RUMOR: Heat now top destination in NBA for stars in free agency or trade, per execs
The Miami Heat have fallen behind to a 3-1 series deficit versus the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals. Regardless of whether or not they can mount a comeback of epic proportions, there is no question that this team has enjoyed plenty of success in the bubble during their trip to the championship.
Despite arriving as a darkhorse team to make the Finals, the Heat made quick work of the Eastern Conference by making it to the championship in 15 games. Their success paired with the foundation of talent have reportedly made them a prime destination for soon-to-be free agents, per Kevin O’Conner of The Ringer:
Front office executives around the league believe the Heat have become the league’s top destination for the next star with a wandering eye. Maybe it will be a free agent. Or maybe a player under contract who will seek a trade in 2021, since the Heat have good young players who could be traded in addition to first-round picks in 2025, 2026, and 2027. Keep in mind: Miami emptied the draft pick cupboard to acquire LeBron and Bosh 10 years ago. Who knows what could happen in the coming years with Houston, Indiana, Philadelphia, Washington, or any other team facing a crossroads.
The prospect of Miami emerging as a potential hotspot for NBA talent is certainly not too far-fetched. Wing man Jimmy Butler made as much clear when he opted to sign with them in the offseason. It appears the rest of the league has taken notice of the winning culture he has helped build.
Meanwhile, Pat Riley has helped assemble one of the most talented, young cores in the NBA today led by center Bam Adebayo along with the backcourt pairing of Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson. This group should help to ensure that the Heat are built to compete for the long haul, which should provide even more incentive for future players to flock toward South Beach.
For now, Miami is focused on trying to make history by becoming the second team to overcome a 3-1 series deficit in the Finals.