NBA

Heat Double Bonus: Evaluating Miami's Potential Targets Before Trade Deadline

Miami's standing comes before Thursday's NBA player trade deadline, one of the final chances for teams to solidify their lineups before playoff season begins

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After Sunday's loss against the Indiana Pacers, your Miami Heat now stand with a record of 22-21 and are currently in fifth place in the Eastern Conference playoff standings.

Miami's standing comes before Thursday's NBA player trade deadline, one of the final chances for teams to solidify their lineups before playoff season begins.

Already, the Heat acquired forward Trevor Ariza from the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for forward Meyers Leonard - a move likely to do more with Leonard's recent anti-Semitic rant more than Ariza's ability to get Miami back to the NBA Finals.

What other moves should Miami make to repeat as Eastern Conference champs? Is the lineup set enough right now to make that playoff push? Here's a look at some of the players Miami may be going after.

Not Likely to Feel The Heat?

  • Bradley Beal (Guard, Washington Wizards): While getting the former Florida Gators star would make Miami one of the top three teams in the East without a doubt, what they would have to give up would almost certainly make them more likely to be a lottery team in the coming seasons.
  • Kyle Lowry (Guard, Toronto Raptors): If Lowry were to be in the lineup with Jimmy Butler, Miami has a duo that would compete with Brooklyn and Philadelphia. To get him, the Heat would have to move either Goran Dragic, Tyler Herro or both - and Miami doesn't appear ready to do that.

Maybe in Miami?

  • John Collins (Forward, Atlanta Hawks): At 23, he's young enough to play with Butler and others while providing the big man depth with Bam Adebayo and be able to shoot a three pointer with ease. The holdup may be the fact he's a free agent after the season and will likely want a max deal, which could be a red flag.
  • LaMarcus Aldridge (Forward/Center, San Antonio Spurs): Miami has made an offer with the Spurs for Aldridge, so they want this move to take place for big depth in the middle. The Spurs may actually cut him before a trade takes place, so the question might be what is taking them so long?

Biscayne Boulevard's Likely New Residents?

  • Victor Oladipo (Guard, Indiana Pacers): This on again, off again courtship has gone on for what seems like several seasons and this might finally be the time we see the marriage takes place. He's going to want max money later, but making Miami likely a conference finals team now might be worth it.
  • Larry Nance Jr. (Forward, Cleveland Cavaliers): If Nance does make his way to the 305, it would allow him to be the defensive force Adebayo has been and allow Bam to dominate on both ends of the court. With Cleveland far out of the playoff picture, Miami could get him for cheap in the sixth year of his career.
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