After making a run to the NBA Finals in 2020, the Miami Heat did not win a single playoff game this past postseason. Miami went 40-32 and ended up sixth in the Eastern Conference. They were then swept in the opening round by the eventual champion Milwaukee Bucks. So expect the Heat free agency rumors to pick up around a number of players.
The Heat 2021 offseason shapes up like this. They have 11 free agents set to hit the market from their season-ending roster. The team picked up the team option for Goran Dragic in Sunday. That means they will enter free agency with just six players under contract for next season – Dragic, Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, Tyler Herro, Precious Achiuwa and KZ Okpala.
Expect Miami’s free agency to be busy. They have a ton of spots to fill and are looking to add a third piece to Butler and Adebayo.
Heat free agency rumors 2021
Miami has a number of needs to address during the 2021 offseason. There is that previously mentioned third option on offense needed to surround Adebayo and Butler. While Adebayo is a sensational big, he’s not a true center. Addressing a need in the paint to protect the rim should be a priority.
In addition, the Heat went from being one of the best 3-point shooting teams in 2019-20 to a middle-of-the-pack team in that category last season. Shooting on the perimeter should also be a target for GM Andy Elisberg.
So with that in mind, here are some targets for the Heat in free agency.
The Heat have “grabbed his attention,” according to reports from Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press. Not to mention he’s one of Butler’s best friends off the court.
Lowry averaged 17.2 points and 7.3 assists this past season with the Toronto Raptors. The depth of the Heat was an issue last season, with their bench scoring in the bottom of the league, averaging just 34.8 points. Bringing in Lowry can help the defense as well, as he’s a grit-and-grind guy on the defensive end.
With the cap situation, the Heat would need to execute a sign-and-trade with the Raptors in order to get Lowry. Dragic could be one of the guys going back Toronto’s way. But Lowry seems to be interested in the Heat, which is the first step of the process.
If acquiring Lowry doesn’t work, then the Heat need to find a Plan B. That could be in play-making guard Lonzo Ball.
After being shipped to the New Orleans Pelicans as a part of the Anthony Davis trade to the Los Angeles Lakers, Ball put up new career-highs in a number of categories this past season. He averaged a career-high 14.6 points, set new highs in shooting from the field (41.4%), 3-point shooting (37.8%) and perhaps most important, vastly improved at the line, jumping from 56.6% to 78.1%.
While the Heat may be in win-now mode, they have to consider the future and Dragic at 35 years old, or even Lowry, aren’t it. Bringing in a young player like Ball could benefit short-term and long-term.
A veteran center could greatly benefit the Heat. JaVale McGee was traded to the Denver Nuggets midway through the season, but didn’t play much in Denver. In just 13 games, he averaged 13.5 minutes. But that could work in favor of the Heat, as his value has been lowered.
At 33 years old, McGee still has some good basketball in him. In fact, his two years in Los Angeles were two of his best seasons. In the 2020 season where the Lakers won the title, he averaged 6.6 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks in only 16.6 minutes per game.
McGee would be a cheap option to fill a backup role behind Adebayo. The Heat need someone in that spot, and with their cap space, the cheaper, the better. It would be a low risk signing for Miami for a guy with a proven ability in a bench role.