With a 13-17 record, and sitting in 10th place in the Eastern Conference, it would seem that the Miami Heat would do almost anything to make a blockbuster trade in order to salvage what’s thus been a disastrous first half of the season.
While All-Stars Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo are securely fastened in Miami, South Florida Sun Sentinel‘s Ira Winderman reported on February 22 that the Heat should also “draw the line” when it comes to veteran guard Goran Dragic.
In order to avoid missing the playoffs entirely after coming within two games of winning the NBA Finals last season, Winderman believes that “there are pieces the Heat could offload in exchange for picks that still would leave the team in a competitive position.”
“With Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro, you still could compete for a quality seed and give yourself a chance for early-round success,” Winderman reported. “Where I would draw the line would be with Goran Dragic (who has veto power over such a deal). He is the type of swing piece that could leave the Heat teetering with a departure.”
As for the players that can be up for grabs, “If someone calls asking about Andre Iguodala, Kelly Olynyk or Avery Bradley, I’d listen. As for Duncan Robinson, that could come down to whether the Heat believe his would be a price worth paying in free agency.”
Dragic Has Been Sidelined Since With an Injury Since Early February
The Heat already know what it’s like to play without Dragic on the court, and it’s not great. The 34-year-old suffered a sprained ankle earlier this month and has been out of the lineup since February 5. Even before the ankle injury, the Slovenian star had only played in three games since January 25 due to a strained left groin.
“I think we’ve missed him a ton,” Heat center Kelly Olynyk said. “He was unbelievable for us in that playoff run last year. And just when he played this year, he just settles us down, making plays. He’s a vet. He knows how this game goes, and he’s someone that we definitely miss in a lot of areas.”
“Obviously, we can’t wait to get him back,” Olynyk continued. “He’s someone that kind of takes us over the top, especially coming off the bench in that second unit. He makes sure there’s no drop offs.”
Kendrick Nunn is excited for the Dragon’s return, too. “Goran is a big piece for us,” Nunn said. “We miss him, of course.”
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The Heat Have Been Linked to 8 Free Agent Options
Name an available forward becoming available, and there’s likely a report linking them to the Heat. The franchise is trying to avoid the embarrassment that is coming off an NBA Finals run only and to miss out on the playoffs entirely the following season.
The Heat missed out on obtaining James Harden and Giannis Antetokounmpo, and while it was blow to hear Wizards All-Star Bradley Beal say he wants to remain in Washington, Miami still have their eyes on more than a few players around the league.
Big names tossed around thus far include the following players:
Detroit Pistons Blake Griffin
Houston Rockets DeMarcus Cousins & P.J. Tucker
Sacramento Kings Nemanja Bjelica
San Antonio Spurs Rudy Gay
Cleveland Cavaliers Andre Drummond
Toronto Raptors Kyle Lowry and Lonzo Ball
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