The Miami Heat finally got in on the trading frenzy that has been the approach to the 2021-2022 NBA Trade Deadline on Wednesday afternoon. They shipped out often criticized player, KZ Okpala, to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
They moved Okpala for what amounts to a second-round pick in 2026 and the releasing of pick protections on previously traded picks, converting a previously owed pick to a pick that is now lottery-protected in 2025 and unprotected in 2026.
Full of NBA trade and collective bargaining language in semantics here’s a simpler and clearer explanation.
The Miami Heat made a trade on Wednesday, sending KZ Okpala to Oklahoma City. With that, they opened up another roster spot and regained some assets.
Even deeper than that though and per Anthony Chang of the Miami Herald, here’s what it means for the Miami Heat’s roster as currently constructed—or for future construction.
"After today’s trade, Heat has enough space to immediately sign two players at minimum salary without entering luxury tax. Heat roster currently with 13 players on standard deals.NBA teams can only carry 13 players for up to two weeks before rules force 14th player to be added."
While some may think that this is a move to eventually do another deal and secure another player via trade, it could be much more thought out than that.
While it certainly allows the Miami Heat to elevate Caleb Martin‘s two-way deal to a regular roster deal, enabling him to play in the playoffs, there’s another guy that used to play for the Miami Heat that might eventually be available.
While names like Christian Wood, P.J. Washington, Harrison Barnes, Trevor Ariza, and a few others have been floated out there as Miami Heat targets, former Miami Heat guard and Lifer, Goran Dragic, may find himself available in a short time.
If he is moved by the Toronto Raptors and then bought out by the receiving team, he would then be eligible for a Miami Heat return. Yes, you read that right.
So, while this may be a move to eventually make a trade for another guy, don’t sleep on the fact that it may spell a return of ‘The Dragon’. No one would be mad at that, right?