The NBA trade deadline is 24 hours away and there will be many teams looking to make that last move before the playoffs begin in May.
One team that has been mentioned in various trade rumors over the last few weeks is the Miami Heat. This season, the defending Eastern Conference champions struggled out of the gate due to missing players because of COVID-19. But since the Heat has gotten back to full strength, they are now sitting in fifth place at 22-22. Miami is only a half game behind the Hawks for first place in the Southeast Division, which could vault them to fourth place.
Over the last few weeks, there’s been two major players connected to the Heat and that is Kyle Lowry and Victor Oladipo. We’ll breakdown which one of these guards should be their top target before Thursday’s deadline.
Heat’s Top Target: Kyle Lowry
As we get closer to the NBA trade deadline at 3 p.m. ET Thursday, it appears as if the Lowry sweepstakes will come down to the Philadelphia 76ers and Heat. On Tuesday, Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer reported that those two teams are in the running for the veteran point guard.
However, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Tuesday night that the Heat, along with the Sixers have shown restraint in what they would give up in a deal. When it comes to the Heat, they don’t necessarily need Lowry to win, but he would be an immediate upgrade over Goran Dragic.
For Miami to acquire Lowry, they would need to include Duncan Robinson, who is expected to be a restricted free agent at the end of the season and could get paid a lot. But the Raptors also have their eyes on Tyler Herro. According to Michael Grange of Sportsnet.ca, he’s a sticking point in a potential deal.
It is understandable to see why the Heat would give up Robinson, who will likely get paid a nice amount in free agency. Meanwhile, Herro is only in the second-year of his rookie deal and is a significant part of Miami’s future. In fact, Miami would only consider Herro if Norman Powell was included, who is also rumored to be dealt.
Another player who has been connected to the Heat is Victor Oladipo. The veteran guard who was traded from the Indiana Pacers in the James Harden blockbuster trade, will likely be moved before Thursday’s deadline. According to Chris Mannix of SI.com, the Heat are reportedly ‘lukewarm’ on packaging Herro and Robinson for Oladipo. Oladipo is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent this season.
Between the two players, Lowry is the correct top choice as they could move Dragic to the bench. But are the Heat willing to pay the price for him and then commit to a two-year, $50M extension in the offseason? Those questions among others will be answered on Thursday afternoon.