The Heat on Friday took the unusual step of issuing an on-the-record public denial of an ESPN report that said Miami had made a trade offer to Cleveland for point guard Kyrie Irving.
The Heat said that it has never made an offer to Cleveland for Irving, who has requested a trade and listed the Heat among four teams he prefers.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Friday morning that the Heat is willing to include guard Goran Dragic and forward Justice Winslow as the “centerpiece” of a potential deal with the Cavaliers but that a deal was unlikely.
“With the Cleveland-Miami history, there’s little chance for a deal unless the Heat offered an overwhelming package,” Wojnarowski said.
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Multiple sources told The Miami Herald earlier this week that the Heat was not expecting a deal with Cleveland to be consummated.
The Heat is unwilling to give up a package involving multiple high-end players and the Cavaliers reportedly are seeking a very steep price for Irving.
The ESPN report said San Antonio, Minnesota, Phoenix, the Los Angeles Clippers and New York Knicks also have made offers to Cleveland.
The Heat can only trade players who were under contract for this coming season during the 2016-17 campaign. Players who signed in the offseason — such as Dion Waiters, James Johnson and Kelly Olynyk — could not be dealt until Dec. 15.
Miami could include 2017 top draft pick Bam Adebayo in a deal after Aug. 1.
The Heat also has two future first-round picks committed to the Phoenix Suns as part of getting Dragic in 2015 and are unable to offer a first-round selection prior to the 2023 draft in any deal.
Irving, 25, has three years and $60 million left on the five-year, $94 million deal he signed in 2015. Irving could opt out of the contract after two seasons as he holds an option for the third year.
Because Irving does not have a no-trade clause in his contract, the Cavaliers can trade him to any team in the league — wish list or not.
“Right now Kyrie Irving is under contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers for two or three years, depending on the last year,” Gilbert told reporters earlier this week.
“As of now he's one of our best players and sure, we expect him to be in camp.”