Plenty of people have gotten to work trying to recruit NBA players to teams this offseason, and Chad Johnson wants to belatedly get in on the act.
The longtime NFL wide receiver tweeted Monday that he wants to recruit Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook and Washington’s Bradley Beal to Miami as an “outside representative” for the Heat.
Johnson, a Miami native, wants to pull a Kawhi Leonard here. Both Westbrook and Beal are under contract, and while either could be theoretically traded, they’d have to do some work if they wanted to leverage some influence over where they go. Plus, Beal doesn’t appear to be on the market right now. Westbrook could be, and the Heat may be a bit ahead of Johnson’s game in that regard.
In other words, one is perhaps possible if it’s Westbrook, but two is bordering on impossible. You can’t blame Johnson for trying, anyway.
As the NBA turns its attention to the possibility of a Russell Westbrook trade this summer, one team is apparently at least keeping an open mind if he hits the market.
According to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, the Miami Heat “absolutely like” Westbrook, but that is as far as things are going for now.
To be clear, it’s almost certainly too soon for teams to be lining up for Westbrook. The Oklahoma City Thunder haven’t even committed to trading him yet, though it’s certainly a topic of discussion. The Thunder will likely have to decide how serious they are about putting Westbrook on the market, and once they make that decision, they’ll gauge the market. Miami, a team that has already added Jimmy Butler this summer, will apparently keep an eye on those developments.
The Miami Heat have managed to complete their acquisition of guard Jimmy Butler.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe of ESPN, the Heat included the Los Angeles Clippers and Portland Trail Blazers in the final deal. The Clippers will land Moe Harkless, whom the Heat acquired earlier Monday, as well as a future first-round pick.
The Heat had to clear salary to acquire Butler in the sign-and-trade deal with the Philadelphia 76ers. A deal with the Dallas Mavericks fell apart Sunday night, which led to this somewhat convoluted four-team deal that gets the job done.
Here’s a recap of what everyone gets:
Philadelphia 76ers: Josh Richardson, the salary cap space to add Al Horford
Miami Heat: Jimmy Butler on a 4-year, $142 million deal, Meyers Leonard ($11.3 million, expiring)
LA Clippers: Moe Harkless ($11.5 million, expiring), protected 2023 first-round pick from Miami
Portland Trail Blazers: Hassan Whiteside ($27 million, expiring)
The Miami Heat are shipping Hassan Whiteside out of town.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the Heat have agreed to trade Whiteside to the Portland Trail Blazers in exchange for forwards Moe Harkless and Meyers Leonard.
Essentially, the Blazers have cover for Jusuf Nurkic without giving up any major pieces. Their goal is to remain among the biggest contenders in the Western Conference, and this deal helps them do so.
The Heat, on the other hand, are on a mission to clear salary to bring in Jimmy Butler on a sign-and-trade deal. While this helps, it won’t be enough on its own, and with other avenues seemingly closed to them, they’ll have to keep working on it.
The Miami Heat thought they had the trade they needed to make to allow them to sign Jimmy Butler, but the situation is now very much in limbo.
The Miami Heat appeared to believe Sunday night that they were sending guard Goran Dragic to the Dallas Mavericks to clear the necessary cap space to add Butler in a sign-and-trade with the Philadelphia 76ers. However, confusion over the players involved in the deal led to its collapse. According to Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News, it appears unlikely to be revived.
The Heat are placed in the difficult position of knowing that few teams have the cap space needed to absorb players, and they absolutely have to do something to finish the Butler deal. It no longer sounds like the Mavericks will be the solution to their issues.
The deal between the Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat that would have allowed Miami to absorb Jimmy Butler in a sign-and-trade with Philly has fallen apart.
Retracing things, Butler had agreed to sign a four-year, $142 million deal with Philly and get traded to Miami. However, the Heat doing a sign-and-trade would trigger the hard cap for the season and force them to shed salaries to make the trade work.
They were always going to deal Josh Richardson ($10.1 million) to Philly, but they had to unload other money to make the trade go through.
At first, reports out of Miami said Goran Dragic ($19.1 million) was being traded to Dallas. But then conflicting reports out of Dallas said Kelly Olynyk ($12.67 million) and Derrick Jones Jr. ($1.7 million) were included in the trade.
It’s unclear whether Dallas changed their minds on taking back Dragic, but it sounds like Miami did not want to deal Jones.
The Heat will need to make this trade work because they want Butler, but they need to find a way to shed salary. There are not many teams left with salary cap space to take on the Heat’s contracts, so their options are limited. Philly also needs the deal to go through because their plans — signing Al Horford — are contingent upon it.
Jimmy Butler has been linked to the Miami Heat since he was still a member of the Minnesota Timberwolves, and he is apparently hoping they remain interested in him with NBA free agency set to open on Sunday night.
Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press reports that Butler is planning to inform the Heat that he wants to play for them.
The Philadelphia 76ers want to keep Butler, but they appear to be open to working with him on a sign-and-trade if he doesn’t want to stay. Like the Houston Rockets, who are also trying to land Butler, the Heat would need a sign-and-trade to fit Butler under their salary cap — at least with the way things stand at the moment.
With Dwyane Wade having retired, the Heat could use another superstar to take his place. They were close to acquiring him in a trade last season, but the drama with former T-Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau may have complicated things.
The Miami Heat on Wednesday unveiled a special edition uniform they plan to wear in a few home games this month, and it is one that will surely grab attention.
The uniform, called “Sunset Vice”, is pink — or “laser fuchsia” — as they call it. The Heat will become the first NBA team to wear a uniform of that entire color.
The jerseys were met with mixed reactions from the players.
Big man Bam Adebayo compared it to a cheerleader outfit.
Josh Richardson noted one positive — it will be easy to distinguish Heat players from their opponents.
The Heat will wear the jerseys on their Dec. 26, 28, and 30 games.
The Miami Heat have been linked to Jimmy Butler more often than any other team since Butler told the Minnesota Timberwolves he wants to be traded, and a deal remains a possibility even if talks keep breaking down.
Reports over the past week have indicated that the Heat and Timberwolves got close to agreeing to a trade involving Butler, but Minnesota’s asking price is too high. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Miami is not giving up.
The main issue is likely that the Timberwolves have no leverage, and the Heat are trying to use that to their advantage. Butler can opt out of his contract after the coming season, and teams won’t be willing to give up much for him when they know he is leaving Minnesota and they can just wait to sign him in free agency.
Despite that, we have heard rumblings that Timberwolves coach Tom Thibodeau believes Butler could still be on the roster when the season begins. Team owner Glen Taylor seems to have a much different mindset, as he does not want to give off the impression that there is dysfunction within his organization.
The Miami Heat still seem like the most likely trade partner for the Minnesota Timberwolves if and when they decide to move on from Jimmy Butler, but talks between the two sides seem to keep falling apart after any real progress is made.
Marc Stein of the New York Times reported on Wednesday that the Heat and T-Wolves were making progress on talks until things broke down over deal changes proposed by Minnesota. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the two teams got to a point over the weekend where they were exchanging medical information and on the verge of finalizing a trade, but there was once again a breakdown.
The problem could be that the Timberwolves are asking for too much and have very little leverage, as Butler has made it clear he wants out and the Heat are said to be a the top of his wish list. Butler can opt out of his contract after the season and has no intention of re-signing with Minnesota, so a team like Miami could always just wait to sign him as a free agent if the T-Wolves make unreasonable trade demands.
Timberwolves coach and president of basketball operations Tom Thibodeau has been reluctant to deal Butler, but Wojnarowski noted that team owner Glen Taylor wants to grant Butler’s wish.