Jae Crowder, Bojan Bogdanovic, and Nerlens Noel all linked to Miami as of this week.
NBA trade deadline is only a few months away, Thursday February 9 to be exact. However, trade season is slowly but surely arriving. Even though the deadline isn’t till February, it’s still possible for deals to happen even before that. Either way, it seems like the Miami Heat continue to be involved in trade rumors. It is only a matter of time before a change is made to this roster. Yes, the Heat have had statement wins this year against teams like the Boston Celtics, Phoenix Suns, and LA Clippers to name a few.
The problem is even with those statement wins, this team has struggled to find consistency all year. When they win a game or two and make fans question, “maybe this team CAN make some noise as currently constructed”, the team usually responds with some more disappointing losses. The Heat are 6-4 in their last 10 games, but currently sit as the 10th seed and final play-in team in the standings at an overall record of 13-15. Not ideal at all at this point in the season for a team that has championship culture and potential.
After all, they came one single shot short of making a return to the NBA Finals last year in what could’ve been their second Finals trip in the last three years. It is still early in the season, and there is still hope for this presently constructed roster. It seems like they are finally getting healthy, as all the main guys have been playing recently.
Even Victor Oladipo, who has shown signs of rust but still looks promising. However, just based off the struggles this season and the history of Pat Riley and the Miami Heat, it seems obvious that the front office will pull the trigger on any deal that make sense in improving this team. Where has Miami struggled the most this season? Easy answer; rebounding.
The Heat have been killed on the glass all year long, and the defense has been very underwhelming to go along with that. It stems from a continuous problem that this team has had right out of the start; lack of front court depth. The Heat have Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo as front court players but then who else? There’s Caleb Martin who is a solid role player but has been forced into an everyday starting PF role, when he is more comfortable as a natural SF.
Other than those three starters, it is extremely thin. There’s Dewayne Dedmon and Haywood Highsmith, to go along with Nikola Jovic and Jamal Cain who have been in and out of the g-league. Omer Yurtseven had ankle surgery recently and it’s yet to be seen if he even touches a NBA court this season.
Reinforcements are bound to land in Miami to beef up this front court. As of this week, there’s been multiple names thrown around in rumors that are linked to landing in South Beach.
Jae Crowder is one and the most favorable, knowing that the team and staff know exactly what a player like Crowder brings to the table.
Report: Miami Heat expected to make re-energized push for Jae Crowder once certain players become trade eligible https://t.co/ty3PcyrmtH
— Heat Nation (@HeatNationCom) December 12, 2022
Miami made the 2020 NBA Finals with him as the starting PF next to Adebayo. He knows the system and fit in extremely well 2 years ago. A valuable 3 and D role player who provides great toughness, one on one defense, rebounding, and 3 point ability. Crowder last averaged 9.4 PPG and 5.3 RPG on 40% shooting from the field and 35% shooting from 3 point range. This is a player who hit big time shots in a Finals run for this Heat team.
The next name that has been thrown around is Bojan Bogdanovic.
Sources: The Lakers, Heat, Mavericks, Hawks, and other teams have expressed interest in trading for Pistons forward Bojan Bogdanovic.
More on trade talks surrounding Bogdanovic, John Collins, Cam Reddish, Evan Fournier, and Patrick Beverley on @hoopshype. https://t.co/LhAy02Jums
— Michael Scotto (@MikeAScotto) December 13, 2022
This is probably the least likely, as it was reported that the Detroit Pistons plan on keeping the sharp shooter. However, with the news that Cade Cunningham is now out for the season that could make tanking even more of an option for this Pistons team than ever before. Maybe Detroit eases up on that notion and chooses to get draft picks or a younger player in return. Bogdanovic is having a monster year, averaging 21.0 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 51% FG, and 44% 3P.
This is not a player who is going to help with rebounding and defense as much as Crowder would, but his ability to stretch the floor at the PF position and make 3’s would still be big for Miami. With Bogdanovic wreaking havoc behind the 3 point line, it could space the floor for Adebayo to get more rebounds and put backs himself. Bogdanovic is a decent defender as well.
Lastly, Nerlens Noel was mentioned as a possible target too.
The Pistons are looking to move Nerlens Noel, sources tell @JLEdwardsIII.
The Trail Blazers, Kings, Heat and Mavericks have been the teams most engaged when it comes to acquiring the veteran big man.
Latest on Detroit: https://t.co/DuzGtSL02K pic.twitter.com/0enqb2YDi0
— The Athletic NBA (@TheAthleticNBA) December 13, 2022
Noel would be interesting, as he could either play as a back up big man behind Adebayo or possibly play next to him. Noel has not gotten much playing time at all this year due to Detroit having loaded depth in their front court already, but it was reported that both sides have agreed to separate. This is a big answer to Miami’s rebounding problems, as Noel is tough and long. A player like him is not afraid to get scrappy and fight for a rebound.
All three players would fit in Miami in different ways, but they would all make a positive impact and help the team. Knowing that the Heat have limited assets, it could be more realistic in figuring out a 3 team trade, or possibly even wait to see if names appear on the buyout market.
It’s going to be interesting to see how the Heat let this play out… how bad will the record have to get to make a move? Is it possible the Heat get their hands on more than one of these guys? That is yet to be seen… as it’s not even guaranteed the Heat get anybody at all, and these reports all wind up being false rumors.
The clock is ticking on the Miami Heat, and front office needs to choose which way they want this team to go soon.
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