At 22-30, the Miami Heat have a lot to improve upon if they hope to make some noise in the playoffs this postseason.
The Heat are the first team in 50 years to reach 30 losses before the All-Star break just a year after the reaching the NBA Finals. The team has struggled with many issues, including offense, rebounding, and chemistry in their first season without LeBron James.
By trading one or more of their current players for new pieces from other teams, Miami has an opportunity to salvage what is quickly turning into a lost season. The trade deadline is at 3 PM EST on Thursday. The Heat have been linked to point guards such as Jameer Nelson and shooting guard Arron Afflalo of the Denver Nuggets.
While it’s clear Pat Riley and company will be on the lookout for veteran players throughout the rest of the NBA, the Heat will have to part with at least one of their own players in order to make a trade happen before the deadline.
Here are the five Heat players most likely to be traded before the deadline.
1. Justin Hamilton
Justin Hamilton is a “home-grown” product of the Heat’s system. Miami frequently develops projects and lesser-known talents before promoting them to its active roster. They have done this more recently with Tyler Johnson and James Ennis.
Having said that, what being a “product” of the Heat’s system also means is that you’re still a young player who has yet to show much in the NBA. Hamilton falls into this category.
While the organization and coach Erik Spoelstra love the intangibles that the 7-foot center brings to the table, they would not hesitate to jettison Hamilton if the right offer presents itself. While teams won’t exactly covet the 24-year-old center, his contract of $800,000 could balance a package deal under the salary cap if need be.
Considering he has played in just 24 games while averaging 2.8 points per game in 12 minutes a contest in 2014-15, this makes Hamilton expendable come trade deadline.
Next: Danny Granger