NBA Trade Deadline: Every Heat Trading Solution You Could Possibly Ask For
Guys, it’s February. The ‘Circus Gauntlet’ of January for Miami is finally over, and yes, the indisputable, undeniable and irrefutable best time of the NBA season has finally arrived.
The NBA trade deadline is on February 18 at 3:00 PM EST. As usual, there are wild new trade rumors and reports swirling the interwebs every day, posturing fans to run wild with emotion.
Everyone remembers how much fun last year’s trading deadline was, especially with the Heat landing Goran Dragic in its closing minutes.
But in case you forgot, here’s a quick refresher:
Contenders, otherwise known as buyers, are looking to deal for players who might be able to help take their team to the next step towards chasing a title.
Middling teams are now beginning to decide whether they’re going to try and improve in the short-term, focus on the future, or simply, remain in the middle.
Finally, of course, there are the teams who are either tanking the season or just now coming to the unfortunate realization that it is time to tank (cough Phoenix Suns cough). These are your sellers.
But most importantly, ESPN’s Trade Machine is gaining an unhealthy amount of traffic from fans of every NBA team trying to facilitate buoyant hope, unattainable pipe dreams, and fabricated festivity.
The Miami Heat, in their current state, finds themselves in the middle of a slight dilemma. The team is good enough where most of us are pretty sure that the team shouldn’t be blown up – especially since long-term assets are limited – while at the same time being mediocre enough that we’re all sure no marginally realistic trades will propel this team into legitimate title-contender status.
However, Heat fans everywhere have been begging for trades to happen since the season began in late October. So, in order to try and find the best solution for this growing dilemma, I’m going to take advantage of the magical brainwashing tool that is the ESPN Trade Machine.
Because there are trades in here for all fans, no matter how pessimistic, optimistic, opportunistic, and yes, even realistic they are. And no matter how you feel about the Heat, there are possible solutions out there if you try hard enough.
So, here’s just about every possible trade scenario a Heat fan could ask for divided into three categories:
1) All-In Trades: Trades where the Heat gains a significantly better player for the short-term, but while giving up (limited) assets that benefit the long-term.
2)Marginal Improvement: Trades where both teams exchange role players.
3) Salary Dump: Trades where the Heat offload a significant amount of money in order to avoid the dreaded repeater tax that they are headed towards.
Disclaimer: Before you jump on me because you hate some of these trades, I am not endorsing the Heat pull off any of these trades specifically, nor do I believe that every single one of these trades is incredibly realistic. These are ideas. Read the descriptions of each for some justification before you get fake-outraged and question my morality for suggesting any one of your favorite players could be traded.
Miami Heat Receive: DeMarcus Cousins, Omri Casspi
Sacramento Kings Receive: Hassan Whiteside, Luol Deng, Justise Winslow, Chris Andersen
Description: Yes, I am aware this trade is insane for both sides. This only has a chance of happening if the Kings implosion furthers in the next eight days and Cousins demands a trade. The Heat land arguably the best center in the league in ‘Boogie’ Cousins along with the shooter they want (Heat are reportedly interested in Omri Casspi) while the Kings gain center Hassan Whiteside, 19-year-old rookie Justise Winslow, former All-Star, turned ‘3&D’ guy Luol Deng, and the legendary Chris ‘Birdman’ Andersen…who can’t do much these days anymore.
Miami Heat Receive: Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Seraphin, Langston Galloway
New York Knicks Receive: Luol Deng, Josh McRoberts, Chris Andersen, Justise Winslow, Hassan Whiteside
Description: The Heat land perennial All-Star Carmelo Anthony, and a couple of decent young role players in Kevin Seraphin and Langston Galloway. On the other hand, Phil Jackson and the Knicks go into full-rebuild mode by acquiring Winslow who they can pair with fellow star rookie Kristaps Porzingis as a future insane dynamic duo. They would also get Whiteside, who they can get a head-start into convincing to stay in New York and the rest are fillers since none of the three figures to be in long-term plans.
