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#pounditSaturday, August 13, 2022

Articles tagged: Miami Heat

Kyrie Irving could be pursued by 1 surprising team?

Kyrie Irving looks on during a game

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 may be getting a lifeline from elsewhere in the East.

An unnamed Eastern Conference executive told Heavy’s Sean Deveney this week that the Miami Heat could potentially revisit a trade for the Brooklyn Nets star Irving. The Heat were previously linked to a possible move for Irving (though before free agency began and dominoes started falling).

Miami, as now constructed, do not seem like a logical fit for Irving. They already have a buffet of ball-handlers from elder statesman Kyle Lowry and frisky former All-Star Victor Oladipo (whom the Heat just re-signed) to the reliable upside piece (and reigning Sixth Man of the Year) Tyler Herro and a two-way guard with more growth potential in Gabe Vincent. Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo also command significant touches from other positions.

That makes this latest rumor somewhat surprising. The case for Irving is probably that he only has a year left on his contract and nothing but cricket chirps on his trade market (meaning that he could be had for a bargain). The seven-time All-Star is also known to be close with some of the Heat’s stars.

Report: 3 teams considered most likely Kevin Durant suitors

Kevin Durant with a hood on

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 still wants the Brooklyn Nets to trade him, and there are at least three teams that remain interested in acquiring the 12-time All-Star.

Durant met with Nets team owner Joe Tsai in London over the weekend and essentially gave him an ultimatum, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports. The choice that he gave Tsai is to either keep Durant and get rid of GM Sean Marks and coach Steve Nash, or fulfill the trade request.

One of the primary reasons Durant has not been traded is the asking price. The Nets are said to have engaged with almost every team in the NBA, but no one is willing to meet their lofty demands. However, Charania notes that three teams are viewed as the “most significant candidates” to land Durant. Those teams are the Boston Celtics, Toronto Raptors and Miami Heat.

The Celtics reportedly offered Brooklyn a package centered around Jaylen Brown. The Nets turned it down and asked for Brown, reigning Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Smart and multiple draft picks. The belief is that the Nets are interested in what the Celtics could potentially offer. That may not be true for one of the other teams that is pursuing Durant.

The Nets added Royce O’Neale and TJ Warren this offseason. They also had Kyrie Irving opt into his contract and have yet to see how Ben Simmons will fit alongside Durant and Irving. Their preference would almost certainly be to keep Durant, so they may choose him over Nash and Marks.

Gordon Hayward drawing interest from 1 notable team?

Gordon Hayward ready to shoot

Photo: Dec 18, 2016; Memphis, TN, USA; Utah Jazz forward Gordon Hayward (20) warms up before the game against the Memphis Grizzlies at FedExForum. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Gordon Hayward spends most of his time these days modeling street clothes, but one at least prominent team thinks that he can still be a difference-maker.

Sean Deveney of Heavy.com spoke to an unnamed NBA executive this week who indicated that Hayward could be a Plan B for the Miami Heat if their trade pursuits of Kevin Durant and Donovan Mitchell fail.

“I think a guy they will keep an eye on is Gordon Hayward,” the executive reportedly said of the Heat. “It’s a short-term move for Miami, but they need to make their move now. You can play him at the 3 and go big or go small at the 4. He’s a guy they’ve had interest in before.”

Hayward, who is now 32, has been surprisingly productive for the Charlotte Hornets when on the court. He holds averages of 17.6 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 3.8 assists per game in the last two seasons. Hayward’s shooting splits over that span are also a pristine 47/40/84.

But Hayward has an injury history that would make Wile E. Coyote wince. In addition to the devastating leg injury he suffered in 2017, Hayward has missed 61 games in the last two years with various ailments. Furthermore, Hayward is owed nearly $62 million over the next two seasons, a virtually prohibitive amount for a player with that kind of injury risk.

Still, Miami has a contract they too would like to shed in Duncan Robinson’s four years and guaranteed $64 million remaining. If the Heat can add other enticements such as Omer Yurtseven, rookie Nikola Jovic, and/or draft pick compensation, a swap with the Hornets for Hayward might have some real sea legs. Miami is looking to make up for the departure of PJ Tucker in free agency, and Hayward, though he has a different skillset, is a younger and more versatile option than this other recently reported Heat target.

