After the successful acquisition of Jimmy Butler, the Miami Heat are expected to target another legitimate superstar that could boost their chances of dominating the Eastern Conference and contending for the NBA championship. However, aside from going after players who are set to be available before the February trade deadline and in the summer of 2020, the Heat are also planning to pursue some of the possible big names in the 2021 NBA free agency, specifically Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks and Victor Oladipo of the Indiana Pacers.
In his recent article, Barry Jackson, of The Miami Herald, discussed the Heat’s potential pursuit of Spurs superstars LaMarcus Aldridge and DeMar DeRozan during the season. Jackson explained that trading for Aldridge or DeRozan would enable the Heat to give Butler a superstar running mate this season while preserving their salary cap space for the summer of 2021 where they could chase the likes of Antetokounmpo and Oladipo.
“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.”
Between the two free agent superstars, Heat fans would definitely prefer to see Antetokounmpo heading to South Beach in the 2021 offseason. Since being drafted as the No. 15 overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, Antetokounmpo has turned into one of the best active players in the league. After winning his first MVP award last season, Antetokounmpo is once again wreaking havoc this season, averaging 31.1 points, 13.7 rebounds, 6.2 assists, 1.4 blocks, and 1.5 steals, while shooting 56 percent from the field.
Pairing Antetokounmpo with Butler would undeniably give the Heat a realistic chance of bringing the Larry O’Brien Trophy to South Beach. However, as of now, the Heat aren’t the only team who are closely monitoring Antetokounmpo’s situation in Milwaukee.
Over the past few months, rumors have been circulating that the Toronto Raptors would be a “chief pursuer” of Antetokounmpo in the summer of 2021, while according to a previous The Inquisitr article, the Golden State Warriors are considered as a “big threat” to steal the reigning MVP from the Bucks when he becomes an unrestricted free agent.