While the Miami Heat aren't a perfect team, there is no need for them to make a move before the 2014 NBA Trade Deadline.
Given all of their strengths, there are really only two types of trades the Heat could look to explore: One type involves receiving rebounding help, and the other entails adding backcourt depth.
The possible desire for a rebounder stems from the fact that the Heat are dead last in rebounds per game this season. They average just 36.6, which is a whopping 2.4 rebounds fewer than the 29th-ranked team in rebounds (the New York Knicks).
That lack of rebounds is by design, though. Since their 2012 playoff run, the Heat have played a small-ball style with Chris Bosh at center, which involves surrounding LeBron James with as many shooters as possible at the expense of grabbing rebounds.
While hauling in so few rebounds can hurt the Heat at times, they have so many other advantages on the court when going small that the sacrifice on the glass is clearly worth it.
In 2012-13, the Heat's first full season of playing small-ball, they were also last in the league in rebounds per game, and we all know how well it ended for them.
They're also off to a blazing 22-6 start this year. The Heat need not tamper with a winning formula.
As for adding backcourt help, Brian Windhorst of ESPN reported in early December that the Heat were looking to add some because their maintenance plan for Dwyane Wade will leave him out of the lineup at times this season (he's missed seven of the first 28 games).
Roger Mason Jr. has moved into the rotation in the most recent games Wade has missed. While he isn't a big-name player, he's filled in decently enough to where the Heat don't really need to add another guard.
He's averaging 14.1 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.5 assists per 36 minutes. Most importantly, given the Heat's offensive system, Mason Jr. is converting 43.3 percent of his three-point attempts.
When we get to the postseason and things really start to matter for Miami, D-Wade isn't going to be sitting out games for preventative reasons, as he is now. That will render the Heat's third shooting guard behind Wade and Allen fairly unimportant. Miami has enough depth at the guard position to get through another title run.
Plus, generally speaking, there are some real roadblocks that would prevent the Heat from making any sort of move.
Miami has a bunch of players it is likely not going to want to trade (the Big Three, Mario Chalmers, Norris Cole, etc.). And the players the Heat may be willing to move (Joel Anthony, James Jones and perhaps Udonis Haslem) have little to no value to other teams. Even if the Heat were to seriously explore a beneficial trade, it's going to be pretty difficult to pull off.
Also, there's a real sacrifice that comes with playing for this Heat team, a sacrifice that not every player in the NBA would be willing to make. There's a good chance that Miami trying to upgrade anywhere could backfire.
Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel recently tackled this idea in a mailbag when asked if he thinks the Heat should look to include Chalmers in a trade for the Toronto Raptors' Kyle Lowry.
I think "fit" is as important with this team as maximizing productivity at the position. With Chalmers, you have a player you easily can sub out for Norris Cole without regards to playing time. Similarly, with Chalmers and Cole, you have point guards who understand that neither might play late. And Chalmers going without shots is not an issue. Now, if you get a Lowry or a player looking to reestablish himself, he might not be as willing to sacrifice playing time, shots or even playmaking opportunities. To a degree, Chalmers is a fit for this team because he can appreciate his place.
Simply put, the champs are just fine. They have a ton of talent from the top of the lineup to the bottom that fits very well with their system. That talent has been willing to sacrifice minutes and personal stats for team success.
The Heat are favorites to hoist the Larry O'Brien trophy for the third straight year for a reason: What they have done and what they are doing is working. Standing pat when the deadline approaches is absolutely the smartest strategy.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!