Miami Heat reportedly join trade race for star they have no chance of landing

The Miami Heat continue to center offseason plans around pipe dreams.
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The Miami Heat is reportedly interested in Lauri Markkanen, which appears to be another offseason pipe dream hail mary.

Over the past couple of decades, the Miami Heat has developed a reputation of offseason excellence - and rightfully so. Over the past 20 years, the Heat has feasted with bold offseason moves that would go on to pay off in a big way. Of their most notable, the Heat acquired Shaquille O'Neal, LeBron James, Chris Bosh, and Jimmy Butler via offseason moves. Their previous success is a big reason why every offseason, there's a growing expectation that the Heat is going to be active and, perhaps most importantly, successful in their pursuits.

However, over the past 7-8 years, something has begun to shift for the Heat. There's a strong argument to be made that ever since fumbling the Dwyane Wade situation in 2016 that the Heat has failed miserably on the transaction front. Since that summer, the Heat has made bad misstep after bad misstep.

While we could sit here and talk about how big of a whiff re-signing James Johnson, Dion Waters, and Tyler Johnson was, there is a bigger problem that the Heat currently has. And it's the fact that they constantly put all their eggs in the basket of a star acquisition. If it wasn't for Jimmy Butler picking the Heat back in 2019, I'm not sure where the Heat would be right now.

Even with Jimmy, Miami has poorly built around him and has continuously missed out on other opportunities because they maintain they're holding out for a star player. While that may sound like a strong plan, the problem falls around the fact that the Heat simply doesn't have the necessary trade assets it takes to make a move for a star player in the modern game.

The Miami Heat are building an offseason plan around a pipe dream target

That's why when it's reported that the Heat is interested in Lauri Markkanen, it's hard to take such a report seriously. Not to say that Zach Lowe is off on his reporting; I'm not saying that. But the more I think about this, the more I believe this is a leak to "appease" the fans.

This is the Heat essentially calming the fan base by saying, "Look we are trying to make a splash move." All while knowing full well there's no scenario or universe in which they're able to outbid the likes of the San Antonio Spurs, Sacramento Kings, or even the Golden State Warriors - all teams that are also reportedly interested in Markkanen.

So even if the Heat is genuinely interested in Markkanen, which they should be because he's a good player, it's hard to envision a scenario in which they land him. Once again, as the rest of the Eastern Conference improves, the Heat find themselves building an offseason plan around a pipe dream trade target.

First, it was Donovan Mitchell and now that that is off the table, Miami continues to pivot in an unrealistic way. I'm not sure what's next for the Heat or this front office, but there's no question that this summer likely ends in more offseason disappointment.

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