The Kevin Durant trade saga is officially over, at least for now. This does mean that the Heat won’t be able to acquire Durant via trade this off-season. However, it also means the Heat can move forward with other things. Here are the next steps for the Miami Heat.
Next Steps for the Miami Heat: Sign Tyler Herro to a Contract Extension
It was clear that Tyler Herro would have to be included in any potential Kevin Durant trade. He is an exciting young player and certainly has a decent amount of trade value. However, now that Kevin Durant is no longer available, the Heat should sign Tyler Herro to a contract extension.
There are several options for the Heat if they choose to do this. They could sign Herro to a full max extension or they could sign him to a smaller extension with the potential for it to increase to a near max extension based on Herro achieving certain goals. Regardless, the Heat should sign Herro to a contract extension. He clearly deserves it and doing so would remove a potential distraction for the Heat this season.
Trade for a Starting Small Forward or Power Forward
Something else that the Heat should do now is sorting out their starting lineup. To do that, the Heat should trade for a starting small forward or power forward. Caleb Martin is pretty good and he provided good value for the Heat off the bench last season. However, the Heat should definitely look to upgrade their starting lineup further.
This is even more necessary since several of the Heat’s Eastern Conference rivals have made moves to improve their teams this off-season. The Heat should acquire another starting forward to solidify their starting lineup. Harrison Barnes and John Collins are two options that could make sense. The Heat could use Duncan Robinson’s contract to match salaries and to entice teams who may be interested in adding his spacing to their lineup.
Give Nikola Jovic Enough Playing Time to Develop
It is clear that the Heat is a championship contender coming into next season. They were one game away from the NBA Finals last season. The team was also not fully healthy in that Eastern Conference Finals series.
Nevertheless, the Heat should give Nikola Jovic sufficient playing time so he can develop. Bam and Herro are the foundational pieces of the Heat’s future. However, the Heat have not yet found that third player to build around long-term.
It is possible that Nikola Jovic is that third player. We will only find out the answer to this question if Jovic gets enough playing time. Additionally, giving him this playing time early on will certainly benefit his development as a player moving forward.
The Heat Can Move Forward Now
It always seemed unlikely that the Heat would be able to trade for Kevin Durant. Now that that option is completely off the table, the Heat needs to take appropriate action. The Heat can move forward with the other things they need to accomplish this off-season. In a way, the end of the Kevin Durant trade request saga could be a positive for Miami. It is clear that the Heat will be a strong Eastern Conference team next year even without Durant and you can bet on them winning many games. Check back in next week for more Miami Heat content.