While the Miami Heat have gotten better since last season, the same can be said for their top competition in the Eastern Conference.
The Boston Celtics may just be the championship favorites in the entire league, and the Milwaukee Bucks – despite some consternation – are owners of the NBA’s fourth-best record. When Joel Embiid is healthy, the 76ers look like they belong on that same tier.
Whatever you think of the Heat, they are clearly a notch below those teams at the top of the conference. A run like last season’s can never be ruled out, but acquiring some help before the Feb. 8 trade deadline can only improve those chances.
The Heat are likely to hold onto their best assets in advance of a potential star trade, but there may still be some helpful role players that can be had without giving up a chance at a star.
Let’s take a look at some of those frameworks here.
Scary Terry to South Beach
If the Heat want to upgrade the point guard position, they should call the Hornets about a Kyle Lowry-for-Terry Rozier swap. The deal is helpful to the Heat now, and could bail out the Hornets going forward.
As I wrote in Friday’s Burning Questions mailbag, the Heat desperately need someone who gets to the basket. They rank 29th in restricted area field goal attempts this season.
Rozier takes an average of 4.6 shots in the restricted area per game, more than any other Heat player (Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo are at 4.3 per game, which is not a lot given their positions) and a lot more than Tyler Herro (2.2) and Kyle Lowry (0.9).
If the Hornets want to move off the next two years of Rozier’s contract in advance of a needed retooling around LaMelo Ball and Brandon Miller this summer, swapping Rozier for Lowry’s expiring would clear more than $50 million off their books over the next two seasons.