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Heat offseason preview: Free agents, financial outlook & searching for a star

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Once again, we’re talking about Miami Heat offseason plans 2023 as runner-ups, not champions. They’ve knocked on the door of a title way too many times already, reaching the ultimate stage twice in the past four years and reaching at least the Eastern Conference Finals three out of four seasons with Jimmy Butler on the roster.

The Heat have one of the best coaches in the game in Erik Spoelstra. Even so, some question whether Pat Riley has lost his magic touch. They’ve failed to trade for stars multiple times already, and the Godfather will have to step his game up again.

With that in mind, we’re going to take a look at the current status of this team. We’ll dig deep into their roster, their needs, and what they should and shouldn’t do to go back to the NBA Finals next season. This time, obviously, they will hope to take the Larry O’Brien trophy back home with them.

Heat offseason plans 2023

Our breakdown of the Heat offseason plans 2023 has to take into consideration one major aspect: The Heat can put together a group of unknown D-II guys and turn them into legit rotation pieces on a playoff team. I don’t know how they do it; nobody knows.

They will still have to keep some of their upcoming Heat free agents, though. Some of them will most likely draw some league-wide interest, and they could look to sign the first — and likely only — lucrative deal of their careers, even if they have a lesser role somewhere else.


But truth be told, this team isn’t that far off from winning the whole thing. They just need to do some minor tweaks to their current roster, and Jimmy Buckets, Erik Spoelstra, and Heat Culture will take care of the rest this time.

Heat free agents

Kevin Love played a big role with them since they signed him, so they should explore ways to keep him around. He could fetch some interest from contenders on a veteran minimum deal, but he was a seamless fit in that roster and that locker room.

Cody Zeller gave them solid minutes, even holding his own against Nikola Jokic in the only game they won in the NBA Finals. Spoelstra trusts him, so he’s likely to stay. Victor Oladipo will obviously opt in on that player option, but he’s likely to miss extended time with an injury.

The issue comes with Gabe Vincent and Max Strus. They played their way up Spoelstra’s rotation, and they might now get a bigger payday somewhere else. The Heat could afford to lose Vincent, but Strus has become such a big part of their rotation that they need to retain him.

Rounding out the roster

Outside of Kyrie Irving, which would most likely imply a sign-and-trade, most of the Heat free agency targets in 2023 will focus on rounding out the roster. They need more sharpshooters, so guys like Gary Trent Jr. could be a seamless fit for their roster.


Yuta Watanabe could be another potential target, as he flew under the radar as one of the most efficient three-point shooters in the league last season. Other than that, they could look to spend big bucks on guys like Fred VanVleet or even Bruce Brown Jr., but that would require moving pieces via trade.

Moving on from Kyle Lowry

Expect most of the Heat offseason rumors to center around Kyle Lowry trades. He hasn’t worked out the way they expected, and they were even close to moving on from in during this year’s trade deadline, but Pat Riley infamously fell asleep and couldn’t okay the deal.

Lowry is past his prime, and they need to target Damian Lillard, who openly admitted that he would love to play next to his friend, Bam Adebayo. Any big move could require a big haul, starting with Lowry and/or Tyler Herro, and they can trade up to three first-round draft picks.

One piece away

Of course, giving up on Herro would be a tough blow for this team. He might never be a superstar, but he’s shown signs of promise, and he’s their second-best scorer. But this is a ruthless business, and they need to make the most of their current championship core.

Jimmy Butler might go down as one of the greatest small forwards in NBA history when it comes to performing in the playoffs. He’s an elite defender and a guy who’s proven that he’ll take his game up a notch in the postseason, but he cannot win on his own.

Bam Adebayo is a solid sidekick on the defensive end of the floor, and he’ll have a couple of big offensive performances every now and then. Even so, they need someone like Lillard or Kyrie to finally be at their best and get to the next level.

Not many coaches could go toe-to-toe with Erik Spoelstra when it comes to the Xs and Os. This team has beat the odds way too many times, knocking on the door of a championship. But it’s evident that they need that one star, another closer who could take playmaking and scoring duties off Butler’s shoulders, as neither Lowry nor Herro have been able to do that when it matters the most.

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