May 8, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) warms up before game against the Denver Nuggets at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports
Kevin Durant is interested in a trade to the Miami Heat, but it is very difficult to see how such a deal would work based on what Durant and the Nets are hoping for.
Durant would want to play for a Heat team alongside Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, and Kyle Lowry, according to Sam Amick of The Athletic. If Butler or Adebayo were included in a Durant trade with the Nets, Durant would already begin his Heat career unhappy. The Heat would likely struggle to put together any acceptable package that excludes the aforementioned players, as the Nets would not be terribly excited about a package centered around Tyler Herro.
This illustrates the big issue Durant may have to deal with in a trade. While the Nets are willing to grant his trade request, the organization is clearly focused on getting the best return possible in a deal that makes sense for them. That means Durant may ultimately be traded in exchange for some of the players he would want to play with. That does not even factor in one NBA rule that could also impact how the Nets go about a Durant deal.
We have seen one report indicating what the Nets are asking in exchange for Durant. If that asking price holds, it is tough to see how any team could acquire him without parting with some of their core players. Durant may have no choice but to accept that.
When the free agency negotiation period opened on Thursday, the Miami Heat wasted no time going after a very important player.
According to veteran reporter Tim Reynolds, the Heat sent a delegation of employees to recruit Udonis Haslem. The Heat are hoping that Haslem will return to them for a 20th season.
To show his continued importance and value to the franchise, the Miami Heat sent a delegation of employees to make a free agency pitch to Udonis Haslem promptly at 6pm tonight with hopes of luring him back for Year 20.
Haslem is 42 and has played for the Heat since 2003. If he returns to the team, he would match the late Kobe Bryant for the second-longest tenure by an NBA player with the same team. Dirk Nowitzki is the record holder with 21 seasons played for the Mavericks.
After the playoffs ended, Haslem indicated he was uncertain about his playing future. Even though he is barely a contributor on the court, Haslem offers a strong locker-room presence and functions somewhat as a coach.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that Durant also has interest in the Miami Heat in addition to the Suns.
Phoenix and Miami are among two of the teams that Kevin Durant has on his wish list, sources tell ESPN, but the Nets plan to move Durant where they can get the best possible deal. With four years on his contract, there's no shortage of teams willing to unload assets for Durant.
Though the Suns and Heat are the only two teams that have been mentioned by name, Woj notes that Durant has a wishlist. That could indicate Durant is open to a few other unmentioned teams.
Not that contracts really matter given the way players can request/demand trades, but Durant has four years and $194 million left on his current deal. That is appealing to teams because they know free agency isn’t looming.
The Heat finished with the best record in the East last season and lost in the conference finals. They reached the NBA Finals in 2020.
Feb 22, 2020; Miami, Florida, USA; Miami Heat forward Jae Crowder (99) works out before a game against the Cleveland Cavaliers at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
A favorite has emerged in the pursuit of Jae Crowder should Phoenix choose to trade him, according to a report.
John Gambadoro, a longtime host on 98.7 FM Phoenix and excellent source on Suns news, tweeted on Wednesday about the Crowder situation. Gambadoro said that the Miami Heat are the favorite to land Crowder in a trade.
Hearing Javale McGee wants a multi-year deal and has several teams interested – Milwaukee, Dallas, Brooklyn. Not sure if Phoenix would go two years. Miami has emerged as the favorite for Jae Crowder.
Gambo cautioned that he isn’t convinced the Suns will trade Crowder.
Not 100% sold that Phoenix will trade Jae Crowder, but Miami if they lose PJ Tucker does make a lot of sense. Heard Boston is not that interested in him, maybe into the exception if they didn't have to give up anything of value. But I would be surprised if it was the Celtics.
Crowder is entering the final season of a 3-year, $29.1 million deal signed with the Suns in Nov. 2020.
The Suns are expected to lose Deandre Ayton this offseason. It seems like Crowder could follow him out the door.
Crowder, who turns 32 next week, averaged 9.4 points, 5.3 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.4 steals per game last season for the 64-win Suns. He is regarded as a good defender and hustle guy who could fill in for PJ Tucker should Miami lose the veteran.
May 18, 2022; San Francisco, California, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Jalen Brunson (13) participates in a press conference after game one of the 2022 western conference finals against the Golden State Warriors at Chase Center. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports
New York Knicks fans are essentially already preparing to buy their Jalen Brunson jerseys, but one opposing team may be trying to pull the rug.
Chris Haynes of Yahoo! Sports reported on Wednesday that the Miami Heat have secured a meeting with the free agent guard Brunson. Haynes further characterizes the Heat as a “dark horse” for Brunson’s services.
The capped-out Heat would need to swing a sign-and-trade for the 25-year-old Brunson, possibly involving a large contract like Kyle Lowry or Duncan Robinson going back to Dallas. But either way, there does not seem to be much reason for Brunson to go to the Heat, other than for the allure of the Miami lifestyle. Brunson would not have a featured role with other mouths to feed such as Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, and Tyler Herro (but could get such a featured role as a Knick). If Brunson wants to contend, meanwhile, he might as well just stay in Dallas since the Mavericks made it as far as the Heat did in the playoffs this year (on top of Texas, like Florida, also having no state income tax).
Nov 8, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Wizards guard John Wall (2) walks on the court after the game against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
John Wall and the Houston Rockets are working on a buyout agreement after Wall exercised his massive player option for next season, and there are at least two teams that are keeping a close eye on the situation.
