Why Heat should look into signing volume 3-point shooter in free agency

The Miami Heat have been quiet at the start of free agency and in jeopardy of losing a pair of role players. Could they pivot to bringing in Toronto Raptors sniper Gary Trent Jr.?
Toronto Raptors v Miami Heat
Toronto Raptors v Miami Heat / Megan Briggs/GettyImages

As NBA free agency has been underway since Sunday evening, the Miami Heat haven’t done much in the way of improving the team so far.

With their financial situation and lack of tradeable draft picks, there are limited options to improve the roster. They are at risk of losing not just one role player in Caleb Martin, but two with Haywood Highsmith as well, who is reportedly fetching some real interest from teams trying to lure him away from Miami. 

Still, it's unclear how much Martin and Highsmith will make elsewhere. The new NBA landscape has seen some free agents signing for less than initially expected. Players like Toronto Raptors free agent Gary Trent Jr. could be forced to settle for an underwhelming deal, according to reports.

“There is real doubt that Trent Jr. will even be offered a deal for the mid-level exception — by definition the NBA’s average salary amount and which starts at $12.5 million for the 2024-25 season," reported Sportsnet's Michael Grange.

This is interesting for a few reasons. A volume shooter of Trent's caliber is almost always in need by contending teams. If he is indeed going to make less than initially expected, why not take a pay cut to join a winning team with championship aspirations like the Heat?

Unfortunately, Miami can only utilize minimum contracts to sign free agents this summer, barring any drastic trades to shed salary. But Trent, 25, could opt to bet on himself and sign for less on a one-year deal to set himself up for a bigger payday next offseason. The sharpshooting guard averaged 13.7 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.7 assists last season and shoots 39% for his career from 3-point range.

He can score in bunches and shoot the ball efficiently in any role; starting or off the bench. The current Raptors wing could provide some much-needed offensive firepower and depth to a Heat team that finished the year in the bottom 10 in offensive rating. The potential departures of Martin and Highsmith make the need for another solid rotation piece even more important.

Trent is known for his offense, but he also averaged 1.1 steals last season, and 1.6 the season prior. He may not be the elite perimeter defender like Martin or Highsmith, but he is still active on that end. At 6-foot-5 with a 6-foot-9 wingspan, he has the length to size up against multiple positions.

It is uncertain exactly what Miami’s offseason plan is, but bringing aboard a talented piece like Trent at a possible discounted price would be a nice addition.