Miami Heat team president Pat Riley is still one of the best executives in the game today. Just last summer, he shocked the basketball world when acquired Jimmy Butler, successfully keeping his team relevant in the Eastern Conference in the process.
This is exactly why it would not be surprising if Miami once again emerges as one of the more active teams in the offseason, whenever that may be. With Butler at the helm, Bam Adebayo slowly emerging as a legitimate star, and a formidable collection of young and promising talent, the Heat will be looking to take another leap forward. The addition of a third star would help take them over the edge, and below we will be presenting three potential targets Riley must keep his eye on.
San Antonio Spurs veteran LaMarcus Aldridge will be 35 by the time the 2020-21 campaign starts, but nevertheless, he still remains to be a top big man in the league. This season, he has quietly averaged 18.9 points (on 49.3 percent shooting), 7.4 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 0.7 steals, 1.6 blocks, and 1.2 triples in 53 games for the Spurs. The seven-time All-Star is a tested veteran, and his wealth of experience is also something that will prove to be beneficial for a young Heat side.
Aldridge will be entering the final deal of his contract next season, and with the Spurs likely moving towards the direction of youth development, they might just be willing to offload the 6-foot-11 power forward/center in exchange for some future assets.
Kevin Love has perpetually been on the trading block for the Cleveland Cavaliers, and it actually came as a bit of a surprise that he wasn’t dealt prior to the February deadline. A five-time All-Star and a former NBA champ, Love is a bona fide superstar that could slide in well alongside Butler and Adebayo. Just imagine a frontocurt of Love and Adebayo. That in itself could almost immediately propel the Heat to contender status in the East next season.
One huge stumbling block here is Love’s huge contract. The 31-year-old will be owed $91.5 million over the next three years after this season, and it will be a challenge for the Heat to navigate the salary cap should they decide to bring in Love. At the end of the day, though, he might just be worth the trouble.
One name that was linked to Miami in February was New Orleans Pelicans star Jrue Holiday. Although that obviously did not come to fruition, the Heat might strike lucky this coming offseason. The emergence of Zion Williamson might just provide the Pelicans with the right amount of push to explore a deal for Holiday.
The 6-foot-3 guard is currently one of the best defenders in the league, and pairing him with Butler would be a nightmare defensive duo for any opponent. Additionally, Miami are in dire need of a legitimate playmaking point guard, and Holiday appears to be the perfect fit.