The Jimmy Butler-led Miami Heat are off to a good start, winning three of their first four games in the 2019-20 NBA season. However, with their goal to rule the Eastern Conference and win next year’s Finals in mind, most people believe that the Heat should still consider upgrading their current roster. The trade market may be quiet right now, but there are still plenty of players who are might be moved before the February trade deadline.
In his recent article, Andy Bailey of Bleacher Report mentioned several NBA trade scenarios that could take place during the 2019-20 NBA season. For the Heat, Bailey suggested that they could engage in separate deals with the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Cleveland Cavaliers to acquire Chris Paul and Kevin Love. Since he parted ways with James Harden and the Houston Rockets, the Heat have been considered as the most likely trade destination for Paul.
The Heat and the Thunder tried to engage in trade talks involving Paul during the 2019 NBA offseason, but nothing has materialized as both teams reportedly viewed the deal differently. However, after seeing that no one is willing to part ways with a future draft pick for the veteran point guard, Bailey believes that salary cap relief should now be the Thunder’s “primary motivation” in potential trades. To acquire Paul, the Heat could just offer a trade package including Goran Dragic and Dion Waiters.
As Bailey noted, the Heat shouldn’t stop with Paul. If they successfully convince the Thunder to make a deal, they should use their remaining trade assets to try to acquire Love from the Cavaliers. In the proposed trade by Bleacher Report, the Heat would be sending James Johnson, Meyers Leonard, and a 2025 first-round pick to the Cavaliers in exchange for Love.
“If the CP3 trade proposed above went through, Miami would still have James Johnson and Meyers Leonard to dangle in trades. Attaching a draft pick to those two for Love would be cap-legal. Because of the Stepien Rule, Miami can’t trade another first-rounder until 2025. And though Cleveland may insist on ‘some combination of young players and draft picks’ for Love, as Cleveland.com’s Chris Fedor reported in July, the Cavs might eventually realize no team will meet that asking price.”
Trading for Chris Paul and Kevin Love makes a lot of sense for the Heat, especially if they are serious about maximizing Jimmy Butler’s championship window. Paul and Love may have dealt with numerous injuries in the past, but when healthy, they could give the Heat two All-Star-caliber players who are very reliable scoring options. The potential “Big Three” of Butler, Love, and Paul would not only make the Heat a legitimate threat in the Eastern Conference, but it would also give them a realistic chance of bringing home the Larry O’Brien Trophy to Miami this season.