Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat may currently own the second-best record in the Eastern Conference but as of now, they are still not considered as one of the top favorites to bring home the Larry O’Brien Trophy in the 2019-20 NBA season. In order to have a realistic chance of fully dominating the Eastern Conference and winning the 2020 NBA championship title, the Heat should strongly consider making major roster upgrades before the 2020 February NBA trade deadline. One of the potential trade targets for the Heat is LaMarcus Aldridge of the San Antonio Spurs.
In his recent article, Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report mentioned several trade deadline targets who could swing the 2020 NBA Playoffs. For the Heat, Swartz believes that trading for Aldridge would “close the gap” between them and the Eastern Conference No. 1 seed Milwaukee Bucks.
“Miami’s starting five is an average of only 25.6 years old and could benefit from Aldridge’s veteran presence and experience of nine prior playoff trips. Jimmy Butler and Meyers Leonard are the only two Heat starters that have tasted the postseason. Adding Aldridge wouldn’t only help the Heat close the gap with the Bucks, but it would also further separate them from the Toronto Raptors, Boston Celtics, Indiana Pacers and Philadelphia 76ers, all of whom are either tied or within two games of Miami right now. Adding Aldridge wouldn’t affect Miami’s 2021 salary-cap space, either, as the seven-time All-Star’s contract expires after next season.”
Though he’s already in his mid-30s, Aldridge would still be an incredible addition to the Heat, giving them an All-Star caliber big man who is capable of efficiently knocking down shots from beyond the arc. This season, the 34-year-old center/power forward is averaging 19.1 points, 7.5 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 1.7 blocks while shooting 51.0 percent from the field and 42.9 percent from the three-point range.
Aldridge may be playing the same position as Heat rising superstar Bam Adebayo, but Coach Erik Spoelstra isn’t expected to have a hard time utilizing both big men. As Swartz noted, Adebayo is “athletic enough” to share the frontcourt with Aldridge. Also, pairing him Adebayo would enable the Heat to hide Aldridge’s weakness on the defensive end of the floor.
As of now, the Spurs are yet to make Aldridge officially available on the trading block as they are still hoping to extend their playoff streak in the 2019-20 NBA season. However, if they ever decide to move Aldridge and take a different route, the Spurs reportedly view the Heat as a potential trade partner. In the potential deal that would send Aldrige to South Beach, the Heat would likely be needing to part ways with a young player and/or a future draft pick to convince Spurs to engage in a trade.