The trade deadline is in the books and at least the Miami Heat did something. Right?
Before a quiet Thursday, the Heat shipped out a pair of guards in a deal with the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday. Miami sent guard Tyler Johnson and wing Wayne Ellington to the Suns in exchange for post player Ryan Anderson. On the court, it’s a move which might not have too many implications, but could set the Heat up to be more aggressive moving forward after it cut about $8 million from its tax bill.
On a rapid-reaction Heat Check podcast from deadline day, David Wilson and Anthony Chiang, the Miami Herald’s Heat beat writer, break down what the trade means for Miami for the rest of this season and moving forward.
The biggest benefit for the Heat is something the fans probably won’t feel: owner Micky Arison has a few million less he has to spend this season. For a team which probably won’t be able to finish much better than seventh in the Eastern Conference, it’s a logical move, but will it actually benefit Miami moving forward?
As for this season, coach Erik Spoelstra might be relieved by the Wednesday moves. After trying to manage an unwieldy rotation for the first half of the season, the coach now has a tighter nine- or 10-man group of quality players to pick from, but will Miami miss Ellington’s shooting ability or Johnson’s ballhandling and penetrating?
And what does this all mean for the Heat beyond this year? Former All-Star guard Goran Dragic is still on the roster. So are wing Dion Waiters, forward James Johnson and post player Kelly Olynyk, and their multi-year contracts. Just because the trade deadline is done, doesn’t mean Miami’s rebuilding effort is over.
Wilson and Chiang wrap up the podcast by discussing some of the other big trades of the day — and the last week. Former All-Star center Marc Gasol is going from the Memphis Grizzlies to the Toronto Raptors. Post player Kristaps Porzingis has already gone from the New York Knicks to the Dallas Mavericks. All-NBA post player Anthony Davis is staying with the New Orleans Pelicans. The NBA outlook changed this month, even if the Heat’s didn’t much.