The Miami Heat may have missed out on the Bradley Beal sweepstakes, but it appears that the team is focusing on another star this offseason.
According to NBA insider Chris Haynes, the Heat are confident that they’d be able to land Damian Lillard if the Portland Trail Blazers decide to trade him. Earlier this offseason, Lillard mentioned in a podcast that he’d love to play with Heat big man Bam Adebayo.
Miami made the NBA Finals in the 2022-23 season even though Tyler Herro missed almost all of the team’s postseason run due to a broken hand. The Heat are sitting at +1400 to win the NBA Finals next season, but those odds would skyrocket if the team landed Lillard, a seven-time All-Star and future Hall of Famer.
Let’s break down why it may be time to sprinkle on the Heat to win the NBA Finals:
Miami Heat NBA championship odds
Despite being the No. 8 seed in the 2022-23 season, Miami stormed through the East, making the NBA Finals for the second time in four seasons and the Eastern Conference Finals for the third time in four seasons.
Erik Spoelstra is one of the best coaches in the NBA, and Jimmy Butler has shown he has another gear he can reach in the playoffs to get this team at least into the Finals.
With the Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks facing few avenues to get better outside of tweaking through trades, the Heat could be in a great spot if they land a star like Dame.
First off, the team would likely be replacing Kyle Lowry – who is entering the final season of his contract – with Lillard in some capacity. Sure, the team may have to give up picks and potentially Herro, but Miami made the Finals without Herro this past season.
Lillard fits well with Butler’s timeline, and he was an All-NBA caliber performer in the 2022-23 season. The seven-time All-Star averaged 32.2 points and 7.3 assists per game while shooting 46.3 percent from the field and 37.1 percent from beyond the arc.
Bettors should consider placing a small wager on Miami – especially since the team has already shown it can make the Finals without Lillard.
The team has already seen its odds rise from around +2000 to +1400 since the market opened, and there’s a chance the Heat would be the favorite in the East if they land Dame while keeping Herro.
Of all the teams in the East, Miami is looking like the best bargain to win the Finals given the possibilities it has for improvement this offseason.
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.