Miami Heat: The days of whale-hunting on the trade market are long gone

Miami Heat president Pat Riley (Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports)
Miami Heat president Pat Riley (Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports) /

What is the Miami Heat’s plan? 

After a forgettable offseason, it does little favors for the Miami Heat to fester on past mistakes or missteps. However, that could be easier said than done. Currently, it’s hard to envision what the future entails for the Heat. But that’s something that has to be figured out in the front office, and sooner rather than later.

The Heat has gotten off to an uneven start this season and they’re certainly trending in the wrong direction at the moment.

To add to the Heat’s uncertainty this season, Tyler Herro, the team’s current leading scorer, has sustained a grade 2 ankle sprain and is expected to miss several weeks. Considering he’s been the one consistent in the Heat’s inconsistent offense so far this season, this is the type of injury that can completely derail the team’s season.

Miami is 4-4 but is about to hit a crucial part of their schedule in which they play eight of their next nine games on the road. With Herro likely being out of the lineup for that entire stretch, there’s a very real chance that things could get away from the Heat pretty quickly on this road trip.

Depending on how the Heat performs over the next few weeks can answer the question of how the Heat will approach the next couple of months before the NBA Trade Deadline. At best, the Heat is a second-tier team in the Eastern Conference. For a team that was in the NBA Finals last season, taking that much of a step back during the offseason is not ideal.

They almost have to make some sort of trade soon, or they’re essentially punting on Jimmy Butler’s prime. The big question for the Heat is what type of trade should they pursue next.

Will another superstar possibility emerge for the Miami Heat?

History would suggest that the Heat likes to wait for superstar opportunities. However, after missing out on two chances of pulling that off this past offseason, you can’t help but wonder if that should continue to be the blueprint moving forward for the franchise.

Waiting out for the next superstar could take some time. Realistically speaking, Donovan Mitchell may be the next superstar traded. Even then, he’s likely 1-2 years away from hitting the market. At best, he could end up being shopped next summer. Waiting that long is certainly not in the best interest of Butler, and it could cause even more damage to the Heat’s plans.

Ultimately, if the Heat is committed to Jimmy, they may not have the luxury of waiting for the next superstar to hit the open market. They may have to be proactive now. Jimmy can opt out of his contract with the Heat after next season. After this season, he’s more than likely going to demand a contract extension from the team. And an expensive one.

The time for Miami to make a decision on its future is now. And if they do want to continue to build around Jimmy, they have to make a trade soon. But Miami might’ve already made their decision this past offseason. Whether it was their decision or not, the Heat missed on Bradley Beal and Damian Lillard.

On both fronts, it’s been reported that the Heat weren’t as aggressive as they probably should’ve been if they were serious about landing either player.

Whether they’re willing to admit it or not, the Heat aren’t in the whale-hunting business anymore. They don’t have the assets to pull off a deal and they aren’t aggressive enough with the little assets that they do have. That’s a recipe for mediocrity, which the Heat find themselves in at the moment.

Next. NBA Trade Rumors: 7 Veteran big men LA Clippers can pursue to replace Mason Plumlee. dark

I’m not sure what the next move is for the Heat, but it shouldn’t be waiting for another superstar. That’s only going to lead to more heartache and a disappointed fan base.