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#pounditThursday, February 2, 2023

Articles tagged: Miami Heat

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

Report: Heat expected to be frontrunners for LaMarcus Aldridge

LaMarcus Aldridge

The Miami Heat aren’t done trying to improve after making one of the bigger moves of the trade deadline.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Heat are expected to emerge as one of the frontrunners for LaMarcus Aldridge once he completes a buyout with the San Antonio Spurs.

Aldridge wasn’t traded ahead of Thursday’s deadline, which did not come as a huge shock. He’ll be one of the hottest names on the buyout market, as multiple contenders will want to make their pitch to him. Miami’s need for Aldridge could become more pressing after including forward Kelly Olynyk in the Victor Oladipo deal on Thursday.

Aldridge averaged 13.7 points and 4.5 rebounds per game this season for San Antonio. He hasn’t played since March 1st, when the Spurs decided to part ways with him.

Victor Oladipo traded to Heat for Kelly Olynyk and Avery Bradley

Victor Oladipo

After being linked to big moves all week, the Miami Heat have finally struck on trade deadline day.

As first reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Heat will acquire guard Victor Oladipo from the Houston Rockets. Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle reported that the Rockets will receive Avery Bradley and Kelly Olynyk, as well as a draft pick swap in 2022.

The Heat have been aggressive all week in trade talks, and were among the teams pushing for Kyle Lowry. Oladipo and the Heat have been rumored to be a match for quite a while now, and he was a cheaper option than anyone else on the market while also having clear upside.

Oladipo was shipped from Indiana to Houston as part of the James Harden trade earlier this season. He averaged 21.2 points per game in 20 appearances for Houston. Health will be a question, but he figures to start in Miami’s backcourt and should provide extra scoring punch as Miami tries to position itself for another playoff run.

Photo: Michael Tipton/Flickr via CC-BY-SA 2.0

Report: These three teams are ‘seriously engaged’ in Kyle Lowry trade talks

Kyle Lowry

Kyle Lowry is likely the best player available leading into Thursday afternoon’s NBA trade deadline, and three contending teams may be competing with one another to acquire the Toronto Raptors star.

Shams Charania of The Athletic reports that the Miami Heat, Philadelphia 76ers and Los Angeles Lakers have all been “seriously engaged” with Toronto in trade talks centering on Lowry. The Heat and Sixers were believed to be the two finalists earlier in the week, but the Lakers entered the mix late.

Miami may have the best chance to land Lowry if they’re willing to part with Tyler Herro, but a report this week claimed they may not be.

Lowry, 34, is averaging 17.6 points, 7.4 assists and 5.6 rebounds per game this season. He is set to be a free agent after the season. Some believed he said goodbye to television cameras following the Raptors’ win on Wednesday night. You can see that video here.

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

Tyler Herro the sticking point in Raptors-Heat trade talks?

Tyler Herro

Kyle Lowry’s name has been mentioned in trade rumors for a few months, but he remains with Toronto ahead of the March 25 deadline. The Raptors are open to dealing him, and Miami has been mentioned as a possibility. There is just one issue.

SportsNet’s Michael Grange reported on Tuesday that Tyler Herro is the sticking point in a deal with the Heat. According to Grange, the Heat are willing to trade Duncan Robinson in a deal for Lowry, but not Herro.

A report on Monday said Miami was hoping to make some big moves before the deadline. But you can understand their reluctance to trade Herro.

The 21-year-old was their No. 13 overall pick in 2019. He averaged 13.5 points per game as a rookie and is averaging 15.3 points per game this season. He was also a breakout star in the postseason last year. Miami reportedly was unwilling to include Herro in a potential James Harden trade too.

Herro is making $3.8 million this season and is still on his rookie deal, which makes him a bargain and highly desirable.

Heat hoping to make significant moves before trade deadline?

Kyle Lowry

The NBA trade deadline is looming less than 72 hours away, and the Miami Heat definitely appear to be one of the teams to watch this week.

According to Marc Stein of the New York Times, the Heat are being linked to two potentially significant moves. They are viewed as the frontrunner to sign LaMarcus Aldridge in the event that the San Antonio Spurs fail to find a trade for the forward and are forced to buy him out. In addition, the Heat are said to “covet” Toronto Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry in a trade.

If Aldridge looks likely, Lowry is going to be much harder. While he might not be eager for a trade, he does have a friendship with Jimmy Butler that could make Miami attractive. What isn’t clear is how eager the Raptors are to move Lowry, though it sounds like there may have been some exploratory talks.

The Heat are the reigning Eastern Conference champions, but sit fifth right now at 22-21. A big addition might be just what they need to jumpstart their season.

