Monte Morris reportedly could be part of the backup plan for the Miami Heat should they lose Gabe Vincent in free agency.
“[Washington] Wizards guard Monte Morris has drawn a long list of interested teams on the trade market, including the [Minnesota] Timberwolves and [Chicago] Bulls, led by former [Denver] Nuggets executives Tim Connelly and Artūras Karnišovas, respectively,” wrote Jake Fischer of Yahoo! Sports. “Miami, should the Heat lose Gabe Vincent, Toronto, if [Fred] VanVleet walks, New Orleans, Utah and Brooklyn have all been mentioned by league sources as teams to watch for Morris.”
Morris just completed his first season with the Wizards after playing for the Nuggets. The 28-year-old averaged 10.3 points and 5.3 assists per game during the 2022-23 season.
Vincent became an increased priority for the Heat after he excelled during their playoff run, which ended with a loss to the Nuggets in the NBA Finals. The 27-year-old averaged 12.7 points per game during the playoffs after averaging 9.4 points per game during the regular season.
According to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, the Heat’s current offer to Vincent is about $7 million per season. With Vincent perhaps seeking more money than the Heat are willing to pay him, Morris could become a viable option via trade.
“The Heat’s offer to Gabe Vincent is not what Vincent is looking for, raising the chances of Vincent leaving the Heat as a free agent, according to a source,” wrote Jackson.
“The Heat proposed a deal similar in structure to Caleb Martin’s three-year, $20.6 million deal, but with a bit more money. But a salary in the $7 million range is less than Vincent’s expectations.
“He likely will leave unless Miami raises its offer.”
Of course, the Heat’s plans could change very quickly if top target Damian Lillard decides he wants to leave the Portland Trail Blazers after all. Miami has decided to wait patiently for Lillard, who is seemingly willing to stay with Portland while it tries to upgrade the talent around him.
Washington so far early in this offseason has traded away Bradley Beal to the Phoenix Suns and Kristaps Porzingis to the Boston Celtics. It also quickly moved along Chris Paul to the Golden State Warriors after acquiring him in the Beal trade.
Miami is trying to find the right formula around Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo to make another run at winning an NBA championship. Although the team initially would have liked Vincent to remain part of the plan, circumstances could be changing that.