Report: Pat Riley eyeing 1 prominent free agent

Pat Riley smiling

Sep 22, 2017; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat president Pat Riley address reporters during a press conference at AmericanAirlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Throughout his many decades in the NBA, Pat Riley has coached everyone from Magic Johnson and John Starks to Tim Hardaway Sr. and Dwyane Wade. Now it appears there is another guard who is catching Riley’s eye.

During a recent appearance on the “Wine and Gold Talk Podcast,” Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer spoke on the Miami Heat president Riley’s apparent interest in Cleveland Cavaliers free agent guard Collin Sexton.

“I had kept hearing, ‘Pat Riley likes Collin Sexton. Pat Riley likes Sexton,’ from one person that I trust who knows things,” said Fischer.

The 23-year-old Sexton is currently in a staring contest with the Cavaliers, and it is starting to get a little ugly between the two sides. Sexton is a player who has plenty of value though. While he missed most of last season with a meniscus injury, Sexton averaged a Cavs team-high 24.3 points a game on strong 48/37/82 shooting splits two seasons ago.

The negatives on Sexton are that he is looking for a big payday and that his upside as a playmaker is limited. But the Heat have several above-average playmakers for their respective positions (e.g. Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, and Tyler Herro) as well as some assets to swing a potential sign-and-trade. It is also notable that Riley is reportedly interested in Sexton, a Klutch Sports client, given the prior history between Riley and Klutch.

Heat linked to former All-NBA big man

Erik Spoelstra looks on

Feb 20, 2020; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra on the sideline against the Atlanta Hawks in the second quarter at State Farm Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Heat could be trying to help compensate for the loss of 37-year-old PJ Tucker by bringing in [checks notes] … another 37-year-old.

Heavy.com’s Sean Deveney spoke recently with an unnamed NBA executive who indicated that the Heat may be a potential landing spot for veteran big man LaMarcus Aldridge, who remains unsigned in free agency.

“Miami needs that one piece, that one big guy to push them over the top,” the exec said. “Aldridge could take some of PJ Tucker’s minutes, though he is obviously not on the same level as a defender. But he can shoot it. Miami needs depth there. He’s not going to be a starter, but he can help.”

Despite his advancing age, Aldridge, a seven-time All-Star and five-time All-NBA selection, still put up respectable numbers last season for the Brooklyn Nets. He averaged 12.9 points and 5.5 rebounds a game, shooting a career-high 55.0 percent from the field. Aldridge can give Miami a new dimension as a big body who can either post up down low or spot up from 15 to 20 feet.

In addition to Tucker signing with Philadelphia, the Heat have also (to this point) declined to bring back Markieff Morris in free agency. That may help explain why they have been linked to Aldridge and other frontcourt pieces.

Nets have no interest in Heat’s offer for Kevin Durant?

Kevin Durant looks up

Apr 23, 2022; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) looks up at the scoreboard in the third quarter against the Boston Celtics at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Durant has interest in joining the Miami Heat, but a deal between the teams may not be feasible.

The Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson reported in an article published on Tuesday that the Nets are not interested in what Miami has to offer for Durant.

Miami is unwilling to include Jimmy Butler or Bam Adebayo in a deal for Durant. That leaves Brooklyn with very few options left. A potential Heat trade for Durant would likely send Tyler Herro and draft picks to the Nets. That alone apparently isn’t too enticing for the Nets.

The trade market was set so high in the Rudy Gobert deal that Brooklyn’s asking price for Durant is astronomical. Teams might have a hard time trading for Durant without gutting their current and future roster.

Some wonder if the Nets’ high asking price is an intentional deterrent because Brooklyn does not really want to trade the former MVP.

Wife of Erik Spoelstra shares amazing family news

Erik Spoelstra and his family

For Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra and his family, the last several months have been a whirlwind. Their son, Santiago, was diagnosed with Burkitt lymphoma and immediately put into treatment one week after his fourth birthday.

This past Thursday, Santiago was proudly able to ring the gold bell at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital. And the family has announced that he is officially in remission.

“Our big boy got to ring the bell in the cancer wing at Nicklaus, and the gratitude I feel is overwhelming. Remission,” Santiago’s mother, Nikki Spoelstra, wrote on Instagram.

“My family and I are incredibly grateful to his pediatricians, the surgeons, the doctors, the nurses, the whole Child Life Team, and all of the staff at Nicklaus who took care of our boy… but also, our family. There were many tears but these special individuals all made sure that there were plenty of smiles and all the love and support to go around. There really aren’t enough words. Simply… Thank you.”

