Ranking the nine Miami Heat players under contract for next season in terms of trade value.
This is not a list of player power rankings. This is a ranking of the Miami Heat’s nine players under contract for next season in terms of trade value. For example, Jimmy Butler comes in at second, behind Bam Adebayo, not because Adebayo is better than Butler but because Adebayo, at 25 and under a team-friendly deal, has way more trade value to the 29 other NBA teams than the 33-year-old Butler.
To break down each player’s value, we took into consideration age, contract, perceived talent/upside/fit, and league-wide needs and trends.
1. Bam Adebayo: Though the Heat lost to the Nuggets in the Finals, Adebayo impressed a lot of people with his effort defending Nikola Jokic and flashes on offense. Adebayo was asked to venture out of his comfort zone and score more for Miami this season, so he developed a reliable short-range package including floaters, bank shots and a pet foul-line jumper. Defensively, he remains one of the most versatile centers in the league, capable of executing any game plan. He takes nothing off the table on that end. He also might be the best big-man passer in the league outside of Denver and Sacramento. Did I mention he’s only 25 and under contract through 2026?
2. Jimmy Butler: There’s little doubt that Butler is one of the top 10 players in the league and one any team would want if hoping to compete for a title. Since tumultuous tenures in Minnesota and Philadelphia, Butler has matured into a leader capable of transforming a locker room and imbue confidence into teammates. The biggest issue in terms of Butler’s trade value is his contract (three years, $146 million remaining) and that he’ll be 34 years old in September. While every team might want someone who plays as hard as Butler does on both sides, only a handful would be willing to take on his contract at his age.
3. Tyler Herro: It’s a shame Herro hardly got to play in the playoffs after breaking his hand in the first game of the first round against the Bucks. As a full-time starter for the Heat this season, he averaged 20 points and shot 38% from 3-point range while growing as a playmaker and defender. Since his bubble run as a rookie, the playoffs haven’t been kind to Herro, but he was poised to dash those concerns this season. He was a plus-14 in his only playoff minutes, for whatever that’s worth. At 23, he enters the first year of a four-year, $120 million extension next season. If the Heat are going to make a move for a super star, Herro would likely be central to any deal.
4. Caleb Martin: Is Martin one of the best value contracts in the league? At 27 years old, Martin has two years, $14 million remaining. In the East finals, he averaged 19 points on 60% shooting, and was among Miami’s most versatile players all season. Any team would love to have a two-way player like Martin to fill in the gaps around their star player(s).
5. Kyle Lowry: You might be surprised to see Lowry this high on the rankings, and I get it. He’s 37, has been demoted to a bench role and is owed $29.7 million next season. But don’t underestimate the value of an expiring contract. (Just look at what the Lakers were able to get for Russell Westbrook and a first, and Lowry at least brings leadership and a championship pedigree that a front office could talk itself into being a net positive.) For teams wanting to get off of longterm money (For example: Washington and Bradley Beal, Atlanta and John Collins) Lowry is a good option.
6. Duncan Robinson: Only four months ago, Robinson was considered nearly untraceable. Rival teams wanted the Heat to attach a first-round pick to take him off their hands and the Heat balked. Turns out this was the right move. Robinson rehabbed his value in the playoffs — not just among other teams, but to the Heat themselves. He showed improved playmaking skills and cleaned up his persistent fouling issues. In the NBA Finals, he was the only Heat shooter to consistently make shots on the biggest stage. His contract (three years, more than $57 million remaining) may still be too rich for some teams to take on, but he should still be viewed as a positive asset.
7. Nikola Jovic: Upside is the sell here. Jovic didn’t play much as a rookie (a back injury derailed his season) but the Heat love his size, touch and potential versatility. He projects as a longterm front court partner next to Adebayo but, if there’s a turn-key solution to fill that void, the Heat may opt to go that route in order to maximize this current window.
8. Haywood Highsmith: A rangy wing who showed flashes of defensive brilliance in the playoffs (see his steal on Jayson Tatum in the East finals and multiple instances of anchoring the top of Miami’s 2-3 zone), Highsmith would be a valuable sweetener in a deal.
9. Victor Oladipo: Perhaps the only real negative asset on this list, Oladipo has a player option for $9.5 million next season that he’s unlikely to opt out of considering he is rehabbing from yet another season-ending knee injury. The only way the Heat trade Oladipo’s expiring contract is as part of a much-larger deal involving some hefty contracts. Barring that, Oladipo is a candidate to be waived and stretched.
Not included: Gabe Vincent (UFA), Max Strus (UFA), Kevin Love (UFA), Cody Zeller (UFA), Omer Yurtseven (RFA), Jamal Cain (two-way), Orlando Robinson (two-way), Udonis Haslem (retired)