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Giannis Antetokounmpo and Two Other Superstars Miami Heat Must Target for 2021

Published 05/29/2020, 12:07 PM EDT

As the resumption of the league still revolves around uncertainty, it might be a good time for teams to assess their plans for the future. For the Miami Heat, it soon might be the time for a massive addition to their roster. 


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The Heat look in good shape at the moment, but have not won the title since ‘The Heatles’ won them back to back championships. Ever since LeBron James departed, the Heat have failed to win big at the grand stage. Over the last five years, the Miami Heat played a mediocre ballgame. They only made it to the postseason twice in five years. 

The Heat bought Jimmy Butler in 2019, and he has proven to be a good buy so far. Though their game has improved a lot since their last title triumph, the three-time champions need additional firepower in the team. 


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Could the Miami Heat go big in 2021?

The Heat are reported to max out on a free agent signing in the summer of 2021. President Pat Riley even hinted at the same when asked if the team was looking to add extra talent. Their restrained spending over the past few years has set them up for a big swoop in the next year. 

Pat Riley was instrumental in luring in LeBron James and Chris Bosh to the team, who won them back-to-back titles along with Dwyane Wade. Every team sets a championship-winning standard, which goes without saying. But not every year can you spend big in trying to win championships and rule the NBA

Salary-cap restrictions play a huge part in a team’s finances. With a hefty sum going away as player contracts every year, the Heat can only think about making the right move at the right time to hit the jackpot. Jimmy Butler and the sharply rising Bam Adebayo need a star man who can perfectly complement the team.

The team targets the 2021 free agency to cash in on a big player to re-establish their dominance in the Eastern Conference. It has been six years since the Heat topped their conference, let alone winning the NBA championship. The team doesn’t really have a leader in Jimmy Butler and they badly need a player who can endure the heat.

The prominent targets to guide the Miami Heat to glory

The free-agency class of 2021 is going to be one of the best in recent years. The current names on the list are already mind-boggling. While there is a huge list of players whose contracts are ending with the conclusion of the next year’s championship, here are a few top players who will attract the eyes of Pat Riley and the Miami Heat. 

Giannis Antetokounmpo

Yes, Giannis is the biggest prospect who will be an unrestricted free agent by 2021. ‘The Greek Freak’ will be the number one target for the Heat, as Giannis has several years left in his prime. The four-year contract extension he signed with the Bucks in 2016 will end next year. 

With a towering player like Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Heat will be set for the next three to four years, becoming serious title contenders. But, NBA Insider Bobby Marks also reported another possibility. Giannis will also contemplate signing yet another long-term deal with the Bucks which would be worth $247.3 million. However, they have to do it before his contract expires. Otherwise, it will lead to him becoming an unrestricted free agent who will be pounced on by teams from the East and the West. 

Anthony Daivs

The 2017 All-Star Game MVP is on the radar, but Heat fans can’t get too excited about his arrival at their team. Davis joined the team in 2019 after a long negotiation and finally agreeing upon a contract he saw fit. 

He is likely to stay with the Lakers and play alongside LeBron James for a year or two. The Lakers option gives him a higher chance of earning a championship ring. He is craving for the first title of in his career and is projected to sign a long term deal with the Lakers organization after upon his contract expiry next summer. Davis can still play his opt-out year which is the 2020-21 season and become an unrestricted free agent, which is highly unlikely to happen.

Blake Griffin

The former Lob City star was acquired by the Detroit Pistons in 2017 and signed a mega five-year deal with the team. His contract is valued at roughly $172 million which sees him at the Pistons for five years. Starting from 2018, Griffin has been earning more than $32 million a year. 


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The #1 pick of the 2009 draft can exercise his way out of his contract when the 2020-21 season ends. The final year of his contract is player optional. Griffin can be a perfect match to partner with the explosive Jimmy Butler. The former Rookie of the Year can be considered a promising option for the Heat. He is the star player they require with his thunderous abilities and a fearless game.


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We see these three players as the major target in the minds of the Heat’s front office. There are other players like Chris Paul and Paul George who have an optional year with their respective teams. However, the Heat will most likely move forward with the likes of Giannis or Blake Griffin as their effective target.


Arjun Athreya

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Arjun Athreya is a senior writer at Essentially Sports and has been contributing since early 2020. Having developed an avid interest in sports at an early age, he pursued a Journalism degree and graduated from Madras Christian College. Arjun manages the Golf division and its content, and primarily covers news pertaining to the NBA as well.