Gilbert Arenas shares how Miami Heat ‘f—-d up’ as they work on trade for Damian Lillard'
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Former NBA guard Gilbert Arenas believes that the Miami Heat “f—– up” this offseason by losing Gabe Vincent and Max Strus.

Arenas believes that the Heat should have retained both players to use in a potential Damian Lillard trade.

The Heat lost Vincent to the Los Angeles Lakers, as the guard signed a three-year, $33 million deal with the team. Miami didn’t lose Strus for nothing, as it shipped him to the Cleveland Cavaliers in a sign-and-trade deal.

Miami received a second-round draft pick and a trade exception in the deal, which could help the team add another player in the trade market this offseason.

However, it appears Arenas believes that the team would have had more bargaining power had it kept both players. The Heat would have had to pay up to keep Strus and Vincent, but it would have left the team with the option to pull out of the Lillard negotiations and essentially run it back with the team that made the NBA Finals last season.

Having that as an option might have been helpful in pushing a potential Lillard deal across the finish line.

For now, Miami will have to make do without being able to use Vincent or Strus as trade assets – even though the team did receive a minor return for Strus.

A Heat insider recently predicted that the team may eventually move off of Tyler Herro, Duncan Robinson, Nikola Jovic and major draft capital — four first-round picks and three first-round pick swaps — in a deal for Lillard.

While that’s a lot to give up, Lillard is a game-changing player who could help Miami get over the hump and win an NBA title in the 2023-24 season.

The seven-time All-Star averaged 32.2 points and 7.3 assists per game while shooting 46.3 percent from the field and 37.1 percent from beyond the arc in the 2022-23 season.

Meanwhile, the Heat made the NBA Finals even though Herro appeared in just one playoff game before going on the shelf with an injury.

While losing Strus and Vincent hurts, it allows the team a little more financial flexibility since it didn’t commit major money to either player this offseason. If the Heat get a deal for Lillard completed, it won’t be as big of an issue that the two players left Miami this offseason.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.