Miami has become the new sexy pick for best free agency destination after the Heat’s run at the NBA championship in the bubble this season. With the new-found popularity, the Heat will have some tough decisions to make when looking to improve the roster.
5. Demarcus Cousins
Despite being injured for the better part of the past two seasons, when healthy, Boogie Cousins is one of the most skilled big men in the league. His ability to shoot, pass and be a presence in the post should all be attractive lures for Miami. If Cousins buys into the now famed Heat culture and improves his fitness level and conditioning, the Heat could grab a steal. A year in the Heat organization could also help Cousins recoup some of the value he has lost due to injuries. He was in line for a max contract that never materialized after he ruptured his Achilles in 17-18 while playing for the Pelicans.
Does Boogie to Miami interest you at all? #HEATTwitter
— Royal A. Shepherd (@RoyalAShepherd) October 14, 2020
4. Victor Oladipo
Oladipo has made it apparent that he wants to win now. He has also expressed, albeit less overtly, his love for the city of Miami. At his peak, Oladipo is an all-star level two-way player that adds scoring, defense and some playmaking ability to a team. However, according to Ethan Skolnick on the Five on the Floor Podcast, Oladipo’s behavior in the bubble has raised some eyebrows about whether or not he is a winner. His injury history is also an area for concern — returning from a torn quad tendon in January. He averaged 14.5 PPG on 39 percent (32 percent from 3) shooting in 19 games.
3. Christian Wood
Brady Hawk has already detailed everything I wanted to in his article on Wood’s fit with Miami. Over Detroit’s final 13 games as the starting center, he posted numbers of 22.8 points and 9.9 boards on 56.2 percent shooting and 40.0 percent from three. Prying Wood away from Detroit will not be an easy task considering his breakout season following the trade of Andre Drummond. However, there is a chance and that is all Miami can ask for.
2. Jrue Holiday
Point of attack defense has been an area of concern for the Heat dating back to the beginning of the season. Holiday is an immediate upgrade in that area and many more. Not only is he an elite perimeter defender, but also a capable combo guard that can both facilitate the offense and score the ball. The 30-year old’s averages of 19.1 points, 4.8 rebounds and 6.7 assists will fit in nicely with the current Heat squad. Holiday has also recently been recognized by several of his peers on various platforms as one of the most underrated player in the league. We all know where those types of guys can find a home.
1. Giannis Antetokoumpo
The reigning back-to-back MVP is at the top of every team’s wishlist. Rightfully so. His gawdy averages of 29.5 points, 13.6 rebounds and 5.6 assists per game and recent earlier-than-expected playoff exits (you’re welcome) have GMs around the league salivating at the opportunity to acquire his services. Miami is believed to be amongst the frontrunners to land him should he decide to part ways with Milwaukee, along with Dallas, Toronto and Golden State. What the Heat offer Giannis is a ready-made championship contender that fits his style of play. In turn, Giannis gives the Heat another star to pair with Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo.
Royal Shepherd (@RoyalAShepherd) has written for several major newspapers, including the Tallahassee Democrat and the Augusta Chronicle, and now contributes to Five Reasons Sports.