Ira Winderman: Heat possess untouchables, shiny objects when it comes to trades

Ira Winderman, Sun Sentinel
·4 min read

The lesson learned from the 2019-20 NBA season that seemingly would never end is that some couldn’t wait for it to end to speculate about potential trades.

That has proved to be the case even with the league remaining in a personnel moratorium as the 2020-21 salary cap is computed and the personnel schedule is reset.

So to get ahead of the curve, perhaps it is best to set the Miami Heat’s exchange rates ahead of the market’s opening.

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Untouchables

— Bam Adebayo: There are two ways teams tend to structure their future — either a draft pick to build around or a free agent to build around.

In Adebayo’s case, unbeknownst to even the Heat when they selected him at No. 14 in 2017, Adebayo became that draft pick.

Seemingly everything the Heat do on both sides of the court is designed around the emerging 23-year-old All-Star.

The only way you shift course with someone so impactful would be if you were rebuilding. The Heat are not rebuilding.

— Jimmy Butler: And then you have the free agent you build around in Butler, which is why it would make no sense to reverse course with a player who is every bit the franchise yin to Adebayo’s yang.

Based on what Butler delivered in 2019-20, and based on how he delivered it, there are not many, if any, wings the Heat would trade for straight up.

— Udonis Haslem: A completely different story here. But the Heat, at this point, would never trade Udonis Haslem. Just wouldn’t.

Not even worth discussing, for reasons that should be apparent to any and all, beyond the fact that he is an impending free agent.

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Shiny objects

— Tyler Herro: This is where you start if you want to trade to for proved, win-now talent (Bradley Beal? Jrue Holiday? Paul George? To a lesser degree, Victor Oladipo?).

There is the emerging talent, the youthful swagger, and the manageable rookie-scale contract — all rolled up into a single, tempting package.

Basically, if you refuse to take calls when Herro is mentioned, you essentially are telling the league you are going forward with the status quo.

And in a quick-turnaround season … there is nothing wrong with that.

— Kendrick Nunn: The runner-up for 2020 NBA Rookie of the Year stands as another potential trade sweetener.

Again, you have to offer something to get something. This would be a case of buying low and selling high.

— Duncan Robinson: Shudder at the thought? Understood.

But the Heat have a knack for finding and refining shooters, from Jason Kapono to James Jones to Wayne Ellington to Robinson.

If Robinson is what is takes to close a bigger deal (Beal, for example), do you allow that to become a deal killer?

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Creative assets

— Kelly Olynyk: With so many of the Heat’s prime trade assets on minimal deals, an amount of ballast could be needed to balance deals. At $13.2 million on the final season on his contract (should he, as expected, opt in), Olynyk could well help facilitate a deal.

For that matter, if the Heat need to move Olynyk’s deal (once he opts in), it could be sweetened with, say, Nunn as part of such a package.

— Andre Iguodala: Similarly, Iguodala’s $15 million for 2020-21 could balance a trade that includes one of the Heat’s smaller contracts.

As the Memphis Grizzlies showed last season, even if the intention by an acquiring team merely is to pass Iguodala along, there could be eventual value, with Memphis winding up with Justise Winslow.

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Balancing acts

— Chris Silva: Sometimes you simply need a minimum contract to balance a deal.

— KZ Okpala: And sometimes a team covets your unknown prospect enough to seal a deal.

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Sign-and-trades

— Goran Dragic: While a sign-and-trade technically is possible, the real trade impact would be that if Dragic takes a one-year Heat contract, he automatically would receive the right to veto any trade.

— Jae Crowder: It is possible there could be an asset gained in a sign-and-trade. But the preference seemingly remains a one-year deal as a keeper.

— Meyers Leonard: This is where the Heat could potentially assist Leonard in receiving a higher salary elsewhere than the steep pay cut that appears inevitable.

— Derrick Jones Jr.: It would seem, at this point, as if this will be a simple free-agent parting.

— Solomon Hill: Perhaps to be re-signed to then fill out a trade. But that would appear the limit of trade impact .

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