Miami is looking to deal for a young wing player who can score and take some of the load off Dwyane Wade. A few GMs have identified Boston’s Jordan Crawford as a player the Heat will go after in the coming days/weeks.
The Heat's interest here makes sense. Dwyane Wade, who is constantly tending to injured knees, missed six of their first 23 games. More nights off are inevitable, and landing a scorer like Crawford diminishes the impact Wade's absence could have on the offense
Question is: Who or what will the Heat give the Celtics?
ESPN's Brian Windhorst previously reported Miami was prepared to dangle Joel Anthony in attempt to bolster its backcourt, but trading him is like charging someone for free samples at the supermarket.
ESPN report of Heat seeking trade for backcourt depth makes sense, but the greater issue is what Joel Anthony actually could/would fetch.— Ira Winderman (@IraHeatBeat) December 6, 2013
Anthony won't necessarily fetch anything in return, let alone Crawford, who is having a career season under rookie head coach Brad Stevens. He's averaging 13.7 points and 5.5 assists per game while shooting 44.5 percent overall and 37.5 percent from deep, both of which are career highs.
Anthony, by comparison, has appeared in just six games and logged 30 minutes all season. Not difficult to envision how that call would go.
"Hi, Danny [Ainge]?" Pat Riley would ask. "How are ya feeling about good-ol' Joel?"
For talks to gain any traction, Norris Cole or Mario Chalmers would need to become available. While not impossible, neither of them alone will be enough. Crawford is still on his rookie contract and earning a very reasonable $2.2 million this season. His production has come cheap for Boston, but it won't for whatever team he's dealt to.
More than anything, the Heat would have to part with a draft pick. Per RealGM.com, they own the rights to the Philadelphia 76ers' first-round selection this summer, but it's lottery protected. Same goes for next summer. If Philly hasn't conveyed a first-rounder to Miami by 2015 (likely), the pick turns into two second-rounders in 2015 and 2016. Chances of the Celtics accepting that are slim.
Do the Heat have the assets necessary to land Jordan Crawford?
Forking over a first rounder for added depth, and a player slated for restricted free agency this summer, is a steep price to pay anyway. And remember, the Heat aren't the New York Knicks.
Unless Celtics general manager Danny Ainge feels like running Boston into the ground and going all in for Jabari Parker or Andrew Wiggins, my advice to the Heat is simple: Keep looking.
*All stats used come courtesy of Basketball-Reference unless otherwise noted.