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
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
2 of 3
Next

Ideal starting five: 

Dorian Finney-Smith
Brooklyn Nets v Utah Jazz / Alex Goodlett/GettyImages

PG: Spencer Dinwiddie
SG: Tyler Herro
SF: Jimmy Butler
PF: Dorian Finney-Smith
C: Bam Adebayo

We’ll get to how the Heat can trade for Spencer Dinwiddie and Dorian Finney-Smith in a second, but when crafting the ideal Heat lineup we have to start with finding a long-term answer and upgrade at power forward.

As great as Haywood Highsmith’s development story has been, he just isn’t productive enough on a night-to-night basis to be a solution at the position. 

Since beginning the season by making 50% of his four 3-point attempts per game, Highsmith has settled back to being a low-percentage shooter. Over his last 15 games, Highsmith is shooting 28.3% on 3.1 3-point attempts per game. That’s not going to cut it around Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo. Highsmith has not started a game since Dec. 2 as Erik Spoelstra has opted to go with Kevin Love or Caleb Martin as the fifth starter.

It’s been a patchwork approach at power forward since P.J. Tucker left in the summer of 2022. The Heat could use a proven veteran who can make 3s, defend at a playoff level and is under contract.

Enter Brooklyn’s Finney-Smith. The 30-year-old is shooting 44.8% on 3s this season and, at 6-foot-7, 220 pounds, is versatile enough to guard multiple positions and slot next to Butler and Adebayo in the front court.

Adding Finney-Smith to this group would give Spoelstra clarity as to which group he wants to start, without having to sacrifice defense or shooting.