Perhaps more than any decision-maker in the NBA, Miami Heat President Pat Riley has shown a knack for landing big stars (and seeing big results for his efforts). So even before the Heat failed in the East Finals against the Celtics, there were rumors of his next home run swing.
However, two weeks into the association’s proverbial hot spell, the godfather has yet to make a headline-grabbing move. That’s not to say the Heat haven’t played a prominent role in the trade talk, though.
After Kevin Durant’s stunning request to be traded by the Nets, Miami was listed as one of the franchises at the top of his wish list. And why not? With Jimmy Butler, one of the game’s finest pivots, Bam Adebayo, an elite trainer, Erik Spoelstra, and a cornucopia of top-flight roleplayers, the Heat are primed to win now.
Whether Riley can actually offer something the Nets would legitimately consider for KD while still retaining enough support to compete for a chip is hard to say. In any case, Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley has a trade idea that would do just that.
For his latest offseason feature, which involved hypothetical trades for each of the league’s 30 teams, Buckley proposed the following trade that brought Durant to South Beach:
This is clearly a deal Riley and company would make any day of the week. By retaining Butler, Adebayo, Kyle Lowry and most of their rotation figures from last year’s No. 1 roster (Herro being the only major loss), the Heat would immediately move to the top of the list of title contenders.
And really, it’s not a bad deal for Brooklyn either.
Regardless of his troubles in the playoffs, Herro is one of the game’s ultimate microwave scorers. a true No. 1 in the second unit with the potential overall to be the first or second option on a playoff-level team. Meanwhile, Robinson is a nice trade-in, Strus is a super useful player, and you basically get four first-round players, with just-drafted Jovic being included in the deal.
However, even this type of package may not be enough. The Jazz just created a hell of a market by getting three entry-level ballers, some intriguing prospects, three unprotected firsts, one slightly protected first, and a pick swap for Rudy Gobert.
It’s hard to imagine KD would go for less, and while Herro may be better than any of the actual players in the Gobert deal, Miami’s wealth package here is a few rungs short of what Minny sent.
Get the latest Heat news straight to your inbox! Join this Heavy on Heat newsletter here!
Join Heavy on Heat!
As ESPN league insider Adrian Wojnarowski puts it, The Heat may just not have the steam to get anything done for KD themselves. Rather, he believes they would need the help of additional parties to actually accomplish anything.
“I think a lot of the teams that have the most interest in Kevin Durant — like the Miami Heat, the Phoenix Suns, especially the two teams that I’ve been told are favorite targets for Kevin Durant — said they did need a third and maybe even a fourth team to help put deals together for Durant,” Woj said on NBA Today.
“It certainly creates complicated scenarios. Such deals do not come about quickly.”