3 Trade candidates the Heat can target to fix biggest defensive issue

Do the Miami Heat need to address their man-to-man defense with a trade before the deadline?

Nov 28, 2023; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Chicago Bulls guard Alex Caruso (6) looks for a call
Nov 28, 2023; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Chicago Bulls guard Alex Caruso (6) looks for a call / David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
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1. Davion Mitchell

Davion Mitchell
Sacramento Kings v New Orleans Pelicans / Jonathan Bachman/GettyImages

The ninth pick in the 2021 draft, Mitchell has been on the outside of the Sacramento Kings’ rotation most of this season, having lost the job to two-way guard Keon Ellis. 

Though he’s not a fit in Sacramento, Mitchell is a dogged defender cut from the same cloth as Marcus Smart and Lu Dort. Adding him to Miami’s guard room would give the Heat a go-to, point-of-attack defender who can fight through screens and pick up top guards in the East like Damian Lillard, Tyrese Maxey and Tyrese Haliburton.

The Kings could be looking to shed Mitchell anyway. Ellis will eventually need to be promoted to the regular 15-man roster and, to do that, the Kings could simply waive Juan Toscano-Anderson’s non-guaranteed contract and give the final roster spot to Ellis. But there’s another option.

If the Kings determine they want to keep Toscano-Anderson around (he hasn’t played much for them, but he’s a good locker room presence and appreciated by head coach Mike Brown) or create room to add another player via trade or buyout, the organization could look to deal Mitchell into a team’s trade exception so that they don’t have to take a player back.

The Heat have a $9.4 million trade exception they can use to acquire a player this season, more than enough to absorb Mitchell’s $5 million salary. Would Sacramento be willing to part with Mitchell – who is extension-eligible this summer – for a second-round pick?