The Miami Heat were one of the NBA teams who were very active in the trade market before the 2020 February NBA trade deadline. The Heat may have acquired reliable veterans via trade, but they failed to surround Jimmy Butler with additional star power in order to have a better chance of fully dominating the Eastern Conference and winning the 2020 NBA championship title. One of the All-Star caliber talents that the Heat aggressively pursued in the 2019-20 NBA season was Danilo Gallinari of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Though a deal failed to materialize before the 2020 February NBA trade deadline, the Heat could go after Gallinari again in the upcoming offseason. According to Michael Pina of SB Nation, if Gallinari doesn’t take a long-term deal from other NBA teams, he and the Heat could agree to a “front-loaded short-term pact” in the 2020 NBA free agency.
“The Heat almost acquired Gallo before the deadline but weren’t interested in locking themselves into a long-term extension that would hinder their ability to pursue other max stars (i.e. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Paul George, Kawhi Leonard, etc.) in 2021. But the Heat now have a bunch of cap space and more leverage in any negotiation with Gallo, assuming there aren’t any other serious suitors on a long-term deal. Both sides could agree to a front-loaded short-term pact and then go from there. It’s too dramatic to say they need each other, but this one makes a lot of sense.”
Gallinari may not be on the same level as LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard, Kevin Durant, or Paul George, but he would likely be an incredible addition to the Heat. Gallinari would give the Heat a very reliable scoring option next to Butler, and serve as an All-Star caliber big man who can efficiently shoot the ball from beyond the arc. This season, the 31-year-old power forward is averaging 19.2 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 2.1 assists while shooting 43.9 percent from the field and 40.9 percent from beyond the arc.
The Heat would be doubly fortunate if they succeed to convince Gallinari to sign a short-term contract. Aside from becoming a more competitive team in the upcoming season, such a deal would also enable the Heat to maintain their salary cap flexibility for the summer of 2021 — when the likes of Giannis Antetokounmpo, Leonard, and George are expected to become free agents.
Signing with the Heat would also be beneficial for Gallinari. Though the Thunder are currently doing well in the 2019-20 NBA season, few analysts see them as a serious threat in the deep Western Conference. Teaming up with Butler wouldn’t make the Heat an instant favorite to represent the Eastern Conference in the NBA Finals, but it would give Gallinari a better chance of winning his first NBA championship title.