Miami were successful last season on the buyout market as they got Kevin Love.
The NBA Trade deadline came and went and unsurprisingly, the Miami Heat did not make any moves. This has been a constant trend for the Heat in recent years, but this time was a bit different.
Miami had already made their move before the trade deadline and it was a big upgrade as they obtained Terry Rozier from the Charlotte Hornets in exchange for Kyle Lowry and a 2027 lottery-protected first-round pick. Adding more money from Rozier’s contract to an already limiting situation for Miami should’ve been a sign that no more huge moves were in store in terms of a trade.
However, one can expect the Heat to be active in the buyout market where they were very much so last season where they got Cody Zeller and Kevin Love, the latter which worked out tremendously and has been an integral rotational piece. They are looking to find a player who can provide the same level of impact while also filling in a need in the quest for Miami to finish strong and make another run in the playoffs.
It is also important to remember that even with the buyout market, Miami does have some restrictions on which players they can get as the “new collective-bargaining agreement, teams positioned where the Heat stand against the luxury tax only can sign waived players whose 2023-24 salary stands at no more than the NBA average of $12.4 million” per Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel.
Here are a couple candidates that are and can be available in the buyout market for Miami to pursue:
Danilo Gallinari has been on the radar for the Heat for a while now ever since 2020 where they almost traded for him. While he is now at the age of 35-years old, he can still provide some juice for the team in a reserve role while also adding size at 6 foot, 10 inches.
Miami does lack size and a true power forward, especially one that can shoot from three-point rage as he is a career 38 percent from deep. He is currently on a Detroit Pistons team that is rebuilding and seems to have no use for Gallinari, making him a prime candidate to get bought out at his $6.8 million salary, which fits the Heat’s restriction.
With the Heat trading Lowry for Rozier and also having Josh Richardson, they can use some depth at the point guard spot. Killian Hayes can be that player, who even started for the Pistons when the season started.
This might be considered cheating as he was released by Detroit recently after being unable to find a team to trade him too, but at the age of 22-years old, this could be a player Miami takes in and develop themselves if they wanted to. Hayes could be looking for a fresh start with another team that make him a solid player, and if there is a team that can do that, it is Miami as this could also be built for the future.
Robin Lopez was traded from the Milwaukee Bucks to the Sacramento Kings where the likely route headed is that he gets bought out of his $3.2 million salary contract. Miami does lack size and if they want a true center who can backup Bam Adebayo and Love, Lopez can be that.
This is an on the fence type of choice since the Heat do have centers on the roster like Thomas Bryant and Orlando Robinson who see little to no playing time. Lopez does have a bevy of experience, which is what they banked on in the buyout market last season. Plus, they do have an open roster spot as they have 14 players on the standard roster.
There is a multitude of options besides the three players mentioned that Miami could be welcoming a new player into the organization pretty soon. The Heat are currently 28-24 on the season which puts them seventh in the Eastern Conference before their next game against the Boston Celtics Sunday afternoon.