Since the successful acquisition of Jimmy Butler last summer, the Miami Heat have been aggressive on the market, searching for a second superstar that would help them fully dominate the Eastern Conference and contend for the NBA championship title. Though Bam Adebayo has already blossomed into an All-Star caliber player, most people still don’t view the Miami Heat on the same level as legitimate title contenders like the Milwaukee Bucks, Los Angeles Lakers, and the Los Angeles Clippers. To change that narrative, the Heat should consider bringing another big name to South Beach.
A decade after stealing LeBron James from the Cleveland Cavaliers, Michael Shapiro of Sports Illustrated predicted The Miami Heat President Pat Riley would try to add another generational talent to their roster in the summer of 2021. Of all the superstar who will be hitting the free agency market in the 2021 NBA offseason, Shapiro believes that Bucks power forward Giannis Antetokounmpo would be on the top of the list of the Heat’s targets.
“Pat Riley pulled off perhaps the greatest acquisition this century when he lured LeBron James from Cleveland, and he’ll presumably be in strong position for an encore in July 2021. The Heat could have Jimmy Butler’s contract as their only max deal on the roster after 2020-21, and even if Bam Adebayo inks an extension before July 2021, Miami could still have room to add Antetokounmpo. The Greek Freak is certainly at the top of the Heat’s list.”
Successfully acquiring Antetokounmpo in the 2021 NBA free agency would dramatically change the fate of the Heat and the entire NBA landscape. Once he leaves Milwaukee for Miami, the Heat would immediately replace the Bucks as the team to beat in the Eastern Conference. Pairing Antetokounmpo with Butler and Adebayo would not only tremendously improve the Heat’s performance on the offensive end of the floor, but it could also make them the best defensive team in the league.
If the Heat’s “Big Three” of Antetokounmpo, Butler, and Adebayo build good chemistry, Miami would have a realistic chance of beating powerhouse teams like the Lakers and the Clippers in a best-of-seven series. The Heat could also target other superstars in the 2021 NBA free agency, but according to Shapiro, only Antetokounmpo could turn Miami into “Finals favorites.” However, the Heat aren’t the only NBA team who would aggressively pursue Antetokounmpo in the summer of 2021.
Once he becomes officially available on the free agency market, the Heat would be facing strong competition in getting his service. Aside from the Heat, other top suitors of Antetokounmpo in the 2021 NBA free agency include the Golden State Warriors and Toronto Raptors.