Miami Heat: 4 cost-saving trades to help the Heat transform back into contenders

Collin Sexton (Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports)
Collin Sexton (Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Exploring four cost-saving trades that would effectively help the Miami Heat retool back into contenders. 

The Miami Heat took two sizeable swings this past offseason in an attempt to improve their roster in a way that could put them over the top as a contender. Unfortunately, Miami ended up missing on both Bradley Beal and Damian Lillard. And to a much lesser extent, missing on Jrue Holiday as somewhat of a consolation prize.

That leaves Miami in a difficult situation heading into the start of the season, especially if they have any plans to defend their Eastern Conference championship title. The Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics got measurably better this offseason by adding Lillard and Holiday (and Kristaps Porzingis, respectively) while the Heat took a pretty large step back.

But it’s not over just yet. The season hasn’t even started yet and there’s still a reasonable path toward the Heat being able to retool their roster in a way they could inch back into the title picture.

Let’s explore four cost-saving trades that could help the Heat reemerge as contenders in the East.

4 trades that could help the Miami Heat retool back into contender status

The move for James Harden

Even though there’s been some recent optimism that James Harden may be willing to play nice and finish out his contract with the Philadelphia 76ers, that’s far from a guarantee. If Harden really does want out of Philly, Miami could theoretically offer a competitive deal. Miami would have to part ways with two assets – a draft pick and a young player that represents an additional draft pick, especially if the Heat doesn’t want to offer two first-round picks.

Miami would get out from under Kyle Lowry’s and Duncan Robinson’s deals while adding Harden as a one-year rental and P.J. Tucker, who is an ideal Heat fit.

The Heat would emerge as contenders again and if it ends in disaster, they’d clear a big amount of salary cap space to save money or pursue another big contract during the offseason.