Miami Heat Receive: Greg Monroe, Jerryd Bayless, Chris Copeland
Milwaukee Bucks Receive: Luol Deng, Josh McRoberts, Chris Andersen, Hassan Whiteside, Tyler Johnson
Description: The Heat get an All-Star caliber big man in Greg Monroe and a couple of role players in Jerryd Bayless and Chris Copeland to help fill out the rotation. The Bucks have recently put Monroe on the trading block, and in this scenario, they get Hassan Whiteside, the energetic young combo guard Tyler Johnson, and fillers. The only way it would make sense for the Bucks to pull the trigger is if they get a commitment from Whiteside to re-sign in the summer.
Miami Heat Receive: Al Horford, Kyle Korver, Tim Hardaway Jr., Luis Montero
Atlanta Hawks Receive: Luol Deng, Hassan Whiteside, Tyler Johnson, Gerald Green
Portland Trail Blazers Receive: Josh McRoberts, Chris Andersen, Jarnell Stokes
Description: This is my personal favorite, even though I love Tyler Johnson. The Heat upgrade at center by getting 3-time All-Star Al Horford (and his Bird Rights), while the Heat acquires an absolutely great shooter in Kyle Korver. Also, the Heat get the son of their all-time best point guard, while also getting Luis Montero for a net gain of two Dominican players.
However, they give up Whiteside, the always-reliable Luol Deng, promising young guard Tyler Johnson, ‘McBobs, ‘Waka Flakka Flame,’ and ‘Birdman.’ The Hawks have reportedly put Horford and Korver as well as Jeff Teague on the trade block in recent weeks and get a decent return for trading their longtime star, especially if they get any sort of commitment from ‘Mr. Built Different’ himself. The Blazers take on salary in order to help them get to the salary floor. Boom.
Miami Heat Receive: Rudy Gay, Marco Belinelli, Omri Casspi
Sacramento Kings Receive: Luol Deng, Josh McRoberts, Gerald Green, Tyler Johnson
Description: This is a great trade for the section of Heat fans that really covet Rudy Gay while also acquiring a couple of shooters (even though Belinelli has been underwhelming this season, 30 percent from 3). The Kings offload a ton of money from both Gay’s and Belinelli’s contracts, get rotation players, and a young asset in Tyler Johnson.
Miami Heat Receive: Tobias Harris, Reggie Bullock
Orlando Magic Receive: Luol Deng, Ersan Ilyasova, Darrun Hilliard
Detroit Pistons Receive: Channing Frye, Chris Andersen, Jarnell Stokes
Description: The Orlando Magic are reportedly looking to deal for seasoned veterans. In this scenario, the Heat upgrade at the forward position with Tobias Harris, who is adept at playing small-ball four, as well as young, and underused shooter Reggie Bullock. The Magic get some of the seasoning they crave with Deng and Ilyasova. Also, the Pistons swap stretch fours for one who shoots better (Ilyasova for Frye).
Marginal Improvement Trades
Miami Heat Receive: Ryan Anderson, Gerald Henderson, Norris Cole, Luke Babbit
New Orleans Pelicans Receive: Luol Deng, Hassan Whiteside
Portland Trail Blazers Receive: Josh McRoberts, Chris Andersen, Beno Udrih, Jarnell Stokes
Description: This can qualify as a Salary Dump, but each team comes out satisfied after this trade. The Heat finally get the elite shooter they need as well as decent role players Gerald Henderson, Luke Babbit, and Norris Cole, making his triumphant return to Miami. The Pelicans finally get the young center to pair with their foundational player Anthony Davis. Finally, the Trail Blazers receive enough salary to reach the salary floor.
Miami Heat Receive: Marco Belinelli, Omri Casspi, Seth Curry
Sacramento Kings Receive: Luol Deng, Gerald Green, Jarnell Stokes
Description: The Heat have to part ways with a reliable role player in Luol Deng in order to get the shooters they desire. Also, threw Seth Curry in there, because why not? The Heat could use a Curry of their own.
