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Jacob Kupferman/Associated Press
After reaching the NBA Finals last season, the Miami Heat got off to a slow start in the 2020-21 campaign. They lost 14 of their first 21 games and had only one winning streak (a two-game run) over that span. However, things have gotten better since then.
Miami is currently 22-21 and sits in fourth in the Eastern Conference. But it’s a tight race, as there are five teams with either a 22-21 or 21-22 record, and it’s more important to finish in the top six this year due to the play-in tournament that will feature the Nos. 7-10 seeds from each conference this postseason.
As the Heat look to make a push toward the playoffs, they could still add to their roster over the next few days, with the NBA trade deadline set for Thursday at 3 p.m. ET.
They’ve already made one recent trade, sending Meyers Leonard to the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for Trevor Ariza last week.
Here’s some of the latest trade buzz surrounding Miami as the deadline nears.
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Michael Dwyer/Associated Press
Several teams are reportedly looking to trade for Toronto Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry before the trade deadline. But according to The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor, no team is pursuing a deal harder than the Heat.
O’Connor reported that while the Los Angeles Clippers and Philadelphia 76ers remain interested in potentially trading for Lowry, Miami is his “preferred destination” because of his friendship with Jimmy Butler.
However, if the Heat are going to trade for Lowry, who turns 35 on Thursday, Toronto would want at least either Tyler Herro or Duncan Robinson in return, per the same report.
The Athletic’s Shams Charania noted that the Heat and 76ers are the “leaders” for a potential Lowry trade.
“Several rival team executives are monitoring the situation as well as which young player or asset either team could part with,” he wrote.
Lowry has spent the past nine seasons with the Raptors, who are currently 17-26 and in 11th in the Eastern Conference. He’s continuing to play at a high level, as he’s averaging 17.7 points, 7.4 assists and 5.6 rebounds in 35 games, and he’s only signed through the end of this season.
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Joel Auerbach/Associated Press
In order to add a big-time player or two ahead of the trade deadline, the Heat may have to part with some names who have sizable contracts to make it happen. That’s why it appears Miami could deal veteran wing player Andre Iguodala this week.
According to ESPN’s Zach Lowe, it’s possible the Heat would be open to trading the 37-year-old, who is in his second season in Miami and will be a free agent after the season.
“Do not rule out Miami dealing Andre Iguodala—whose $15 million salary would unlock some bigger trades—if they find an impact move, sources said,” Lowe wrote.
While Iguodala is in the latter stages of his career, he can still provide experience and leadership off the bench. So perhaps there will be outside interest that allows the Heat to move him, creating more flexibility for them to bring in other players for a playoff push.
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Michael Dwyer/Associated Press
Lowry isn’t the only point guard the Heat have recently shown interest in.
The 27-year-old is a seven-year NBA veteran who has spent the past five seasons with the Brooklyn Nets. However, he played only three games this season before suffering a partially torn right ACL that will cause him to miss the remainder of the season.
Charania noted that the Colorado product is expected to decline his $12.3 million player option with the Nets for the 2021-22 season, so a team that trades for him would have the ability to “use his Bird rights and offer him a deal for up to five years in free agency.” And while a Dinwiddie trade wouldn’t pay immediate dividends, the possibility of doing that could be intriguing enough that a team will deal for him this week.
Dinwiddie was coming off his best season yet, as he averaged career highs in points (20.6) and assists (6.8) in 64 games in 2019-20. If he can return to that form when he gets back on the court, then he could provide a big boost for a team that decides to add him.