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#pounditSaturday, July 2, 2022

Articles tagged: Miami Heat

Dark horse team emerging for Jalen Brunson?

Jalen Brunson talks with the media

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).

The Knicks are still seen as the frontrunners for Brunson, and they have many key advantages in pursuing the ex-Villanova star. But they should probably hold off on popping the champagne for now, as the Brunson sweepstakes might not be over just yet.

Report: Favorite emerges to acquire Jae Crowder in trade

Jae Crowder covering his mouth

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.

Gambo cautioned that he isn’t convinced the Suns will trade Crowder.

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.

Report: Kevin Durant has interest in Eastern Conference contender

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 has requested a trade from the Brooklyn Nets and has a preferred trade destination in mind.

The former NBA MVP reportedly would like to be traded to the Phoenix Suns. But Durant also has another team in mind that he is considering.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that Durant also has interest in the Miami Heat in addition to the Suns.

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.

Miami Heat went all-out in recruitment effort of franchise legend

Udonis Haslem in a Heat shirt

Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

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.

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.

Report: Potential Heat trade for Kevin Durant facing major complication

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 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.

Report: Donovan Mitchell is trade target for 1 Eastern Conference team

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 Utah Jazz have already traded one of their franchise pillars to start their offseason. A new report suggests that they may not be done dealing, either.

The Jazz are keeping their options open regarding star guard Donovan Mitchell, according to Andy Larsen of the Salt Lake Tribune. While the sentiment seems to be that the team still plans to rebuild around Mitchell, they have not closed the door on using him as a trade chip in order to launch a rebuild.

Notably, Larsen mentions the Miami Heat as a potential suitor for Mitchell. The Heat have reportedly been “aggressive” in pursuing Mitchell and will continue to be if they cannot land Kevin Durant.

The Heat obviously would like to make a big move, and Mitchell would be that. However, they may just be aiming high here depending on how willing Utah actually is to make that sort of deal.

The Jazz are one of the most intriguing franchises to watch at this point. They traded Rudy Gobert on Friday, signifying a willingness to make major changes. However, they’ve also been linked with at least one player who profiles as the sort to keep them competitive in the short-term.