The Miami Heat have a reputation for always trying to get involved when big name free agents hit the open market. They may not get the guys that they want, but the team loves superstars and has long believed that its ability to sell them on the team’s culture of winning and living in South Beach puts them in contention for anyone.
Miami managed to pull this off this past summer when it pulled off a sign-and-trade for Jimmy Butler, and with a relatively light 2020 free agent class, the team has its eyes set on a potentially huge group of free agents in 2021. At the top of their list, per Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, is none other than Giannis Antetokounmpo, who could potentially hit the open market if he turns down a supermax extension from the Milwaukee Bucks on July 1, 2020.
But Antetokounmpo isn’t the only player who has Miami’s eye, according to Jackson. He explained that should the San Antonio Spurs look to trade DeMar DeRozan or LaMarcus Aldridge sometime this year, the team would listen due to the nature of their contracts, which would free up room to go after the reigning MVP or, potentially, Indiana Pacers standout Victor Oladipo.
…the Heat assuredly would due diligence on both for two reasons: 1) Both remain highly productive and 2) Neither has a contract that runs beyond the summer of 2021, which is critical because Miami wants to preserve max cap space that summer for a run at Giannis Antetokounmpo or, secondarily, a few other targets including Victor Oladipo.
Of course, the Heat will probably have to fend off interest from every other team for Antetokounmpo, while Oladipo is going to be a highly-regarded free agent in his own right. But with Butler on the roster and a collection of promising youngsters who could be coming into their own by the time 2021 rolls around, Miami may end up being an awfully interesting destination that summer.