With the NBA trade deadline approaching, there’s been plenty of buzz regarding certain players and their potential new teams when Thursday approaches. NBA fans have already seen Kyrie Irving head to Dallas, and while there may not be many more superstars headed to different locations, that doesn’t mean teams won’t find some diamonds in the rough or acquire some players for depth.
In the Miami Heat’s case, they’ve made just one move: a trade to send veteran big man Dewayne Dedmon to his former home in San Antonio for second-round pick-and-cash considerations. However, you can bet that Pat Riley is still on the phone looking to bolster his team even further. Irving is out of Brooklyn and poses a prime opportunity for Miami to raise their Eastern Conference standings. That’s why, with all the buzz surrounding the Heat approaching the deadline, I’ve compiled three names that the Heat should target to improve their team and ultimately attempt to make a push in the standings.
This is the most unlikely choice to be moved to Miami, but I’ve seen more far-fetched things happen. It’s no secret that Anunoby’s name has been circulating through trade rumors in recent days, and he’s the perfect player for Miami to bolster their frontcourt. The Heat’s front office already thinks highly of a player like Anunoby, saying that he’s a top 20 two-way player in the NBA. Currently, he’s averaging 16.9 points, 5.5 rebounds and two assists. He’s an excellent scoring option for this team, and can step in as a solid defender as well. If the Toronto Raptors are looking to move pieces with how they’ve trended downward toward the trade deadline, they may be willing to part with Anunoby for the right package. If I were the Heat, I’d certainly be focused on grabbing a player of his caliber.
While players like P.J. Washington have been dangled in different trade rumors across the NBA, I think Wood fits the style of Miami’s team much better. Not only is he better from an offensive standpoint this season, but he currently has a better defensive efficiency rating than Washington. With the Mavericks shopping him to teams throughout the league, this would be a perfect opportunity for the Heat to swoop in. With Dedmon now off the roster, the Miami front office can replace him with a clear upgrade in Wood, who’s averaging 18.1 points and 8.4 rebounds per game this season. This would slide a player like Caleb Martin to the bench, which would give Miami even better depth at that power forward position. If the Mavericks aren’t asking too much for a guy like Wood, he seems like a solid fit for a solid Heat squad.
This is an interesting choice, because it’s clear that it’s not quite working out with Russell in Minnesota. Yes, the team is currently above .500 and sitting at No. 8 in the West, but with the Rudy Gobert trade in the summer, it’s no doubt that this team should be doing better than this. Russell has been a big part of the reason why this Minnesota team hasn’t reached their full potential, as he just hasn’t been able to replicate the success that made him known amongst the NBA. While Russell’s numbers are certainly not bad by any stretch, my perspective is that he could do better in a system like Miami’s. It’s also no secret that the Heat have been looking to move guard Kyle Lowry. While a straight up trade of Lowry for Russell isn’t likely, according to Timberwolves insider Darren Wolfson, it’s certainly possible for the Heat to upgrade that package to secure a player like Russell with the addition of picks and players like Max Strus who the team has been looking to move before the trade deadline. In a new change of scenery, Russell could easily catch fire under the coaching of Erik Spoelstra and a Heat system that has seen many players reignite their careers.