It’s been quiet on the Miami Heat trade front since the summer, but one national NBA analyst believes the Heat could be quietly looking for an upgrade at guard before the Feb. 8 trade deadline.
“It’s interesting to me that Miami has kind of fallen out of the trade discourse considering they’re good,” ESPN’s Zach Lowe said on the “Lowe Post” podcast this week. “And I think they think they can be really good if they can ever get their whole team healthy. I would bet that they’re going to look around for a guard, ball handling upgrade. And they have a lot of outgoing salary they can fit in.”
Lowe goes on to mention two names: Washington Wizards point guard Tyus Jones and Charlotte Hornets guard Terry Rozier.
This NBA insider bets that the Miami Heat will look for an upgrade at point guard before the trade deadline.
“I also think there’s some Miami-Washington potentiality with Tyus Jones and another player from Washington to make the salaries match.” Lowe said, suggesting the Heat could send Kyle Lowry and second-round picks to the Wizards for Jones.
Jones is traditional point guard who is averaging 12.7 points and 5.6 assists while shooting 52.9% overall and 43.9% on 3.7 3-point attempts per game for the Wizards this season.
The Heat could trade Kyle Lowry’s expiring $29.6 million salary and the injured Dru Smith to Washington for the three expiring contracts of Jones ($14 million), Delon Wright ($8.1 million) and Danilo Gallinari ($6.8 million).
Meanwhile, Rozier is more of a score-first guard who could help boost Miami’s 17th-ranked offense.
“The thing that I think Miami needs to really make another run like they made last year, I think they just need another guy that can pop off for 25 points,” Lowe said. “I like the juice that Rozier would bring them.”
Rozier is averaging 24.3 points on 46.4% shooting overall and 36.7% on 7.7 3-point attempts per game.
In this scenario, the Heat could swap Lowry’s expiring for Rozier’s contract, which is worth $23.2 million this season and is guaranteed for about $50 million over the next two years.
Of course, Lowry’s hand injury, depending on the severity, could complicate matters. Since the salary comes off the books this summer, he is Miami’s most tradeable contract and an obvious area to look for a longterm upgrade. Both Jones and Rozier are intriguing options.