Crafting the Heat's ideal 5-man starting lineup after the trade deadline

Could the Miami Heat and Brooklyn Nets put together a deal that benefits both sides before the deadline?

Dec 13, 2023; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Phoenix Suns forward Kevin Durant (35) passes the ball against
Dec 13, 2023; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Phoenix Suns forward Kevin Durant (35) passes the ball against / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
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Although the Miami Heat will always be linked to most stars that come available, February’s trade deadline may bring more modest tweaks to the roster. 

The Heat are among the top teams in the East and, while they have dealt with more injuries than most teams, their depth has helped them maintain poll position for homecourt advantage in the first round. Not only that, but players previously thought as trade candidates like Kyle Lowry and Duncan Robinson are playing important roles, curbing their likelihood to get traded.

Sure, if a bona fide star becomes available that could help the Heat even the playing field with the Celtics, Bucks and 76ers, they will have to take a look. Miami has tradeable contracts, interesting assets and the first-round picks to make a run at a big name. But Zach LaVine, DeMar DeRozan and Pascal Siakam don’t meet the threshold in terms of talent and/or fit.

Miami’s problem is that it doesn’t have a single lineup that has cracked 100 minutes together this season. Compare that to the starting lineups of contenders in Denver (311 minutes, plus-17.7 net rating), Milwaukee (304 minutes, plus-14 net rating) and Boston (282 minutes, plus-19.6 net rating) and Miami’s lack of continuity could be a concern.

Part of that has been injuries to Jimmy Butler, Tyler Herro and Bam Adebayo at various points, but it also doesn’t help that the Heat haven’t seemed to land on a starting power forward or ideal closing lineup.

With that in mind, here’s a look at what the Heat can do to round out the starting lineup and provide some lineup clarity in advance of another push to the Finals.