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#pounditWednesday, May 18, 2022

Articles tagged: Miami Heat

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.

Report: Heat have strong interest in Bradley Beal trade

Bradley Beal

James Harden is officially off the market, so the Miami Heat may be turning their attention to another top shooting guard.

Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reported on Friday that the Heat have a “high” level of interest in trading for Wizards star Bradley Beal. The amount they would be willing to give up for Beal is unclear however.

Jackson notes that Miami was unwilling to give up young guard Tyler Herro, sharpshooter Duncan Robinson, and rookie big man Precious Achiuwa all together in trade talks with the Houston Rockets for Harden.

The 27-year-old Beal appears to be at the peak of his powers right now. He is posting an NBA-leading 34.9 points to go with 5.3 rebounds, and 5.0 assists per game. Unfortunately for Beal, the Wizards have not had a winning season since 2017-18. That streak may continue this season with the team off to an ugly 3-8 start.

The Heat would have a lot of salary to absorb, as Beal is owed roughly $100 million over the next three seasons. But Beal’s dynamic scoring would make for a strong fit in a Miami offense whose scoring load is split among multiple players on any given night. He is also fairly close with some of their stars.

Jimmy Butler says Miami Heat not playing hard enough

Jimmy Butler

Jimmy Butler does not believe his Miami Heat are playing the way they need to.

The Heat lost 107-105 at home to the Boston Celtics on Wednesday to drop to 3-4 on the season. That’s a disappointing start for a team coming off an NBA Finals appearance last season.

Butler, who emerged as the team’s leader last season, says the team isn’t playing up to expectations in terms of effort.

“There’s no excuses to not playing hard, not finishing possessions. We’re not playing the type of basketball that we say that we are, the culture that we say that we have. We ain’t doing that. Nobody is. Not me, not Bam (Adebayo), nobody. We’ve got to get back to that,” Butler said.

The Heat have become known for having a culture of hard work, effort, and fitness. Butler is the leader in those regards, as evidenced by his intense work ethic.

This team has reportedly dropped its pursuit of a James Harden trade

James Harden

One of James Harden’s suitors is apparently moving on and setting up to play the season without him as a possible addition.

According to Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel, the Miami Heat are no longer discussing possible Harden trades with the Houston Rockets. Winderman says Miami’s interest in Harden was characterized as “cursory,” and the team was simply doing its due diligence.

It doesn’t seem as though these talks ever got very far. While it was reported that the Heat had real interest, there were legitimate questions about what pieces they had to offer and whether they’d be interested enough to dangle some of their top talent as a possible return.

The news may come as a disappointment to Harden, who named the Heat as a team he’d be interested in moving to. The good news is this team still seems very interested, and that’s one of Harden’s preferences.

Photo: All-Pro Reels/Flickr via cc by-sa 2.0

Report: Heat would have interest in James Harden trade

James Harden

We still do not know if the Houston Rockets will ever be willing to trade James Harden, but if they do, we now know of one team that is clearly interested.

According to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, the Miami Heat would be interested in trading for Harden if the Rockets decide to move the guard. Harden would also be interested in a trade to the Heat. At least two key unnamed members of the Miami organization are strongly interested in Harden.

The Heat are not concerned about Harden’s ball-dominant style, feeling that is down to Houston’s system and not Harden’s inability to adapt.

In addition, Jackson reports that the Heat would not necessarily be opposed to including Tyler Herro in trade talks, though the Heat still love the player.

For now, this all remains hypothetical until the Rockets become more open to a potential trade. Harden has a growing list of teams he’d be interested in moving to. Some of them would likely make that interest mutual. The Heat, though, are clearly a team to watch.

Photo: All-Pro Reels/Flickr via cc by-sa 2.0

Jimmy Butler reacts to rumors linking James Harden to Heat

Jimmy Butler

Could James Harden join Jimmy Butler in Miami? The Heat star isn’t getting drawn into the rumors.

Harden reportedly added the Heat to his trade wish list, meaning Butler and Harden could end up teaming up in Miami. Butler said he wants Harden to be happy, but is ultimately pleased with his current team.

“There’s a lot of stuff always in the media,” Butler told ESPN’s Rachel Nichols, via Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel. “I think that he’s a hell of player. I like the group we have. To tell you the truth, I just want the guy to be happy. That’s what life is about. That’s what the game is about.”