According to NBA reporter Marc Stein, the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat would have interest in Wall if the star point guard becomes a free agent. The Rockets would obviously prefer to trade Wall, but there is not much of a market for an oft-injured player who is on the books for $47.4 million next season.
Kelly Iko of The Athletic reported on Monday that Wall and the Rockets are nearing a breakup. The most likely scenario is that Wall’s contract will be bought out before free agency begins on June 30. The two sides have to agree to a deal, however.
Wall sat out all of last season after coming to an agreement with the Rockets. He is still playing under a four-year, $171 million extension he signed with the Washington Wizards in July 2017. That deal kicked in prior to the 2019-20 season, which is when Wall’s value disappeared due to injuries.
Wall, 31, hurt his knee in the 2017-2018 season and was limited to 41 games. Then he was bothered by his heel the following season and underwent season-ending surgery in January. As if recovering from heel surgery wasn’t bad enough, Wall then suffered a torn Achilles tendon after an accident in his home.
The Lakers are looking to get creative to make some moves this summer after they missed the playoffs. They may have their eye on an even bigger point guard trade.
Mar 15, 2022; Orlando, Florida, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) during the second half against the Orlando Magic at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Kyrie Irving appears to be laying the ground work to leave the Brooklyn Nets this summer.
Irving has until June 29 to decide if he wants to exercise his $36.9 million player option for next season. He has been discussing a new contract with the Nets as that deadline looms. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Irving has given the Nets a list of teams he would like to be traded to if the two sides cannot work out a new deal.
ESPN Sources: If Kyrie Irving can’t reach an agreement to stay with Brooklyn, he has a list of teams he’d like them to consider on sign-and-trades, including Lakers, Clippers, Knicks, Heat, Mavs and 76ers. None of those teams have cap space to sign him without Nets’ help.
That does not necessarily mean Irving will leave Brooklyn, but it certainly is an indication that he is open to it. If he does want to play for another team, the Nets would rather get something of value in return. That is why they would likely want to have Irving opt in to facilitate a sign-and-trade.
As Wojnarowski noted, none of the teams Irving would be interested in playing for have enough salary cap space to sign Kyrie as a free agent. That is another reason a sign-and-trade would make sense.
A separate report on Thursday claimed Kevin Durant is also weighing options for his future. Durant is under contract with the Nets through the 2025-26 season, but he probably would want a fresh start elsewhere if Irving leaves.
It is also entirely possible that Irving and Durant are trying to put pressure on the Nets. The Nets are said to be hesitant to sign Kyrie to a long-term deal because of all the drama surrounding him in recent years. Perhaps Durant is trying to give his close friend an assist by helping Irving secure a new contract.
“They would like to have some younger guys to bring along, guys who are on the [Tyler] Herro-Bam [Adebayo] kind of timeline rather than Jimmy Butler and Kyle Lowry, the guys in their 30s,” the GM was quoted as saying. “And this is a kid that the Magic need to move off of, where you can get him right on the upswing. He did not know how he fit into the NBA before this season, but he figured it out this year. It is a good time to get into him, he would be ideal for them.”
Bamba, 24, will be a restricted free agent and is coming off his best career season. The true seven-footer averaged 10.6 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks per game, even hitting at a 38.1 percent clip from three. But Bamba is not expected to return to the Magic, who may use their No. 1 overall draft pick this year on a frontcourt player like Chet Holmgren or Jabari Smith.
Deveney notes that the Heat could have to match salary with a player like Duncan Robinson and toss in some sweetener too such as Gabe Vincent or Omer Yurtseven in a potential sign-and-trade for Bamba. But Bamba does have the versatility to play next to Adebayo, and Miami has uncertainty in their frontcourt right now with 37-year-old PJ Tucker just opting out of his contract. That being said, the Heat still might want to hold onto their assets to make a run at this star player instead.
Dec 21, 2019; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Houston Rockets forward PJ Tucker (17) against the Phoenix Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
P.J. Tucker has made a decision on his contract for next season.
Tucker signed a 2-year, $14.35 million contract last year with the Miami Heat. The deal contained a player option for $7.35 million for next season.
The 37-year-old apparently will opt out of his contract in order to become a free agent.
Miami’s PJ Tucker will opt out of his $7.4 million player option for the 2022-23 season and enter free agency, sources tell @TheAthletic@Stadium. Several championship contending teams are expected to compete for Tucker, who was a key part of Milwaukee’s title run in 2021.
Tucker averaged 7.6 points and 5.5 rebounds in 27.9 minutes per game with the Heat last season. Though Tucker’s stats don’t jump out, he brings a lot to the table defensively. Team executive Pat Riley recently described Tucker as a “cornerstone.”
Numerous teams will likely have interest in signing Tucker, including the Heat, who would like to have him back.
Sep 1, 2019; Los Angeles, CA, USA; UCLA Bruins Shareef O’Neal attends the BIG3 championship game at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Shareef O’Neal continues to make the rounds with some familiar teams.
Shareef, the 22-year-old son of Hall of Fame big man Shaquille O’Neal, told reporters on Friday that he had worked out for the Miami Heat on the day prior, per Josh Robbins of The Athletic. Shareef also worked out for the Washington Wizards on Friday.
Shareef’s father, of course, enjoyed a frutiful career as a Heat player. Shaq played in Miami from 2004 to 2008, making multiple All-NBA First Teams and winning a championship in 2006. The Heat are still largely run by the same management (most notably, owner Micky Arison and president Pat Riley) as they were when Shaq played for them.