It’s unclear what a deal for Russell would look like, but he appears to at least be on Miami’s radar as the trade deadline continues to approach in the 2022-23 NBA season.
“I’m told that the Miami Heat are showing some trade interest, just a little bit, in D’Angelo Russell of the Wolves”
Via: @DWolfsonKSTP on KSTP
— Timberwolves Talk (@LetsTalk_Wolves) December 16, 2022
Russell, who is in the final year of his contract, carries a salary of over $31 million this season. That would make things tricky for the Heat to match his contract in a deal, unless the team planned on trading Kyle Lowry or was able to package multiple players with Duncan Robinson’s contract.
The Wolves could move on from Russell if they don’t view him as a part of their long-term plans, but the team already gutted its roster when it traded for Rudy Gobert this past offseason.
An injury to Karl-Anthony Towns this season certainly hasn’t helped the Wolves, and the team is out to a slow start at just 13-15 on the season.
It’s possible that Minnesota could move on from Russell to accumulate future assets or a player that it thinks will help the team win now.
As for the Heat, adding Russell would give them another option at the guard position, especially if they can avoid trading Lowry in the deal. Gabe Vincent, Tyler Herro and Victor Oladipo have all dealt with injuries this season, which has left Miami with very few options for lead ball-handlers at certain points.
Russell is averaging 16.6 points, 3.1 rebounds and 6.3 assists per game in the 2022-23 campaign while shooting 46.1 percent from the field and 35.5 percent from beyond the arc.
A one-time All-Star, Russell is still just 26 years old, so he could be a part of the long-term future in Miami if the team decides to trade for him and eventually re-sign him.
For now, this just seems like the Heat have checked in on Russell’s availability, but things could change as the trade deadline gets closer.
After earning the No. 1 seed in the East last season, the Heat are just 15-15 through 30 games in the 2022-23 campaign. Adding a player like Russell could be a move that the franchise believes would put them back into the top half of the East this season.