The Miami Heat had an incredible 2019/20 NBA season, reaching important stages, playing for the title against the eventual champions Los Angeles Lakers, defying the odds when nobody believed in them. Now they're trying to have a similar season and the Floridians are ready to give their everything to have another deep playoffs run, although the competition is a lot harder this year.
They had the chance to land two big names during the season and create a powerhouse that could have dominated not only the West but the entire league and the team chose to keep their young assets and try their luck in the offseason, where some big players will test the waters of free agency. Bleacher Report's Farbod Ernaashari wrote a piece describing how the Heat missed out on two big opportunities to land James Harden and LaMarcus Aldridge.
These two would have taken the team to the next level, as we've seen in Brooklyn with the Nets, primarily with Harden, who was traded there in January. The opportunity to have a Big 4 was very real for Miami but they've made some decisions that prevented them from creating the best team in the East and probably the entire NBA. Today, we're going to take a look at them.
Why Did James Harden Go To Brooklyn Instead Of Miami?
As it's been usual in the past couple of years, Miami was seen as a very serious candidate to land James Harden (alongside the Boston Celtics) and it seemed like they had a real shot at the Beard, but everything fell apart due to their unwillingness to give up certain pieces on their roster. They believed that Houston was asking too much for Harden and folded, leaving the door open for the Nets, who didn't miss their chance to create a Big 3.
"According to sources within the organization, the Heat ultimately fell short in the sweepstakes because they felt like they 'shouldn't give up every single asset they had.' They believed Houston's asking price was largely unrealistic."
Jimmy Butler had approved this move but it never came to fruition. Instead of going with Jimmy Buckets and Bam Adebayo, Harden joined Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving on the team that just became the 1st ranked in the East.
Why LaMarcus Aldridge Didn't Sign With Miami?
After the trade deadline struck and they had a very good player in Victor Oladipo, the Heat was linked with one of the biggest names in the buyout market, LaMarcus Aldridge. The former Portland Trail Blazers and San Antonio Spurs player was bought out by the Texans and was looking for a new deal. Teams like the Lakers, Nets and Heat were linked with the big man. When everything pointed out that Miami was going to get this signing, Brooklyn once again showed up and snatched the player, who didn't like the Heat's current situation and decided to take a different route.
This was very unexpected news for the Heat, who couldn't believe they had missed out on another big player to improve their level. Even though they have gotten better in recent weeks, Miami is still trying to find their touch and return to the form they had last year.
A source in the Heat organization revealed there was a level of shock within the front office when Aldridge decided to sign with the Nets, as for some time they expected him to sign with the Heat. The problem of not trading for James Harden returned full circle.
When a team makes the NBA Finals, it tends to attract veteran players for cheap. Players that would have typically chosen to play for the Heat in a heartbeat are finding themselves playing for the Nets.
Is Kyle Lowry The Next Big Signing For The Heat?
This is a very good question and we'll have to wait until the summer to know the fate of Lowry, whose contract with the Toronto Raptors expired in the next couple of months. However, the team is reportedly convinced that Lowry can find his way to South Beach. If they keep Oladipo, this would give the Heat a different Big 4 with Lowry, Butler, Oladipo and Adebayo.
Lowry has been linked with Miami over the past couple of months, just like it happened with Harden and Aldridge. They hope this time they can get the player and not see him join another Eastern contender.