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

Trevor Ariza traded from Thunder to Heat for Meyers Leonard

Trevor Ariza

The Miami Heat are adding some help for the stretch run, and they’ve parted with a notable name to do so.

As first reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the Heat have acquired forward Trevor Ariza from the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Thunder will receive a second-round pick in 2027, as well as suspended center Meyers Leonard. Leonard is not expected to join the Thunder after being dealt.

Ariza has not played a game in over a year, having opted out of the Orlando bubble as a member of the Portland Trail Blazers. The Thunder acquired him in the offseason, and he did not report to the rebuilding organization. The Heat will probably have to get him back in game shape, but the veteran could be a valuable contributor down the stretch.

Leonard is currently suspended after using an anti-Semitic slur on a video game stream. It’s not clear what his NBA future holds, but it does not appear it will be with Oklahoma City.

Report: LaMarcus Aldridge favored to land with one of these three teams

LaMarcus Aldridge

The San Antonio Spurs are still looking to trade LaMarcus Aldridge prior to the March 25 deadline, but a buyout agreement seems like the most likely outcome. If and when that happens, Aldridge is expected to draw interest from several contending teams.

Shams Charania of The Athletic reports that the Boston Celtics, Miami Heat and Portland Trail Blazers are considered the leading suitors for Aldridge.

Aldridge is on an expiring contract that pays him $24 million this season.

The Celtics are looking to add a big man down the stretch, and Charania says they are also interested in Atlanta Hawks forward John Collins. Adding Collins, who is just 23 and averaging 17.9 points and 7.7 rebounds per game this season, would likely cost a high first-round pick and/or a talented young player.

Aldridge is 35 and clearly on the back end of his career, but he’s still been fairly solid this season with 13.7 points and 4.5 rebounds per game. He’s a seven-time All-Star who has plenty of postseason experience, so you can understand why playoff-bound teams would want to add him.

The Celtics are 20-18 and have been somewhat of a disappointment this year, but they are not giving up on the idea of making a deep postseason run. Their pursuit of one of the best players in the NBA was evidence of that.

Miami is 21-18 and just ahead of Boston in the Eastern Conference standings. The Trail Blazers are 22-16, which is good for sixth in the Western Conference at the moment.

Report: These five teams have interest in Blake Griffin

Blake Griffin

Blake Griffin is set to become an unrestricted free agent after reaching a buyout agreement with the Detroit Pistons on Friday. As you might expect, the six-time All-Star is drawing plenty of interest from contending teams.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that Griffin has generated interest from most of the NBA’s top playoff contenders. According to Marc Stein of the New York Times, those teams include the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, Brooklyn Nets, Miami Heat and Golden State Warriors.

All of those teams are either a lock to make the playoffs or squarely in the hunt. While Griffin has lost a lot of his explosiveness due to injuries, he still averaged 12.3 points, 5.2 rebounds and 3.9 assists on a Pistons team that is one of the worst in the NBA.

The Pistons announced last month that they would be sidelining Griffin while they pursued trade possibilities for him. They then struggled to find a trade partner for the 31-year-old, so a buyout was the most likely outcome all along.

Paul Pierce: Miami Heat will miss playoffs

Jimmy Butler

It is a well-known fact that Paul Pierce does not like the Miami Heat, so it should come as no surprise that the Boston Celtics legend is jumping all over his former rival after their slow start to the season.

The Heat fell to the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday night, dropping their record to 6-12 on the season. Although they caught fire in the NBA bubble last year and reached the Finals, Pierce said on ESPN’s “The Jump” earlier this week that he does not think Miami will make the playoffs.

Pierce’s remarks came after the Heat’s blowout loss to the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday night. He said they simply haven’t shown the toughness they did last season.

“As great as the Miami Heat were in the playoffs last year, they will not make the playoffs this year,” Pierce said, as transcribed by Robert Marvi of Heat Nation. “And we saw a play earlier in the show where [Nikola] Jokic got the ball and threw it full court. That’s not the Miami Heat team we saw last year – full of grit, full of grind like the Memphis Grizzlies. That team was built on hard work and toughness, and I have not seen that this year, and that’s why I don’t think they’ll make the playoffs.”

The Heat were just 1.5 games behind the No. 8 seed New York Knicks heading into Friday. That deficit is hardly insurmountable, especially with a talented team that won the Eastern Conference less than a year ago. Jimmy Butler has also played in just six games and Tyler Herro has missed a handful. If they can get healthy, there is more than enough time to turn things around.

Miami’s biggest problem has been scoring, and a healthy Butler and Herro will certainly help address that. Pierce has always been biased against the Heat. We were reminded of that with the comments he made about Herro during the playoffs last year. He’d love for them to miss the postseason.