After making waves at the NBA Trade Deadline, we explore what could be next for the Miami Heat moving forward
The night before the NBA Trade Deadline, the Miami Heat acquired Andre Iguodala, Solomon Hill and Jae Crowder from the Memphis Grizzlies in exchange for Justise Winslow, James Johnson and Dion Waiters.
After the trade was official, it left many people around the association wondering how the trade would work out for Miami? Mostly because they gave up a very talented young player in Justise Winslow. Despite the controversial move, Pat Riley managed to add some key veterans that the team was in the market for.
Before the trade deadline, this Heat team was relatively young. Outside of Jimmy Butler, Goran Dragic, and Meyers Leonard, the rest of the roster have been in the NBA for less than six seasons. But with the impact Butler has made on these young guys, they have put on a tear so far and have put the world on notice by having one of the best records in the Eastern Conference this season.
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Kendrick Nunn has been named Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month all three times so far this season. His development over the course of summer league and at the start of the season has given him the right to be the starting “point guard” for Erik Spoelstra.
Bam Adebayo is another young asset who is on track to become one of the finalist for Most Improved Player this year. His numbers have improved this season and it has given him the right to play in this year’s All-Star Game right next to Jimmy Butler. His impact for Miami this season is not to be denied and he has been a pest down low attacking bigs both on offense and defense.
Other young assets for Miami have been Tyler Herro, Duncan Robinson, and Derrick Jones Jr. With many expecting for Miami to be in full rebuilding mode despite adding Jimmy Butler to their roster, Butler’s presence has changed that narrative and this team is expected to make a huge run come playoff season.
So while the young guys have been getting the job done so far, it was only right to bring in more veteran players to play with them. So what will these vets bring to this Miami team going forward?
First thing, they will bring more voices in the locker room that will be much needed. Butler has done a great job of guiding these young guys so far. But for a vet like Andre Iguodala, who’s a three-time champion and a Finals MVP, along with Jae Crowder who has been in numerous playoff moments with Boston and Utah, it will make a huge impact for the young guys as the playoffs come and they get prepared going forward.
Second thing, Miami has brought in guys who know how to win basketball games. The world has seen Andre Iguodala make so many clutch plays down the stretch of games for Golden State both on offense and defense. Jae Crowder also hit a game-winning shot for Memphis earlier this season as well. It all comes down to who will make the right plays at the right time. The young core has shown they can do that. So adding more vets who can help from that perspective would be huge for this Miami Heat team going forward.
And lastly, the new additions could help teach the young guys longevity in the NBA. This is a new journey for the young core and they have a lot of basketball ahead of them. So the seasoned vets being able to show the young guys how to take care of their body and prepare for games properly will benefit them in a huge way. Andre Iguodala is 36 years old and has played 16 NBA seasons.
The reason he has still been able to play at a high caliber level has been due to how he takes care of himself. So hopefully his habits will run off on the young core as they watch him prepare for matchups on a daily basis from here on out.
In conclusion, this will be an interesting experiment that Erik Spoelstra will have to use. How does he fit everyone in the rotation? That is something that will be determined going forward. But with the resume that Andre Iguodala and Jae Crowder have, this will be a great move going forward and it was worth trading away a couple of young talents that they will miss dearly.
After the All-Star Break, Miami will have 28 games remaining in the regular season. They currently sit at 4th in the East behind Milwaukee, Toronto, and Boston. Miami has to keep its foot on the gas pedal before the playoffs. Anything can happen in a matter of two months so it’s important that they get to a comfortable spot so they can have an advantage in the postseason.
Although they have struggled recently over the course of their road trip, that will hopefully change once the newer additions get comfortable around their new teammates and into the system that they play. the Miami Heat will be a hungry team come playoff time and everyone will be watching their journey going forward this season.