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#pounditFriday, January 27, 2023

Articles tagged: Miami Heat

These teams reportedly have interest in Kevin Love trade

Kevin Love

Kevin Love battled injuries this past season and averaged career-lows in many statistical categories, but it sounds like there could still be a robust trade market for him this summer.

The Cleveland Cavaliers are expected to explore trade possibilities for Love this offseason. According to Sam Amico of Hoops Wire, there are at least five teams that have interest in the 32-year-old — the New Orleans Pelicans, Philadelphia 76ers, Miami Heat, Los Angeles Clippers and Portland Trail Blazers.

New Orleans would be an interesting spot for Love. The Pelicans have a core of young players in Zion Williams, Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball that have seemingly infinite potential. They could use a veteran presence like Love now that they ousted Stan Van Gundy after just one season with the team.

The other four teams should all be playoff contenders and may consider Love a piece that could help put them over the top.

Love averaged 12.2 points and 7.4 rebounds this year, which were the worst marks of his career.

Love almost certainly wants a trade, as a recent report indicated he does not really fit in with Cleveland’s future plans.

Report: These two teams will make ‘hard push’ to sign Kawhi Leonard

Kawhi Leonard

Kawhi Leonard is eligible to become a free agent once again this summer if he declines his player option, which he is all but certainly going to do. There has been no real reason to think he will leave the Los Angeles Clippers, but at least two teams are waiting to pounce if he does.

Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer was told by sources that the Miami Heat and Dallas Mavericks are both planning to make a “hard push” to sign Leonard if he tests free agency. Some executives reportedly believe that the Mavericks are the biggest threat to pry Leonard away from L.A., as they have salary cap flexibility and can offer Leonard the opportunity to play with a fellow top-10 player in Luka Doncic.

As O’Connor notes, Leonard tried to recruit Jimmy Butler to the Clippers before L.A. landed Paul George. That means Leonard wanted to play with Butler at some point and still might, which is why the Heat can’t be ruled out. Though, they do not have the necessary salary cap space to sign Leonard and would need to get creative with a sign-and-trade.

The New York Knicks are also monitoring the Leonard situation. It is common knowledge that they are in the market for a star player.

The thought of Leonard winding up in Dallas is intriguing. The Mavericks have already undergone significant changes this offseason by bringing in a new head coach and general manager. There also appears to be some tension between their two biggest stars.

George signed a five-year max extension with the Clippers last year, so he is committed to the team. Recent reports have indicated that Leonard is as well, but we know better than to rule anything out during an NBA offseason.

Report: Kelly Oubre set to draw interest from these three teams

Kelly Oubre

Kelly Oubre is coming off a disappointing season with the Golden State Warriors, but it appears to be doing little to diminish interest in him around the league.

According to Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports, the Miami Heat, San Antonio Spurs, and New York Knicks are among the teams set to have interest in Oubre, who will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason. The expectation is that Oubre will have a decent amount of interest, and may be able to cash in as other wing players have in recent offseasons.

Oubre has flashed signs of what he is capable of, but his year with Golden State was disappointing. He was limited to 15.4 points per game while shooting 43.9 percent from the field. Much of that was down to a bad start to the season, as things improved somewhat later in the year.

There are some indications that one of these three teams may be of particular interest to Oubre, too. That might be one to watch.

Report: Jimmy Butler expected to seek max extension from Heat

Jimmy Butler

Jimmy Buckets is apparently looking to become Jimmy Buckets of Money.

Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald reported on Tuesday that Miami Heat star Jimmy Butler is expected to seek a max extension for four years and $181 million. He will be eligible for such an extension this offseason.

The argument for Butler to get that max extension cuts both ways. He has definitely earned it based on his emergence as an elite leader for the Heat who brought them to the NBA Finals just last season. But this season was drastically less successful as Miami just got swept out of the first round of the playoffs. Butler is also about to turn 32, and the max extension would reportedly pay him over $50 million in its final season, when Butler is 36.

The Heat have other decisions to make this offseason as well. They have restricted free agents Duncan Robinson and Kendrick Nunn, plus unrestricted free agent Victor Oladipo. They are also eyeing some free agent upgrades on top of that. That means Miami will have to get creative if they do end up giving Butler his desired max extension.

Jrue Holiday has trash talk for Heat ahead of playoff series

Jrue Holiday

The Milwaukee Bucks and the Miami Heat don’t start their playoff series until Saturday, but things are already getting juicy between the two sides.

Speaking with reporters on Tuesday, Bucks guard Jrue Holiday had some trash talk for the Heat.

“I feel like talent-wise, we have a bit more of that,” said the veteran Holiday, per Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

The Bucks certainly have a formidable roster headlined by reigning back-to-back MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo. Complementing Antetokounmpo is a stout crew of ex-All-Stars as well in Holiday, Khris Middleton, and Brook Lopez. But the Heat are not lacking in the talent department either led by stars Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo. Former All-NBA guard Goran Dragic, former Finals MVP Andre Iguodala, and sharpshooters Duncan Robinson and Tyler Herro also round out a very balanced rotation for Miami.

Many are looking forward to the rematch between these two teams after Miami upset Milwaukee with a gentleman’s sweep in last year’s playoffs. While Holiday is only in his first season with Milwaukee, he is diving headfirst into the growing Heat-Bucks rivalry.

