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Three high-salary players the Miami Heat could pursue before the deadline

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A Miami Heat trade before the NBA trade deadline seems like an inevitability. Pat Riley is arguably the most aggressive executive in the league, and Miami is looking to build on their run to the Finals in the Orlando bubble.

Possible Heat trades are often mooted. Any big-name becomes available and they are linked with Miami. The Heat missed out on James Harden, though, and did not pick up Blake Griffin after his buyout. It looks very unlikely Bradley Beal will be traded this season.

Although they are not exactly loaded with tradeable picks, Miami is in position to aggregate a big salary. Kelly Olynyk, Andre Iguodala and Meyers Leonard are all on very tradeable contracts. It’s possible to reach a figure to acquire an impactful player, and the Heat could consider dealing Kendrick Nunn or Duncan Robinson as the pair approach free agency.

Heat trade rumors will only increase as the deadline nears. Understandably so, too, given their recent surge and Jimmy Butler‘s age. Miami is in position to contend for a title right now. They have the contracts to swing big.

Here are three ideal trade targets for the Heat before the 2021 NBA trade deadline…


Victor Oladipo

It’s no secret that Victor Oladipo is desperate to get to Miami.

The Houston Rockets are sliding fast. It’s 13 straight losses for Houston, and after briefly looking like a play-in candidate, the Rockets are destined to trade away pieces at the deadline. Oladipo and P.J. Tucker will be on the block. It’s quite likely the Heat move for Tucker if they go for Oladipo.

Oladipo is still a long way from the player who became an All-Star in consecutive seasons. There are occasional flashes of that talent level, and the Rockets will want decent compensation. Second round picks is not going to be enough to get the deal done.

Putting the money together is easy enough, but then there’s the question of why Miami would do this. Oladipo’s desire to join them is obvious. They have cap space this summer. A Heat trade for Oladipo can be justified if they think it makes them a legitimate contender, but they might be better off waiting it out and potentially getting Tucker as a buyout.


Otto Porter

Otto Porter Jr has played under 400 minutes so far this season. He’s quite clearly not in the Chicago Bulls’ long-term plans. Porter was floated as a trade candidate on a recent episode of The Lowe Post, and he could be a solid fit for the Miami Heat.

Porter’s bloated $28.4 million contract makes a trade almost impossible for most teams. Leonard, Olynyk and Maurice Harkless would be enough to get him to Miami, and the Bulls are unlikely to have any major demands beyond perhaps a second rounder or two.

A career 40% guy from three on good volume, Porter can slot into the Jae Crowder berth. Work hard on the defensive end, hit shots, and do a fair bit of rebounding. It’s what the Heat are missing most in 2020/21, and Porter might be the most attainable option for that role on the market after Harkless has disappointed.

Harrison Barnes

The Sacramento Kings have won two games since February 7th. A tear down is improbable, but teams are going to be calling the Kings in the assumption they are selling. Harrison Barnes could be a Miami Heat trade target, again filling the forward role left vacant by Jae Crowder.

Barnes’ salary is lower than Porter’s. Sacramento will also have a higher asking price, though, which could force the Heat to include one of their young players in the deal. Precious Achiuwa might be a target for the Kings, who are destined to hear trade rumors involving Marvin Bagley.

Barnes is among the league’s most underrated players. He’s scoring an efficient 16.7 per game. He plays good, switchable defense. A career-high in rebounds would be useful for Erik Spoelstra, too.

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