How Does The Starting Five For Miami Heat Stack Up After the Trade Deadline?

Published 03/26/2021, 11:13 AM EDT
Mar 4, 2021; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; Miami Heat guard Goran Dragic (7) congratulates forward Jimmy Butler (22) after he was fouled hitting a 3-point field goal in the fourth quarter against the New Orleans Pelicans at the Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports


The NBA deadline saw a plethora of moves from teams who are in for a rebuild and the ones who are in for a run at the championship. The Miami Heat were arguably one of the biggest winners from the deadline.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

The Miami Heat had a quite off-season. Given the number of moves other competitors had, the Heat knew that they had to add some key pieces in the deadline.

Miami Heat trades

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Ahead of the deadline, the Heat had identified two problem areas- a lack of quality guard and a lack of a consistent power forward. While Avery Bradley came in as the veteran guard who could defend the best, injuries kept him away from the roster.

With Bradley’s limited playtime, the Heat never had the chance to incorporate him to the lineup. Kelly Olynyk might have been a decent contributor for the Heat for three seasons, but is certainly having a disappointing 2020-21.

He might be averaging more than 10 points, but it his shooting numbers have been the problematic area as he is shooting 31.7% from the three point line. With two veterans having disappointing stints with the team, the Heat traded in a solid guard in Victor Oladipo.

Apart from Oladipo, the Heat also addressed their power forward situation with one of the most under-rated trades. They brought in forward Nemanja Bjelica, who was coming off a fantastic 2019-20 season, shooting  41.9% from the perimeter.

The Heat let go of some rotational pieces in Moe Harkless and Chris Silva for Bjelica. He might be having a down year now due to reduced minutes, but is definitely an upgrade on Olynyk.

With all these moves done and dusted, take a look at the probable starting lineup for the Miami Heat.

Miami Heat predicted new lineup after trade deadline

Backcourt

Kendrick Nunn- Point Guard

Since the start of 2019-20 season, Nunn has been the starting point guard for the Miami Heat. The sophomore has continued to be decent for the Heat, averaging 13.6 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game.

Although his base numbers might be down for this season, his efficiency has seen a slight uptick all across the board. Nunn has a massive upside and has shown glimpses of his star potential with some special performances. Given the opportunities that Miami have given him, the 25-year-old can be a special player very soon.

Victor Oladipo- Shooting Guard

While players like Tyler Herro or Duncan Robinson were wildcards as starters, the same cannot be said for Oladipo. A seasoned veteran, the 2-time All-Star is surely a massive upgrade.

Jan 22, 2021; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Houston Rockets guard Victor Oladipo (7) dribbles past Detroit Pistons center Mason Plumlee (right) during the first quarter at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

The 28-year-old provides Miami with another ball-handling play-maker. Given his prowess as an offensive machine, Oladipo can be crucial in taking some pressure off of Jimmy Butler.

Oladipo is finally in a championship contending team, and this might be the perfect time for him to prove his worth. If he does, he will be up for a massive contract extension next off-season.

Frontcourt

Duncan Robinson- Small Forward

This might seem as a long shot, but the Heat do need an elite shooter in the lineup and might switch to a small-ball lineup with Duncan Robinson playing as a number three.

With the backcourt of Nunn and Oladipo and the playmaking skills of Jimmy Butler, the Heat can find a shooter like Duncan Robinson in promising positions. The 26-year-old is one of the finest shooters in the league and is a must in the Heat lineup.

Jimmy Butler- Power Forward

While Butler traditionally plays as a small forward in the Heat lineup, coach Erik Spoelstra might shift him to the power forward position to field the team’s best lineup.

Jan 30, 2021; Miami, Florida, USA; Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (22) looks to pass as Sacramento Kings guard Tyrese Haliburton (0) defends on the play in the fourth quarter at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports

Jimmy Buckets‘ has shown his versatility time and again. Given his ability to defend several positions, Butler can easily slot in as a power forward in the Heat’s new look starting five.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Bam Adebayo- Center

After Olynyk’s departure, coach Spo will surely shift Bam to the center position. The 6’9″ center is enjoying a career season this year. In the 39 games he has played, Bam has averaged 19.4 points, 9.5 rebounds, and 5.4 assists per game.

The small-ball lineup for the Heat makes them unpredictable and accommodates their best players. With players like Tyler Herro, Nemanja Bjelica in the second unit, the Heat have enough bench depth as well.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

But this might not be the final starting five for Heat. The Heat are favorites to sign LaMarcus Aldridge from the buyout market. If they sign the veteran center, they will add more depth to their frontcourt. Will Heat stick to this lineup or change it up after the buyout market?

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

Aditya Mohapatra

676 articles

Aditya Mohapatra is a sports enthusiast who primarily covers the NBA for EssentiallySports. Having graduated in Mass Communication, he has prior experience in writing for ABP News, and has been writing for EssentiallySports since November 2020. This die-hard Los Angeles Lakers fan feels that LeBron James is the best thing to have ever happened to the NBA, and will hold a healthy debate with anyone suggesting otherwise.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT