money Hope That season’s three-point shooting numbers are an anomaly.

Indiana Miles Turner. The Pacers and Turner opened contract extension talks last month, and there’s no indication Indiana will try to deal with him.

Always a shot blocker and blocker at the edge, Turner has become an even more attractive potential target, in theory for Miami, as he hits 39.4 percent on threes, up from his career average of 35.5.

He averaged career highs of 17.1 points and 7.8 rebounds.

The issue is whether Miami has enough attractive assets for Indiana and whether they will care to give him a big contract, beyond the $18 million he’s made this season.

Robinson is probably going to be a bit of a hotspot for the Pacers. Any deal with Martin and the first, and possibly Yurtseven, should be sweetened, to say the least.

Washington’s Kyle Kuzma, who earned $13 million last season and would likely turn down his option for a $13 million player next year, is a logical and attractive target, but the Wizards are instead looking to move Rui Hachimura with an eye on keeping Kozma, according to the Athletic.

From the Heat’s point of view, Hachimura—an imminent restricted free agent—would be far less attractive. He’s been a poor three-point shooter in three of his four seasons, including 32.1 percent this year.

Torin Prince of Minnesota and Kyle Anderson, who could play in case the underperforming Wolves decide to make changes. They both have affordable contracts, they can shoot triples and it would be beneficial to add rotation. In the final year of their contracts next season, Prince owes $7.6 million, Anderson $9.3 million.

Whether the Heat would consider pairing Jovic with Dedmon — or whether Minnesota would — is questionable.

San Antonio’s Doug McDermott and Zach Collins, two skilled three-point shooters. McDermott owes $13.7 million next season in the final year of his deal. Collins has a team option of $7.7 million.

Among other things, the Heat is still interested in Jae Crowder from Phoenix (but it’s unlikely they’ll drop Martin or a first major in the deal); Chicago gave no indication that it was looking to transfer the outgoing contract of sweet shooting center Nick Vucevic (though he can’t be ruled out); The Heat was not among the nationally tied teams with Detroit’s Bojan Bogdanovic.

Orlando’s Mo Bamba (7.4 points, 4.8 rebounds, 37.6 percent triples) has been traded to league circles but is worth $10.3 million next season. Utah could receive Kelly Olynyk; Worth $12.8 million this year and $12.2 million next season, the Heat has embraced players’ second innings before.

Charlotte is said to be considering options for junior forward Jalen McDaniels, who has a cheap, expiring contract ($1.9 million), can shoot threes and has the size (6-9) to play power forward.

So there are options for Miami to add another power forward. But the idea of ​​getting anything good for the contracts of Didmon and Robinson seems unimaginable, unless there is a sweetener or two (Martin, first manager, Yurtseven or maybe Jovic).

Here’s an important rule to keep in mind: A team that will be above the luxury tax threshold after the deal closes (and Miami is barely below) can only get back 125 percent of the salary sent, plus $100,000. For teams without taxes or close to the line, the outgoing salary plus $5 million is acceptable for players earning between $6.5 million and $19.6 million.

This story was originally published Jan 19, 2023 5:03 PM.

Barry Jackson has written for the Miami Herald since 1986 and has written the Florida Sports Buzz column since 2002.

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