During the January 3 episode of The Bill Simmons Podcast, Bill Simmons did a power poll for every team in the NBA. While ranking the Miami Heat 15th among NBA teams, in which he put them in the “treading water division,” Simmons explained how he thought they always manage to stay in the mix despite their struggles.
“Over and over, they’ve been able to regenerate themselves,” Simmons said. “I can’t count them out. I watch them. I think they look old. I think they’re going to get hurt. I could see them finishing 33-49, or I could see them pulling off some crazy trade, like getting Beal for nothing, and all of a sudden, we have to deal with them again.”
Beal is in the first year of a five-year, $251 million contract extension he signed with the Washington Wizards this past summer. He is slated to make $43.3 million this season, so for the Heat to conjure up a deal without compromising their core three of Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, and Tyler Herro. they would have to use some combination of Kyle Lowry ($28.3 million), Duncan Robinson ($16.9 million), Victor Oladipo ($8.7 million), Caleb Martin ($6.4 million), and Dewayne Dedmon ($4.7 million) to make a trade work financially.
The Wizards are 17-22 and are in the thick of the race for the last spots in the Eastern Conference standings. Until reports say otherwise, all indications are that they plan to keep their roster intact.
Heat Linked to Zach LaVine
In a January 5 HoopsHype story, NBA insider Michael Scotto revealed that multiple teams would be interested in Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine should he hit the market.
“If the Chicago Bulls make Zach LaVine available before the trade deadline, rival executives are keeping an eye on several teams who could have interest in trading for him, including the New York Knicks, Los Angeles Lakers, Dallas Mavericks, and Miami Heat,” Scotto said.
Scotto also added who would be the Heat’s best asset to offer for Lavine, though he adds that the Bulls are not sellers at this point.
“Miami’s best trade asset to dangle is Tyler Herro in a theoretical trade package.
“Overall, however, Chicago hasn’t shown a willingness to be a seller yet, with about a month until the trade deadline, while currently on the edge of competing for a back-end Play In spot.”
Heat ‘Watching’ John Collins Situation
Among the players who the Heat are looking into acquiring, one such player is John Collins of the Atlanta Hawks.
An Eastern Conference executive revealed to Heavy Sports’ Sean Deveney that the Heat are monitoring Collins’ situation with the Hawks at the moment while explaining what kind of package they’d have to send Atlanta in exchange for him.
“John Collins, too, the Heat are one of the teams watching that situation, but they probably need more young assets to send back. Everyone talks about the Lakers’ 2027 pick but (Miami’s 2027 pick) is one that the Heat can trade as well, and there is a lot of value being placed on that pick because you can imagine them hitting a bottom around then. Is it enough to help them get Collins? Probably not, but it is a good asset for them,” the exec told Deveney.
Acquiring Collins would give Miami badly-needed depth in their frontcourt. Much like with Beal, they would have to trade a fair amount of salary back to acquire Collins, who is in the second year of a five-year, $125 million contract.