Proposed Trade Gives Heat’s Sagging Offense a Frontcourt Boost


    Miami Heat wing Duncan Robinson reacts during a game against the Philadelphia 76ers.

    Entering postseason play, the Miami Heat possessed many of the hallmarks of a championship team. They had been to the NBA Finals just two years earlier, the roster was loaded with experienced players and All-Star level talent and the team’s defense was one with the potential to wreak havoc in a playoff environment.

    In the end, though, Miami’s middling offense wasn’t enough to get out of the Eastern Conference. If anything, it just got worse as the games mattered more.

    After scoring 113 points per 100 possessions during the regular season — a number that ranked 12th league-wide — the Heat had a bottom-half offense at 110.7 points/100 poss. in the playoffs. Moreover, their three-point completion rate dropped from 37.9% to 31.3%.

    Clearly, changes need to be made if Erik Spoelstra’s crew hopes to get back to the big dance next season.

    As a means of addressing the scoring shortfall and giving the Heat a better chance to compete for a title in 2022-23, here’s one potential trade that could boost the team’s offensive attack, particularly in the frontcourt.

    Trade With Rockets Nets Playmaking Big Man

    Christian Wood GOES OFF! 39 PTS 10 REB 8 THREES against the Wizards🔥Washington Wizards vs Houston Rockets – Full Game Highlights | March 21, 2022 | 2021-22 NBA Season 📌 SHOP OUR MERCH: 📌 Follow our Instagram: 📌 Follow our TikTok: 📌 Follow our Facebook: #HouseofHighlights #NBA #HoH2022-03-22T02:27:16Z

    Bam Adebayo was criticized throughout the postseason for his inability to act as a viable offensive threat in the pivot. Even as he has shown incredible development as a screener and post distributor — and despite the fact that he put up nearly 15 PPG on 59.4% shooting in the playoffs — he was perpetually under attack on social media.

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    Really, though, the Heat’s offensive woes came down to not having enough weapons to outpace opponents. More specifically, they lacked players who combine size with diverse offensive skill sets.

    Wishing Adebayo could be something he’s not isn’t going to fix that problem. Instead, the Heat should embrace what he does do well — on both sides of the ball — and then plug the gaps by pairing him with a big who has more to offer than 37-year-old PJ Tucker.

    The following trade would accomplish just that:

    Wood was linked to the Heat ahead of the trade deadline, with the feeling being that Houston was overvaluing him. At some point, though, the realization that he could walk for nothing after next season has to set in. If they’re going to get something out of him, the time is nigh.

    A Robinson-Wood swap was what was rumored previously, and despite having a down year, the former remains an elite floor-spacer and potential trade chip for the future. Meanwhile, the pot is sweetened here with a nice prospect/asset in Yurtseven and a moderately protected first-rounder.

    It’s a lot for the Heat to give up, to be sure, but the Rockets are also doing them a massive favor by taking on Robinson’s contract. Moreover, neither he nor Yurtseven were in Spoelstra’s playoff rotation. So, if you’re trying to win right now, you can live with losing them and a pick.

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    Wood Brings a Ton to the Table

    This past season, Wood averaged 17.9 points, a career-high 10.1 rebounds and a blocked shot per outing. Meanwhile, he connected on 39% of his 4.9 three-point attempts nightly as a 6-foot-10 big. The last Heat player who could take and make triples at that size/rate was Kelly Olynyk.

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    So, it’s definitely been a minute.

    But Wood has a lot more to offer than bombing threes. Last season, nearly a third of his field-goal attempts came within three feet of the hoop and he converted those attempts at an impressive 73.7% clip. He was also more adept than most ballers his size at putting the ball on the floor, attempting 4.4 drives per game.

    Defensively, he may not be a lockdown ace, but he’s got size/length to bother people, underrated chops as a help-side shot-blocker and he also finishes off possessions — by Basketball Reference‘s measure, he ranked ninth league-wide this past season with a defensive rebounding percentage of 30.4.


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