Miami Heat Receive: Ryan Anderson, Jared Dudley, Gary Neal
Washington Wizards Receive: Luol Deng, Chris Andersen, Hassan Whiteside, Luis Montero
New Orleans Pelicans: Marcin Gortat, Kris Humphries, Gerald Green
Portland Trail Blazers Receive: Omer Asik, Alexis Ajinca
Description: Hear me out. The Heat receive not one, not two, but THREE very good shooters, but give up two valuable players in Hassan Whiteside and Luol Deng. The Wizards get a reliable veteran presence, (and upgrade), in Luol Deng as well as a young upgrade at the center with Whiteside. The Pelicans also get an upgrade at center like they wanted, as well as decent role players with Humphries and Green. Finally, the Blazers reach the salary cap floor.
Miami Heat Receive: Jared Dudley, Alan Anderson, Gary Neal
Washington Wizards Receive: Luol Deng, Gerald Green, Jarnell Stokes
Description: Again, the Heat get shooters, while the Wizards upgrade at the forward spot, where they acquire the best player in the trade, Luol Deng, as well as “plug-and-play” guy Gerald Green and a prospect in Jarnell Stokes.
Miami Heat Receive: Mirza Teletovic, Chris Kaman, Pattrick Patterson, Mason Plumlee
Phoenix Suns Receive: Luol Deng, Chris Andersen, James Johnson, Anthony Bennett, Jarnell Stokes
Toronto Raptors Receive: Markieff Morris, P.J. Tucker, Cliff Alexander
Portland Trail Blazers Receive: Tyson Chandler, Josh McRoberts, Hassan Whiteside
Description: Whoa. Okay. The Heat dump a ton of money after deciding they aren’t interested in re-signing Hassan Whiteside. They gain an elite shooter (Teletovic), as well as a younger, cheaper option at center (Mason Plumlee) and some big man role players (Patterson and Kaman). The Suns are blowing it all up and dumping Tyson Chandler’s huge contract is the key to them doing this trade.
They get a bunch of guys who may or may not be a part of their future. The Raptors get two of the players they coveted (Morris and Tucker) and the Blazers take on Chandler’s huge contract as well as McRoberts’ contract not only to reach the salary floor but also, in order to get Hassan Whiteside, their next big piece to pair with Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum. Yeah, I know, genius.
Miami Heat Receive: Jamal Crawford, Wesley Johnson
Los Angeles Clippers Receive: Josh McRoberts, Gerald Green, Jarnell Stokes
Description: After being on the trade block for the past 50,819,863 years, Jamal Crawford finally gets dealt. Heat upgrade on the wing and the Clippers finally get another backup big while getting another bench scorer and a prospect.
Miami Heat Receive: Anthony Morrow, D.J. Augustin, Josh Huestis
Oklahoma City Thunder Receive: Chris Andersen, Beno Udrih, Gerald Green, Jarnell Stokes
Description: Heat receive deadeye shooter Anthony Morrow (rarely used in OKC) and swap backup point guards (Udrih for Augustin) while the Thunder receive another bench scorer in Gerald Green, as well as veterans and prospects.
Miami Heat Receive: Gerald Henderson
Portland Trail Blazers Receive: Luol Deng, Josh McRoberts, Chris Andersen
Description: Heat receive a decent player, (who’s probably a downgrade from Deng, but does shoot about 37% from three), and finally get below the luxury tax threshold, thereby avoiding the repeater tax. Trail Blazers reach the salary cap floor.
Miami Heat Receive: “Future [heavily] protected second round pick”
Portland Trail Blazers Receive: Josh McRoberts
Description: Heat offload McRoberts’ contract in order to avoid luxury and repeater tax. Blazers take on a salary because they can and because they need to.
Miami Heat Receive: Nik Stauskas
Philadelphia 76ers Receive: Josh McRoberts, Chris Andersen
Description: Not only do the Heat offload a ton of money, but they receive a young shooter. Jerry Colangelo and the Sixers, in a desperate attempt to change the national narrative about the Sixers, deal for two veterans by acquiring McBobs and Birdman.
That about covers everything. Now that I’m done toying around with the Trade Machine to nauseating extremes, we play the waiting game – which in Heat Twitter’s case means continuing to speculate and freak out while Riley and Andy Elisburg do their thing. Happy trade season!