As they continue to struggle in the 2019-20 NBA season, rumors have started to swirl around the San Antonio Spurs, who are expected to move DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge before the 2020 February NBA trade deadline. Instead of remaining as a mediocre team in the league, most people believe that the Spurs are better off trading their veterans and undergoing a rebuilding process. According to Barry Jackson of Miami Herald, one of the NBA teams who should express interest in trading for DeRozan and Aldridge is the Miami Heat.
Despite having Jimmy Butler as the only legitimate NBA superstar on their roster, the Heat still managed to start the 2019-20 NBA season strong, currently sitting in the No. 3 spot in the Eastern Conference with an 11-4 record. However, as of now, the Heat are still not viewed as a legitimate threat in the Eastern Conference. In order to have a better chance of fully dominating the Eastern Conference and contending for the NBA championship title, the Heat should strongly consider adding more star power to their team.
In his recent article, Jackson mentioned two reasons why the Heat should explore a deal with the Spurs that would send DeRozan and Aldridge to South Beach.
“There’s no indication that the Spurs are shopping either player, even with San Antonio off to a 5-10 start and in the midst of a seven-game losing streak. But if they do, the Heat assuredly would due diligence on both for two reasons: 1) Both remain highly productive and 2) Neither has a contract that runs beyond the summer of 2021, which is critical because Miami wants to preserve max cap space that summer for a run at Giannis Antetokounmpo or, secondarily, a few other targets including Victor Oladipo.”
It wouldn’t definitely be a surprise if Heat President Pat Riley ends up trading for both DeRozan and Aldridge. On the second day of free agency in the summer of 2015, Riley reportedly took Aldridge to dinner to convince him to sign a one-year deal with the Portland Trail Blazers and sign with the Heat the following offseason. Unfortunately, Aldridge chose to sign a four-year, $80 million contract in the 2015 NBA free agency.
The same thing happened with the Heat’s pursuit of DeRozan in the 2016 NBA free agency. The Heat tried pairing DeRozan with Hassan Whiteside, but the All-Star shooting guard decided to return to the Toronto Raptors on a five-year, $139 million deal. Though they were snubbed by both superstars in free agency, targeting DeRozan and Aldridge before the 2020 February NBA trade deadline still makes a lot of sense for the Heat.
DeRozan and Aldridge would give the Heat two All-Star caliber veterans who have plenty of playoff experience, while preserving their salary cap space for the summer of 2021. Trading for DeRozan and Aldridge would help the Heat maximize Butler’s championship window, especially if both of them learn how to efficiently play as his sidekicks. However, in order to convince the Spurs to make a deal, the Heat should be willing to give up valuable trade assets, including young players like Justise Winslow, Kendrick Nunn, Bam Adebayo, and Tyler Herro.