Miami Heat move promising young player for offensive sparkplug in proposed trade

Cleveland Cavaliers v Atlanta Hawks
Cleveland Cavaliers v Atlanta Hawks / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages

The NBA trade deadline is in the rearview but that hasn’t stopped speculation about what teams like the Miami Heat could have – or should have – done to improve their roster for the stretch run.

The Heat did make moves. They traded for Terry Rozier in January, signed Delon Wright during the All-Star break and added Patty Mills for depth this week. But all of those moves addressed the same point guard position. It could be argued that the Heat still lack in frontcourt depth.

At least that’s what Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley argues in a piece evaluating one trade every NBA team wishes it could make right now.

A proposed trade sees the Miami Heat exchanging a promising young player for a limited scorer with an Eastern Conference rival.

According to Buckley, the Heat should have dealt with their division rival Atlanta Hawks to acquire a frontcourt upgrade and offensive sparkplug in Saddiq Bey. But it would have cost them promising second-year forward Nikola Jovic to do it.


"“While the backcourt will hopefully be in decent shape once Tyler Herro gets healthy, they could use more firepower at the wing spot. Bey would help scratch that itch. He isn't the most consistent scorer around, but he's becoming more consistent of late, reaching double figures in 15 of his last 17 games and averaging 16.4 points over this stretch. … Between Bey, Jaime Jaquez, Duncan Robinson and Caleb Martin, the Heat would have four different wings capable of popping for 20-plus points on any given night.”"

Is it worth giving up on the 20-year-old Jovic, who has started in his last eight games and, at 6-foot-10, possesses an intriguing combination of height, skill and shooting? No doubt his ceiling is higher than Bey’s. He is averaging 13.9 points on 42.4% shooting and 6.5 rebounds per game for the disappointing Hawks.

But Bey, at 6-foot-7, 215 pounds, has experience playing both forward positions and has shot better than 39% from the corners in his first three NBA seasons before this season’s shooting slump. Bey could be like a younger version of what Jae Crowder was for the 2020 Heat. Sort of. He's not as good defensively.

Given Jovic’s ceiling and encouraging play as of late, this wouldn’t be the best move for the Heat. Bey isn’t enough of an upgrade over Miami's 2022 first-round pick and it’s not worth giving up on Jovic’s long-term upside.