Bjelica trade opens the door for Heat to land Lowry

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The Nemanja Bjelica trade makes perfect sense for the Heat. Miami sent Maurice Harkless and Chris Silva to the Kings to complete the deal.

The Heat rank 28th in three-point percentage on the season. Bjelica’s playing time has been inconsistent this year, as has his shooting, but he’s a sniper from downtown. He’s been above 40% from beyond in each of the last three seasons.

Miami has needed frontcourt depth. The Trevor Ariza trade addressed this situation to a degree, but any Kyle Lowry package is key to this. Kelly Olynyk‘s salary would likely be used to land Lowry. Olynyk has been playing considerable minutes as a stretch four.

Bjelica balances roster

Duncan Robinson would probably be included in any Lowry trade, too. Miami could quickly be looking at a perimeter shooting crisis, particularly with Tyler Herro‘s troubles from outside.

Jimmy Butler is a reluctant three-point shooter. Bam Adebayo is yet to find that range. Bjelica can fill the Olynyk role on occasion, and he arrives for two players who were unlikely to see any postseason minutes.


To call this an under-the-radar deal would be an understatement. Many bigger names have been and will be traded today. What Bjelica is, though, is perhaps a signal of a greater move to come, and that could be what defines not just this deadline, but the short-term future of the Miami Heat.

These are the fringe moves which set a front office apart. Bjelica is not a needle mover, sure, but making this trade without giving up any notable asset is important. It keeps the Heat in a flexible position going forward, and it could just impact the balance of the roster as they eye up another Finals run.

The door is wide open for the Heat to acquire Lowry. The Sixers have effectively ended their chase with the George Hill trade. Bjelica’s arrival might just have helped Miami move towards that vital third star.

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