As we take a look at the Miami Heat’s championship window, does Kendrick Nunn fit into their longterm plan? If not, what’s next for the point guard?
When taking a look at the team’s success this season it’s nearly impossible to discount the role their young guys have played. Nunn, Duncan Robinson, Tyler Herro, and Derrick Jones Jr have been primary contributors and key personnel behind Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo.
But will they be around and suiting up for Miami when the team is contending for a title?
Nunn’s future is the most unlikely of the crew. He went undrafted after four years of college ball before signing a one-year, non-guaranteed deal with the Santa Cruz Warriors of the G-League.
Realizing his potential, Pat Riley signed him to a two-year deal with the Heat in April of last year. Since, he’s established himself as a Rookie of the Year candidate in Miami. Nunn’s averaging 15.6 points, 3.4 assists, and 2.7 rebounds in 62 games this season.
Per Basketball Reference he’s one of just 53 rookies (in the 3-point era) to average 15 or more points and three or more assists per game. And at 24 years old, the oldest among them. Ironically enough, it’s the Heat’s success with developing Nunn that makes his future so unclear.
Riley and the Miami front office are looking to pull off a blockbuster trade at some point between now and the offseason of 2021. Nunn’s non-guaranteed salary for the 2020-2021 season make him a prime candidate to take part in the trade that brings the Heat their third star.
The players and teams they’ve been tied to (Bradley Beal of the Washington Wizards, Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks, and Victor Oladipo of the Indiana Pacers) would all likely welcome a young staple at the point guard position in return.
Nunn’s age is actually more beneficial to Miami’s trade hopes given that he’s more of a sure thing and less of a prospect at 24. The point guard is closer to his ceiling then any of the other Heat youth, and already a positive contributor on both ends of the floor.
Because point guard is one of the positions the Heat will look to upgrade ahead of their title chase, Nunn’s future with the team should be considered all the more unlikely.
Any team will be able to offer just as much, if not more to to the guard in free agency with Bird Rights not a factor. With a draft class or two in between, it’s more likely that Miami invests into a younger prospect before looking to retain Nunn.
The Miami Heat will have a number of personnel decisions to make in the coming weeks, months, and even years. As Pat Riley and company continue working towards their championship goal, watch for Kendrick Nunn’s future in South Beach to become more and more of a question mark.