Photo: TonyTheTiger/Wikimedia via cc-by-sa 3.0

Jimmy Butler takes responsibility after latest Heat loss

Jimmy Butler

A week ago, Miami Heat star Jimmy Butler was critical of his team after a loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves. After the Heat dropped another game to the Atlanta Hawks on Friday, Butler struck a more conciliatory note.

Butler said after Friday’s game that he would “ride with these guys ’til wheels fall off,” pointing the finger at himself for not doing enough to help the team.

“We’ve got to be in this thing together, which we are,” Butler said, via Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel. “We’ve had lapses where I could do more. I got to show that I could do more.”

It’s a different tone than the one Butler used a week earlier. At the time, he was sharply critical of the team’s play, and the comments even raised questions about chemistry issues. As honest as those original comments were, Butler’s handling of this latest loss is probably better for team morale, at least publicly.

The Heat sit seventh in the Eastern Conference after Friday’s loss, putting them in danger of landing in a play-in spot just one year after reaching the NBA Finals.

Bam Adebayo shouts out Dwyane Wade after game-winning shot

Bam Adebayo

Bam Adebayo played a role for the Miami Heat on Sunday that Dwyane Wade is quite familiar with, and the big man gave his former teammate a great shoutout after coming up huge in the clutch.

Adebayo hit a jumper at the buzzer to give the Heat a 109-107 win over the Brooklyn Nets. Some fans were in attendance at AmericanAirlines Arena, which made the game-winner that much more exciting.

Wade hit several game-winners during his Hall of Fame career with Heat, and his signature move was jumping on the scorer’s table afterword. Adebayo told ESPN after the game that he thought about doing that but isn’t quite ready for it yet.

Adebayo finished with a team-high 21 points and game-high 15 rebounds. He also played outstanding defense, holding the Nets to 3-of-17 shooting when he was the primary defender, according to ESPN Stats & Info.

Wade was known to give a good shoutout after his game-winners, so it’s only right that Adebayo sent it full circle.

Jimmy Butler calls Heat ‘soft’ after loss to Timberwolves

Jimmy Butler

It’s quite obvious that the Miami Heat’s struggles this season are wearing very thin on Jimmy Butler.

Butler was sharply critical of the Heat after Friday’s surprising 119-111 loss to the lowly Minnesota Timberwolves, calling the team “soft” and afraid of physical play.

Butler might have a point. The Heat rank third-to-last in the NBA with 41.7 rebounds per game, while only Butler and Bam Adebayo average more than five per game.

The Heat have failed to build on last season’s NBA Finals appearance, and they sit just 28-28 while flirting with the play-in game. For the notoriously competitive Butler, that simply isn’t good enough, and he won’t be afraid to say it privately or publicly.

Heat owner ‘disappointed’ Dwyane Wade purchased stake in Jazz

Dwyane Wade

Dwyane Wade announced on Friday that he has purchased a stake in an NBA team, but that team was not the one with which he won three championships. Miami Heat owner Micky Arison admits he is not thrilled about that.

After Wade shared his big news, Arison took to Twitter to both congratulate the Heat legend and address the question many have asked — why didn’t Wade buy a stake in his former team? Arison said the Heat spoke with Wade about joining their ownership group when the 13-time All-Star retired in 2019, but Wade was not ready to commit at that time.

“I want to congratulate Dwyane on his recent announcement,” Arison wrote. “We had discussed having him join our ownership group after his retirement but he was not prepared to commit at the time. Of course I am disappointed that he didn’t reconsider. Having said that I wish him good luck and much success with the Jazz. To me Dwyane will always be a HEAT lifer.”

Wade also addressed the Heat questions.

“The respect I that I have for that organization will not go anywhere, the love that I have for the [Heat] fans — that goes nowhere,” he told ESPN. “But this is about the next phase of my life as an investor, a businessman, an entrepreneur. For me, this is an opportunity to grow.”

The biggest factor in Wade’s decision to buy into the Jazz was his relationship with majority owner Ryan Smith. The two developed a close relationship after Wade retired, and Wade said that is what made him want to be involved in Utah.

Of course, there were also some issues between Wade and Miami’s brass when he left the team in 2016, but Wade later returned and finished his career with the Heat. It’s unlikely that any of that tension contributed to his decision. He simply views the situation in Utah as a better one for him.

Heat could still pursue Kyle Lowry in free agency?

Kyle Lowry

Kyle Lowry escaped from the Miami Heat’s clutches at the trade deadline buzzer, but the team may be hot on his trail once again this summer.

Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer reported Monday that the Heat could pivot back to the Toronto Raptors veteran if things do not work out with new acquisition Victor Oladipo. Both guards will be free agents in the offseason.

O’Connor notes that Lowry’s preference, if he had been traded, was to go to the Heat. This is because of his close friendship with Miami star Jimmy Butler, his former USA Basketball teammate.

The Heat may have some big money to spend on the upcoming free agent market. In addition to Oladipo, Kendrick Nunn and Duncan Robinson are on expiring contracts. Two other newcomers, Trevor Ariza and Nemanja Bjelica, are also on one-year deals. Meanwhile, both Goran Dragic and Andre Iguodala carry team options for next season.

We know the 35-year-old Lowry came very close to landing with the Heat. Having just made the Finals last season led by Butler, another star who is in his 30s, Miami is a win-now team. That could be the perfect situation for Lowry as he gets closer to the end of his NBA career.

Photo: Chensiyuan/Wikimedia via CC-by-S.A. 4.0