The Miami Heat won the Eastern Conference and pushed the Los Angeles Lakers to six games in the NBA Finals last season and, in the process, appeared as one of the favorites in the East as the 2020-21 season started. However, after a couple of months into the year, they are in trouble and are floating towards the bottom half of the standings. They need to do find a way to make a trade to improve this team.
The Heat’s struggles have been confusing, and a lot could be pinpointed to COVID-related absences and injuries. Either way, this team needs to make a move and quick before they dig a hole too deep to climb out of. Erik Spoelstra’s squad has an 11-16 record and tied for 10th in the East with the Atlanta Hawks, which would be the final spot for the play-in tournament.
James Harden was made available from the Houston Rockets and the Heat were reportedly big players in the Harden sweepstakes before the Brooklyn Nets got him with a monster offer. The Heat probably wish they would’ve pulled the trigger on a deal, and adding Harden to a team with Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo would’ve easily vaulted this team into contention in the East, even with the various COVID-19 issues they’ve faced.
The Cleveland Cavaliers made Andre Drummond available and the Detroit Pistons made Blake Griffin available, and perhaps Griffin makes sense going to Miami. Nonetheless, they need to find some way to make a huge trade before they dip too far in the standings. In fact, the Heat are closer to the last place spot than they are to a top-four seed.
The Heat are last in the league in rebounds per game and fourth to last in points per game, both of which should be huge concerns. Tyler Herro was one of their best players in the playoff run last season and has picked up where he left off.
Butler has only played 15 games due to COVID-19, Goran Dragic has played 17 games due to injury, and in general, the Miami bench isn’t good. Avery Bradley is out for at least another month and the loss of Jae Crowder is really affecting this group more than originally thought,
Miami just lost a game to the Los Angeles Clippers, who were missing both Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, and apart from Herro, the bench scored a grand total of 13 points. Max Strus, Gabe Vincent, and KZ Okpala have played big minutes for this team, and that’s not exactly anything that will be compelling when the playoffs roll around.
The Heat need to act fast, and with the trade deadline a month away, they better start picking up the phones and work some sort of deal. JJ Redick, Lonzo Ball, Drummond, and Griffin are just a few of the names made available, and as the deadline draws near more players will be shopped as teams drop out of contention and look to gain assets and free up cap space.
Miami is in trouble early on and needs to find a way to make a huge trade to expedite their way back to the top of the Eastern Conference.