Despite having the second-best record in the Eastern Conference as of this writing, the Miami Heat have figured in several rumors ahead of the February 6 trade deadline, many of which have linked the team to veteran point guards such as Chris Paul and Jrue Holiday. However, a new report hints that the team could also consider San Antonio Spurs shooting guard DeMar DeRozan as an alternative in case the aforementioned players aren't available.
On Thursday, Bleacher Report published a list of veteran players and the contending teams that would benefit the most from their theoretical acquisition, including an entry for DeRozan and how the Heat could lure him away from San Antonio. While the 30-year-old backcourt star is averaging 22.5 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 5.3 assists and shooting a career-high 53.4 percent from the field, he has figured in several trade rumors since late last year, largely on account of the Spurs' struggles to compete for a playoff spot in the 2019-20 NBA season.
Talking about possible trade packages, Bleacher Report recommended a deal that would send young guard/forward Justise Winslow and either one of two experienced players -- point guard Goran Dragic or forward James Johnson -- to the Spurs in exchange for DeRozan. Such a trade, as noted, would give San Antonio a "win-now" veteran as well as a promising youngster that could help them in their playoff push this season.According to Basketball-Reference's Heat team page, the 23-year-old Winslow is averaging a versatile 11.3 points, 6.6 rebounds, and four assists per game, but has seen action in just 11 games due to a variety of ailments, including a back injury he suffered last week. While Johnson has seldom been used this season, averaging 6.9 points and 2.9 rebounds in 14 games, Dragic has played a far more important role off the bench for Miami, producing 15.1 points, 3.1 rebounds, and five assists per game despite starting just once this season.
Although DeRozan's lack of three-point shooting has been well-documented through the years, Bleacher Report's Preston Ellis explained that Miami has more than enough outside gunners to make up for this weakness, with six players shooting above the league average from beyond the arc.
"[Jimmy] Butler will draw increased defensive focus once the playoffs roll around, so acquiring a second initiator and driver of the offense could help offset that. And DeRozan's contract perfectly matches the Heat's desired timeline," Ellis continued.
Bleacher Report isn't the only publication to link DeRozan to the Heat in recent days. Last week, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald wrote that the Spurs apparently view Miami as a "potential trade partner" -- not only for their star shooting guard but also for their seven-time All-Star big man, LaMarcus Aldridge.