The Miami Heat may be on their way to a forgettable offseason. After missing out on Damian Lillard, the team was linked to Jrue Holiday and Cameron Payne, only to see both players land with rival organizations.
Holiday is reportedly set to land with the Boston Celtics, who are sending Malcolm Brogdon, Robert Williams III and draft capital to the Portland Trail Blazers in exchange.
The Celtics are trading Robert Williams, Malcolm Brogdon, 2024 GSW 1st, 2029 unprotected BOS first to the Blazers, sources tell ESPN. https://t.co/gx53jyH1RG
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 1, 2023
Meanwhile, Payne is reportedly signing with the franchise that grabbed Lillard — the Milwaukee Bucks — on a one-year deal.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) October 1, 2023
Miami’s offseason plans seemingly hinged on nabbing a superstar who expressed his desire to be traded to the Heat. Unfortunately for the Heat, Blazers general manager Joe Cronin didn’t send his franchise cornerstone to Miami.
After the Lillard deal was consummated, Holiday reportedly crossed Miami’s radar. The star guard would have been a major addition for the Heat. However, nothing came out of it, although it is unclear how hard Miami’s front office pursued a trade (if at all).
As for Payne, the veteran point guard would have bolstered the Heat’s backcourt depth, which is why the buzz linking him to the team made sense. But by some twist of fate, Miami lost to the Bucks again.
It remains to be seen how the Heat front office will recover from the supposed failed roster moves. The free agent market ran dry while Miami waited for clarity on the Lillard situation, and the Heat have seemingly yet to address losing Gabe Vincent and Max Strus. However, Tyler Herro’s return from injury and the signing of Josh Richardson should help in those areas.
Miami could also turn to its young prospects, Jaime Jaquez Jr. and Nikola Jovic, to assume some of the minutes that would have presumably been given to the team’s big targets this offseason.
Only time will tell if the Heat can replicate their 2022-23 season and make their way back to the NBA Finals. That may prove to be more difficult this time around as the competition appears to have gotten stronger.