It doesn’t sound like Butler plans to do much recruiting, as he has in other instances like this one. Part of that reason is perhaps that the Heat might not be willing to go all-out to make such a deal.

Still, Butler’s comments are a bit less blunt than these remarks by another player whose team has been linked to Harden.

Heat unwilling to include Tyler Herro in potential James Harden trade?

Tyler Herro

Tyler Herro was the breakout star of the 2020 NBA postseason and helped lead the Miami Heat to the NBA Finals, so it is no surprise that he has drawn trade interest from other teams in recent weeks. At this point, however, it does not sound like he is going anywhere.

Greg Sylvander of Five on the Floor reported on Thursday that the Heat have had trade discussions with the Houston Rockets surrounding James Harden. While the Heat are almost certainly interested, Sylvander says they have not yet shown a willingness to include Herro in any potential deal.

It seems unlikely that Herro would be considered an untouchable piece, especially if the Heat had an opportunity to acquire Harden. Numerous reports have indicated that the Rockets have placed an extraordinarily high asking price on Harden, so they probably informed the Heat they would want Herro, high draft picks and then some.

Harden is said to have added the Heat to his list of preferred trade destinations, which means he has now given the Rockets a wish list that consists of at least four teams.

A report last month claimed the Heat were open to trading Herro for another top player, so it’s hard to believe he would be completely off-limits in Harden talks.

Herro averaged 16.0 points, 5.1 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game in the playoffs for the Heat. He averaged 13.5 points per game during the regular season

Report: James Harden adds two new teams to trade wish list

James Harden

James Harden finally reported to Houston on Tuesday and is in the process of getting cleared to practice, but the former MVP still wants the Rockets to trade him.

Initial reports were that Harden wanted to reunite with Kevin Durant and be traded to the Brooklyn Nets. He has since informed the Rockets that he would be open to playing for the Philadelphia 76ers, and Shams Charania of The Athletic reports that the list has now grown to four teams.

According to Charania, Harden also has the Miami Heat and Milwaukee Bucks among his preferred trade destinations. The 76ers and Nets remain at the top of the list, but Harden has now told Houston he would be open to playing for the aforementioned four Eastern Conference contenders.

Harden is said to have had minimal contact with Houston’s front office in recent weeks, but he plans to remain professional and has spoken with assistant coach John Lucas.

Harden is under contract with the Rockets for two more seasons, so it is no surprise that they remain committed to smoothing things over with him unless another team blows them away with an offer. Charania reports that Houston has no interest in any offer from the Nets that does not include either Durant or Kyrie Irving. The same is true of the 76ers with Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid. While new Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey has a close relationship with Harden, it does not sound like he wants to part with Simmons.

New Rockets coach Stephen Silas appears to be running out of patience with Harden. Silas told reporters he expected Harden to practice with Houston on Sunday, but that never happened. Harden spent the previous several days partying and attending a rapper’s birthday part in Atlanta.

Harden has yet to address the situation publicly, but some comments his mother made on social media recently seemed to confirm her son wants out of Houston. The growing list of preferred destinations is further evidence that Harden wants a change of scenery.

Photo: All-Pro Reels/Flickr via cc by-sa 2.0

Goran Dragic says Jimmy Butler threatened him if he did not re-sign with Heat

Jimmy Butler

The Miami Heat were able to lock up Goran Dragic for another two seasons, and that is very good news for all parties.

Dragic is getting a two-year contract with Miami for $37.4 million. The Heat went all-out to convey the message that they wanted Dragic to stay with the team. They put up posters and billboards all over Dragic’s home in Slovenia to show how much they wanted him.

Another person who wanted Dragic back badly was Butler. Dragic told the AP’s Tim Reynolds that Butler (half-seriously) threatened him with physical violence if he didn’t re-sign.

“Jimmy’s a tough guy. … I didn’t want him chasing my a–,” Dragic joked.

Crisis averted, because Dragic is back. And we wouldn’t put it past Butler to do everything possible to ensure Dragic returned.

The Heat have a lot to build upon from last season. The team only finished fifth in the East in the regular season, but they made a run to the NBA Finals. Dragic and Bam Adebayo got injured during the Finals, which changed things and even led to a controversial comment from Pat Riley.

With Dragic back, Miami can now continue to improve and see if they can break through for a championship.