Led by All-Stars Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, the Miami Heat were in fourth place in the Eastern Conference standings when the NBA season came to a halt. They were one of the best teams in the NBA prior to the suspension of the season, with Bam even saying he was confident they could beat the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks in the playoffs. Sure enough, they did on their improbable path to the NBA Finals.
With the Eastern Conference title now in the past, Heat Hall of Fame president Pat Riley must turn his attention to free agency and make some key acquisitions to transform Miami into a championship team.
Oklahoma City Thunder swingman Danilo Gallinari, who is an unrestricted free agent in the offseason, is one player Miami should try to sign after getting former Finals MVP Andre Iguodala from the Memphis Grizzlies near the 2020 trade deadline.
Gallinari averaged 19.2 points per game and shot 40.9 percent from beyond the arc this season with the Thunder. He’s the perfect stretch-four to play alongside Butler and Adebayo since his shooting skills would bring defenders out to the perimeter, creating more driving lanes for Jimmy and Bam.
Gallo was making $22.6 million last season. He’ll most likely command similar money on the open market. The Heat may have to execute a sign-and-trade deal with the Thunder to acquire Gallinari though, especially since OKC general manager Sam Presti is smart and will try to get something in return for the Italian sharpshooter if he gets a sense that Gallinari is leaning toward leaving the Thunder.
The Heat could potentially have a starting lineup next season that features Kendrick Nunn, Jimmy Butler, Duncan Robinson, Danilo Gallinari, and Bam Adebayo. That would be one of the most versatile starting fives in the NBA and Miami head coach Erik Spoelstra would certainly have fun coaching that lineup.
Gallinari would flourish in the pick-and-roll/pop game with Nunn and Butler, as the 31-year-old is a career 38.1 percent shooter from deep. He would also give the Heat another low-post threat, as Gallinari has a polished back-to-the-basket game and is able to use his 6-foot-10 frame to shoot over anyone.