Heat get bigger
Miami Heat receive: Jonas Valančiūnas, Herb Jones
New Orleans Pelicans receive: Tyler Herro
If this trade went through, some Heat fans would be ready to jump on the announcer's table. Their dream would be complete -- Bam Adebayo is finally sliding to the four. The Heat start 6-foot-6 players at power forward on the regular and, with this trade, they would get considerably bigger.
Jonas Valančiūnas offers something Miami hasn't seen in the 2020s. He has remarkable size. He's a skilled 6-foot-11 bully willing to take 3s. He's a brute force that could clog up the paint for opposing offenses and allow Bam to roam on defense. His bone-crushing screens would surely free up Terry Rozier and Jimmy Butler. He could space the floor, but teams would probably dare him to shoot in the playoffs. He's not a stalwart defensively, but that's why we have Bam and get Herb Jones in this trade.
Herb Jones quickly established himself as one of the premier one-on-one stoppers during his rookie campaign (10 All-Defense votes). He's the same type of defender from year one, arguably better. With a deep, youthful, talented roster, the Pelicans are unsure if they can retain Jones long-term.
Jones would immediately become the Heat's best point-of-attack defender, and he's a decent closeout attacker. Guards are not getting in the paint frequently with Jones on the floor. His defense would be a significant upgrade, and Valančiūnas' size would be a change, but is it worth giving up Herro?
Teams sell out to stop Herro, even if they don't want to trade for him. This type of treatment is expected when you're shooting a blistering 40% on high volume from deep. Herro may ultimately be the sacrificial lamb in a trade that lands a whale. These fine players aren't whales, but the Heat still needs to address their flaws at the deadline.