What Are the Heat Doing?

    In the first season of the post-Dwyane Wade era, the Miami Heat find themselves in an awkward position. An 11-30 start to the season had them in the mix for the top pick in the draft, and the fans excited for a top prospect like Lonzo Ball from UCLA or Jayson Tatum from Duke. The team’s current nine game winning streak has the fans and the team now thinking playoffs. Although impressive, the winning streak is a little misleading. Six of the nine games have been against teams with losing records, but two of them have came against western conference contenders, the Houston Rockets, and the NBA’s best team, the Golden State Warriors.

    Assuming this current run is just an anomaly on what should otherwise be a down season, Miami needs to decide what the future holds. Conventional wisdom would lead us to believe that Pat Riley will swing for the fences and try to sign a top level free agent. The 2017 Free-Agency class includes stars Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant (player option) both of whom will probably return to Golden State on long term deals. In addition, Chris Paul (player option) and Blake Griffin (player option) will also become free agents, it’s unlikely the Clippers let their two best players leave this off-season. However, If one of them does, Griffin to Miami is a match made in heaven.

    A 6’11” 250 pound big man who can spread the floor, and run an offense would fit in well with the high tempo offense of the Miami Heat. More so, Griffin wouldn’t have to do much differently defensively than he’s doing now. Miami currently ranks eighth in the league in adjusted defensive rating according to basketball reference.com, and Hassan Whiteside offers a similar paint presence defensively to that of DeAndre Jordan of the Clippers.

    Apart from Dragic,  Miami doesn’t have a player who can manage the offense. Waiters can create plays for himself, Richardson and Ellington can space the floor, but can’t run the offense. The addition of Griffin could allow the Heat to have multiple players to lead the offense and a Dragic-Griffin pick and roll would be devastating. With roughly 37 and a half million dollars in cap space, the Miami Heat could add another above average talent apart from Griffin such as offensive star Danilo Gallinari, an efficient two way player like  Otto Porter or a rather exciting Dwyane Wade return.

     Despite the allure of signing a superstar like Blake Griffin that could vault you into contention in the weak Eastern Conference next season, I’m of the mindset that Miami should tear it up and rebuild completely. Miami should trade both its established stars in Whiteside and Dragic for first round picks. Even if the Heat could sign Griffin and contend in the east for a few seasons, it’s hard to picture anyone other than the Warriors or the Cavaliers in the finals for years to come.


Miami has a nice core of young players in Josh Richardson and Tyler Johnson that can be solid role players in the league. Justise Winslow is a potential star. The 6’7 wing out of Duke is already a polished defender and ball handler. Yet, while he shines on defense, his shooting and offensive skills are subpar at best. He’s a below average shooter, in his short career he’s shot just under 28 percent from beyond the arc and only 42 percent from the field. Winslow already has the defensive capacity and leadership capabilities, if he develops his offensive game he could become a dynamic two way player. Adding one or two more young prospects to this team from the draft could serve the Heat well in the long run.


If Dragic and Whiteside are dealt for picks, the Heat would inevitably end up with a top five pick that could turn into a star. Lonzo Ball of UCLA and Markelle Fultz of Washington are two gifted point guards that can become pillars on championship teams in the NBA. Jayson Tatum is an explosive wing scorer from Duke who can create for himself and spread the floor. Ultimately, Miami should take a serious look in the mirror and decide whether they want to be good right now, or good enough to win a championship down the line.


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8 thoughts on “What Are the Heat Doing?

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