It is safe to say that no one saw the Miami Heat being this good. After an offseason in which they acquired all-star Jimmy Butler, many looked at them as a team to barely make the playoffs. Now, the Heat currently sit as the 4th seed in the Eastern Conference with a 41-24 record.
This exceptional start has been due in part to contributions from a plethora of players. The Miami Heat are led by their star player Jimmy Butler. Butler signed with the Miami Heat this past offseason and his presence has been felt. Bam Adebayo and Goran Dragic have both improved exponentially from last season and rookies Kendrick Nunn and Tyler Herro have been great offensive options thus creating a team that could have a deep playoff run this season.
Despite their start, the Heat still seem to be one or two pieces away from being serious title contenders and Pat Riley has acknowledged this. According to Brian Windhorst, Pat Riley has big plans for the team and “he might try to build one last superteam in Miami.” Riley has always been known as an aggressive executive and will do whatever it takes to win. With the Coronavirus having suspended the season, the NBA has lost out on millions and millions of revenues.
With there being no number on the amount of cap space that teams will have this offseason, the Heat may be reluctant to go after the biggest free agent this offseason in Anthony Davis, but I wouldn’t fully count them out. With that being said, it seems as if they will look to save their money for the star-studded 2021 free agency or add talent through trades.
With that being said, here are three players that the Miami Heat could look to add in the near future.
Beal and the Washington Wizards have been one of the more underwhelming teams in the league this season and this has led to Bradley Beal voicing his frustrations on multiple occasions. Beal and the Heat have been linked together for some time now and if the Wizards are looking to move on from Beal this offseason, the Heat are one of the teams that could make a move to acquire him.
A combination of Jimmy Butler and Bradley Beal should be able to compete in the Eastern Conference but, any deal would see the Heat parting ways with their two rookies in Tyler Herro and Kendrick Nunn and this move might hurt them more than it would help. If the Heat could somehow find a way of acquiring Beal while only giving up one of their young players, then they should jump on that opportunity but, it just seems unlikely.
Giannis has quickly established himself as one of the best players in the league with his sheer dominance and it doesn’t look like he’ll slow down anytime soon. Giannis is expected to win another MVP this season and the Bucks are the team that everyone expects to make it out of the East.
Giannis will have a huge decision to make very soon as he will be eligible for a 5-year, 247-million-dollar extension this offseason. Though he is expected to sign the extension, many have their doubts for one reason.
The Bucks, even with their historic dominance this season, may not be able to compete with the two Los Angeles teams if they are to meet in the NBA finals. This team is constructed perfectly for Giannis but, the Bucks could fizzle out just as they did last year to the Toronto Raptors.
This Bucks team is historically great in the regular season but, when the game slows down in the playoffs, their flaws are shown, and they don’t seem to have the personnel or coaching to adjust when things go south.
This could be enough to sway Giannis’s decision and could lead to him exploring his options in the 2021 offseason. If he does decide to decline this extension, the Heat would be one of the best teams for him to join.
Again, with their youth and shooting, Giannis should still be able to find similar success with them as he has with the Bucks and playing alongside Jimmy Butler should alleviate some offensive pressure from him. In the playoffs, this Heat team with Giannis would be dominant and could capture a couple of rings, barring any injuries. Erik Spoelstra is a coach that can adjust and put his players in the best situation to succeed and the Heat should be able to replicate the same success that the Bucks have had.
Barring any unforeseen signings or trades, the Heat should have enough cap space to go after Giannis during the 2021 free agency with players such as Kelly Olynyk, Jae Crowder, Meyers Leonard, Goran Dragic, Andre Iguodala, and Solomon Hill all coming off the books by them, if not retained. The Miami Heat has a lot to offer Giannis but as it stands currently, it seems unlikely that he will decline a historic extension from the Milwaukee Bucks.
Davis and the Los Angeles Lakers are off to their best season in quite some time. The Lakers have been dominating the league behind the duo of LeBron James and Anthony Davis but, despite this, AD is still keeping his options open. In an interview with ESPN, Davis stated that “he isn’t ready to commit long term to the Lakers just yet and “is just focused on this season.” Now, this statement shouldn’t scare Lakers’ fans as waiting until the offseason to re-sign is better for him financially.
Lakers look like the title favorites right now but, with the coronavirus suspending the season, we may not crown a championship this season and that is a worst-case scenario for the LakeShow. With LeBron getting a year older, despite his exceptional play well into his 30s, we COULD see him start to slow down and the uncertainty surrounding LeBron’s play may lead to AD re-sign with the Lakers on a short-term deal, something such as a 1+1 or 2+1 contract.
If this is the case, we could see Anthony Davis become a free agent once again in the 2021 or 2022 offseason, depending on the contract he signs. This may be the best choice for Davis’ career as it allows him to be competitive with the Lakers for the next season or two and then bolt if the team starts to fizzle out.
If Davis does decide to bolt from the LakeShow, the Heat would be one of his best options with their combination of youth and veterans. On the Heat, AD would be pairing with All-Star Jimmy Butler and emerging young players in Kendrick Nunn, Tyler Herro, and Bam Adebayo.
The Heat should have a good amount of cap space in the 2021 and 2022 offseasons, depending on what moves the team makes. The contracts of Goran Dragic, Meyers Leonard, and newly acquired veterans Jae Crowder and Solomon Hill all coming off the books at the end of this season. The contracts of Andre Iguodala and Kelly Olynyk should be up by the 2021 offseason and they could be sitting pretty. Now, all of this is speculation but, I wouldn’t rule out the Miami Heat just yet.