The Miami Heat are coming off a spectacular playoff run, fueled by the leadership and poise of Jimmy Butler. However, the Heat’s Cinderella push to the Finals was stalemated by LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers.
Butler and Heat are likely to run things back next season with a similar roster in tow, especially given the speculation that Miami could be a premiere landing spot for Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo in the 2021 offseason. And, while that may be the dream scenario for the Heat, that doesn’t discount the fact that they have no intention of holding back for another title run this upcoming season.
Here are five roster moves that the Heat should be interested in to keep their team competitive, particularly for the 2020-2021 season.
1. Trade for SG Victor Oladipo
Oladipo has been linked to the Heat across many outlets and we mentioned this pairing in our “Border Fuel’s Best Trade Matches For NBA Stars This Offseason” column just a few days ago.
This move makes a ton of sense for a few reasons. As mentioned in the beforementioned column, Oladipo would provide the Heat with immediate playmaking and scoring that the team lacked, outside of Butler and Goran Dragic, this past season. Tyler Herro is coming along for the team, but he is far from a solidified star and a consistent weapon.
Acquiring Oladipo would be the best form of remaining competitive in the NBA’s Eastern Conference before the 2021 push for Antetokounmpo, which coincidentally is when Oladipo’s contract expires. This means the team wouldn’t lose its cap flexibility by making a move, which shows that this is a very low-risk option for the team.
2. Sign PF Danilo Gallinari
Gallinari was one of the hottest names around the 2020 trade deadline and was even rumored to be headed to Miami several times. His stretch-four skillset is something that the Heat really didn’t have a lot of until Jae Crowder began to heat up in the playoffs.
The former Oklahoma City power forward can still provide consistent shooting from outside and has the ability to hold his own on the defensive end. The draw with Gallinari this offseason would be that he could come at a more affordable rate for the Heat, who would focus on retaining their cap flexibility for 2021.
3. Trade for C Joel Embiid
The Bam lovers will be raising their pitchforks here, but we have one of the best post players in the league and he seemingly wants out of Philadelphia.
Embiid is an absolute monster in the paint and has a very good game from midrange and the 3-point areas of the court. His play very much could put him as one of the best, if not the best center in the NBA, which is something that some may hope for Bam.
While Bam is certainly a budding defensive stud, his offensive game is fairly limited, despite the Heat’s effort to highlight him as a play initiator. Embiid is frankly on an entirely different level and has a strong connection with Jimmy Butler.
4. Sign PF Jerami Grant
Jerami Grant was a big performer for the Denver Nuggets in the playoffs, and more specifically showed up strong against the Lakers when he was tasked with slowing down LeBron James.
The Heat loves versatile, do-it-all players and Grant is the perfect fit for that description. With Crowder set to become a free agent this offseason, the Heat may look to bring him back if the price is right, but Grant is a young guy who could fit perfectly at the power forward spot alongside Bam.
With a clean shooting stroke and top-notch defensive skillset, Grant could be the ideal option for the Heat to improve under the radar.
5. Trade for Giannis Antetokounmpo
Last, but definitely not least, the Heat could go ahead and jump the gun on the 2021 push for Giannis.
The Bucks continue to flake out in the postseason and have very little ways to improve the roster at this point without moving off All-Star guard Khris Middleton. Rather than wait for the inevitable, the Bucks could go ahead and aim to get a return for Giannis to jumpstart their rebuild.
Admittedly, the Heat won’t want to surrender much for Giannis if they believe he would sign with the team in a year anyway, but the Bucks may be able to snag a developmental piece like a Duncan Robinson and draft picks.