Last Thursday, the Miami Heat held themselves out of NBA Trade Deadline discussions, just one day after sending KZ Okpala to Oklahoma City. While they acquired a 2026 second-round draft selection in return, the Heat have also kicked down a door that’s handicapped them of trade flexibility and asset leverage.
After finalizing the Okpala deal, the Heat were able to amend protections for Oklahoma City’s 2023 first-round pick (via Miami), which affords Miami the availability to trade their future first-round selections (this includes 2022, 2023) by this offseason.
Now as considerable title-favorites, there are looming decisions for the Heat organization in regards to their final roster spots.
That could come from somewhere in the NBA, however, their developmental pipeline remains restless.
Whether that next prospect hails from a first-round selection or plucked as an undrafted hopeful, Miami will continue to have their hand in the future, as they find ways to consistently win in the present.
One intriguing prospect that could fall anywhere in between — is 6’8” UCLA forward, Peyton Watson.
Formerly a five-star recruit out of Long Beach, California, Watson was a McDonald’s All-American in high school who ultimately chose to play in his home state after he received offers from Arizona, Gonzaga, Michigan, and Washington.
Staying “home” and choosing UCLA, Watson will likely look to make the jump to the next level as soon as after this season but certainly, after next.