The Miami Heat have been “mediocre” by Jimmy Butler’s standards to start the 2023-24 season. They are back in the Play-In Tournament morass and still searching for a third star. Damian Lillard is shining in Milwaukee, and the Heat need another elite talent to compete with the top teams in the Eastern Conference.
Fans know Pat Riley is planning his next move. Do the Heat add role players or go after a marquee name? They lost Gabe Vincent and Max Strus from last year’s team that reached the NBA Finals. Would adding a rotation player or two be enough to propel Miami on another deep playoff run? Riley wants a star but may have to settle for less.
Butler should be on the recruiting trail. He convinced Kyle Lowry to join him in Miami, but who could be next?
5. DeMar DeRozan
This one may not take much convincing as The Athletic’s Sam Amick reported the Heat and Knicks are the six-time All-Star’s preferred destinations (subscription required) if he is traded by the Bulls. He is in the final year of his contract, and Chicago’s rough start likely leads to a teardown before the Feb. 8 trade deadline.
DeRozan has scored over 20 points per game for a decade straight. He is a mid-range master and could help the Heat create quality shots when defenses tighten up in the playoffs.
The 6’6 forward is not the perfect fit in Miami. He is a career 29.4 percent 3-point shooter and struggles on the defensive end. If the Heat are searching for shot-making and scoring, there are few better than DeRozan, and he figures to be one of the best players available before the trade deadline.
The Miami Heat will have options and could look to acquire a different expiring star this season.