The Miami Heat remained pretty silent in the trade market prior to the deadline earlier this month, but that lack of excitement is expected to end in the buyout market. One veteran that the Heat may already be targeting is big man Serge Ibaka.
“Ibaka, 33, has interest in joining the Heat if he’s bought out, and there’s also some level of interest from the Heat’s side,” wrote Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald.
Some additional players that the Heat could potentially target include Russell Westbrook, John Wall, Dario Saric and Will Barton.
As for Ibaka, he is no longer the starting-caliber center that he once was, but he still has what it takes to be a productive piece of an NBA rotation. That is especially true for a team like the Heat that is particularly weak when it comes to big men.
This season, the 6-foot-10 big man is putting up 4.1 points and 2.8 rebounds per game. He has appeared in just 16 games so far this season and logged just 11.6 minutes per appearance.
It would be interesting to see if Ibaka could have more of a statistical impact with more playing time. At 33 years old, he figures to have a bit left in the tank.
Luckily for Miami, it seems to have a good thing going right now despite some holes in the rotation. The Heat are 7-3 in their last 10 games and currently enjoying a three-game winning streak.
That streak has brought them closer to the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference, which is currently held by the new-look Brooklyn Nets. The Heat are just 1.5 games back from the Nets for that spot.
Once things in the buyout market really start to gain momentum, it will be interesting to see which players the Heat try to acquire. By the looks of it, Ibaka’s name could very well be on that list.