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Heat's Top Trade, Free-Agent Targets After Kevin Durant Agrees to Remain with Nets

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVAugust 23, 2022

Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images

The Miami Heat must look in a new direction after Kevin Durant agreed to "move forward" with the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday.

Miami had been one of the "most serious threats" to land Durant along with the Toronto Raptors and Boston Celtics following the superstar's trade request in June, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. The Heat had been unwilling to meet the Nets' asking price, however, and the window to acquire the four-time scoring champion has apparently closed.

No other available players can make the same type of impact as Durant, but there are still ways for Miami to upgrade the roster with these targets.


Donovan Mitchell, SG

If the Heat still want to add a star, Donovan Mitchell is the next best option after Durant.

The New York Knicks have consistently been linked with the Utah Jazz guard, while Charania named the Charlotte Hornets and Washington Wizards as interested teams, but none have been able to match Utah's asking price.

Miami could beat the other packages by offering Tyler Herro, who won the league's Sixth Man of the Year award last season.

Zach Lowe of ESPN reported the Heat were "still trying and can never be counted out" regarding deals for either Durant and Mitchell. With only one of those still available, the team could become even more aggressive on the trade market.

Losing Herro could hurt, but Mitchell is an even better offensive weapon who averaged 25.9 points per game last year, his fifth straight season with at least 20 ppg. His all-around play helped him set a career high with 7.2 win shares in 2021-22, 34th in the NBA, per Basketball Reference. Herro's 3.8 win shares was also a personal best, yet ranked just 123rd in the league.

Adding the three-time All-Star could be enough to get Miami over the top toward a championship after losing in the Eastern Conference Finals last season.


John Collins, PF

Even if the Heat aren't able to land a star, they can still add a difference-maker to the rotation.

Lowe reported (h/t RealGM) that Miami showed interest in John Collins and might "revisit" those talks.

The Atlanta Hawks haven't been shy about putting Collins on the trade block, including him in an offer for Durant. They were also "engaged" with several teams about a trade in June, per Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated, which indicates it might not take much to pry him away.

Collins' scoring has declined in each of the past two years, but he averaged 16.2 points and 7.8 rebounds in 2021-22 and is still just 24 years old. The 6'9" forward has made 37.6 percent of three-pointers in his career and would fit perfectly with the Heat's efficient outside shooting.

Though he's not the defender that P.J. Tucker was, he would provide a bigger offensive impact next to Bam Adebayo.


Myles Turner, C

Another player who has been constantly included trade rumors, Myles Turner likely won't want to stay with the Indiana Pacers during their rebuild.

ESPN's Brian Windhorst reported in July there was a "good chance he's not going to be a Pacer next year."

With the Heat, Turner could play for a contender and form an intriguing complement in the frontcourt with Adebayo.

Turner is more of a rim-protector, twice leading the NBA in blocks per game while finishing last season with 2.8 per game. He is also a quality outside shooter, averaging 1.5 made threes per game in 2021-22.

Adebayo and Turner might both be called a "center," but their roles wouldn't overlap on either end of the court, and a trade could certainly strengthen the team ahead of 2022-23.


LaMarcus Aldridge, C

Any trade would force the Heat to give up something, which might not be a smart plan for a team that is already a top contender to win a title. They finished first in the Eastern Conference during the regular season last year and only lost in Game 7 of the conference finals after an injury-riddled playoff run.

The team could instead look for incremental changes from the remaining free-agent pool to help get over the top.

LaMarcus Aldridge could be the best option available, even at 37 years old entering his 17th NBA season.

The veteran averaged 12.9 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.0 blocks per game with the Nets last season, mostly coming off the bench. He remains a solid defender who can provide a boost offensively with the second unit.

Miami already has plenty of veteran leadership from Jimmy Butler, Kyle Lowry and even Udonis Haslem, but adding one more proven player in the locker room can't hurt.

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