Despite the terrifying diagnosis, Santiago never lost his joy nor his hope. Now he’ll be able to return to his childhood, play with his friends and at least some degree, live without fear.

In addition to Santiago, the Spoelstras have another child, 2-year-old Dante, and are expected to soon welcome a third.

Report: 1 team ‘very motivated’ to trade for Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant with a hood on

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

There are several teams that have discussed the possibility of trading for Kevin Durant, but there is one that may be trying a bit harder than the rest to land the two-time NBA Finals MVP.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said on Monday’s edition of “Get Up” that the Miami Heat remain “very motivated” to find a way to acquire Durant. One of the reasons negotiations have been complicated is that Bam Adebayo and Ben Simmons cannot be on the same team. NBA rules prohibit teams from having two players on their roster who are playing under Designated Rookie contracts.

“(The Nets have) got to get value for him and they’ve got to get significant value for him. The trade scenarios out there are still complex,” Wojnarowski said. “Miami is a very motivated team, but Bam Adebayo and Ben Simmons can’t be on a team together based on their contracts. There would have to be a lot of third and fourth team involvement.”

The Phoenix Suns also remain interested, but they can no longer trade Deandre Ayton until midway through next season after matching the offer sheet the Indiana Pacers signed him to. You can hear more from Woj below:

Miami has made Durant a priority, but they need to find a way to satisfy the Nets’ demands. That will be no easy task.

If the Heat can’t work something out with the Nets, they may turn their attention toward Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell. Though, there would be some obstacles in a trade like that, too.

Report: NBA expected to investigate 1 offseason signing

PJ Tucker looking on

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

Just minutes into the NBA offseason free agency period, agent Andre Buck announced that PJ Tucker had signed with the Philadelphia 76ers.

The three-year, $33 million deal was agreed upon so swiftly that it raised a few eyebrows. One of those eyebrows belonged to the league office, who will now consider investigating the Sixers for tampering.

“I’m told that Philadelphia’s signing of P.J. Tucker is also likely to be placed under the investigation microscope by the league office. Tucker, of course, was signed away from the Miami Heat, who were docked a second-round pick as a penalty for “early free agency discussions” connected to their sign-and-trade acquisition of Kyle Lowry last summer,” Marc Stein reported via his substack.

The 37-year-old Tucker had already been linked to Philly because of his ties to James Harden and Daryl Morey, who all spent time together in Houston. And for Morey, it’s not the first time he’s been accused of (or disciplined for) tampering.

Although an official investigation has not yet been launched, it would be true to form for the NBA. They’ve been much stricter about tampering of late and have dolled out quite a bit of punishment for the violation. The Milwaukee Bucks (Bogdan Bogdanović), Miami Heat (Kyle Lowry) and Chicago Bulls (Lonzo Ball) have all been docked second-round picks in recent years.

If and when the NBA does launch their investigation, it may take months to reach a conclusion. In addition to lost draft picks, a potential consequence is having Tucker’s contract terminated all together — although that seems far less likely.

Heat having issues in trade discussions for Kevin Durant, Donovan Mitchell

Donovan Mitchell warming up

Dec 7, 2019; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (45) warms up prior to their game against the Memphis Grizzlies at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Heat are looking for ways to make a big splash on the trade market, but they have run into some obstacles that may be difficult to overcome.

The Heat have been involved in trade discussions for both Kevin Durant and Donovan Mitchell. According to Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer, Miami has yet to propose a trade for Durant that the Brooklyn Nets would consider. The reason for that is that the Heat have not come up with a way to meet Brooklyn’s asking price while also being able to assemble a championship-caliber roster around Durant and Jimmy Butler. Those same issues have probably come up in any talks they have had with the Utah Jazz about Mitchell.

Utah may not be interested in what the Heat have to offer, anyway. Andy Larsen of The Salt Lake Tribune reported on Thursday that the Jazz want the Heat to involve a third team in any potential trade talks for Mitchell.

The Jazz appear to have reset the trade market when they traded Rudy Gobert to the Minnesota Timberwolves for a package headlined by Patrick Beverley, Malik Beasley and four first-round picks. Utah probably wants even more than that for Mitchell, and the Brooklyn Nets certainly expect a greater return in any Durant deal.

There is one team that seems to have the assets that would be needed to acquire a player like Mitchell or Durant. It remains a strong possibility that neither player is moved.