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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The trade

Kyle Lowry
Atlanta Hawks v Miami Heat / Megan Briggs/GettyImages


To get Finney-Smith from Brooklyn will take multiple players going out and coming in. Finney-Smith, who has two years remaining on his deal after this one, makes $13.9 million this season. 

To match salaries, the Heat can send out Kyle Lowry’s $29.6 million expiring while taking back Dinwiddie’s $20.3 million expiring. Both teams swap other assets, with the Nets getting Nikola Jovic to help with their rebuild and the salaries of Thomas Bryant and Dru Smith. The Heat also get Dennis Smith Jr. in the deal.

Why the Heat do it: As already outlined, Finney-Smith is the catch here. But Dinwiddie could also provide a boost of scoring and size (6-foot-5) to Miami’s lineups and credibly replace Lowry in the starting lineup. Smith is a nice, third point guard to have on the roster in case of injury.

Why the Nets do it: The Nets are a mediocre team that has to choose a direction. This deal nets them a useful young player in Jovic and possibly a draft pick. By getting off of Finney-Smith’s contract for next season, it also creates $14 million in extra cap space – giving the Nets more than $30 million to use to chase high-priced free agents.

Potential problems: Is Dinwiddie a good fit with Miami’s starting lineup? Is the opportunity cost of parting with a pick too much for a solid, though unspectacular player in Finney-Smith? Is this the kind of deal that materially changes the Heat’s ceiling this season? These are all the kinds of questions Miami’s front office will have to ask when considering its options ahead of the deadline.

Next. next. 3 Trades the Miami Heat can offer to go all-in on Donovan Mitchell. dark