The Miami Heat have expressed interest in acquiring power forward Rudy Gay from the San Antonio Spurs before the trade deadline. Clutch of Five Reasons Sports Network tweeted February 16th that Miami has reached out to San Antonio to inquire about the availability of Gay.
Miami is pursuing a Gay trade because they believe it is an inexpensive way to strengthen their power forward position. Although the Heat are interested in Gay, is it wise for the team to pursue him? No, as other inexpensive options would be a slightly better fit for the team.
How the Miami Heat use power forwards on offense
Head coach Erik Spoelstra has been using the power forward position as a floor spacer. Andre Iguodala and Jae Crowder attempted more than 53 percent of their shots from behind the arc after the Heat acquired them from Memphis last season, averaging 2.2 and 6.4 per game, respectively. At least 65 percent of those attempts were catch and shoots as they averaged 1.9 and 4.2 per game, respectively.
More importantly, Iguodala and Crowder took a significant portion of their catch and shoot threes from above the break as they averaged 1.1 and 4.2 above the break threes per game, respectively.
Power forwards are being utilized in the same way this season as Igoudala and Kelly Olynyk are taking more than 73 percent of their shots from behind the arc averaging 3.2 and 6.3 per game, respectively. Catch and shoots account for at least 84 percent of those attempts as they have averaged 2.7 and 5.3 per game. Like last season, a significant portion of their attempts has come from above the break as Iguodala and Olynyk are averaging 1.6 and 5 per game, respectively.
Unfortunately for Miami, Gay would only be a slightly passable option in both of these areas. Gay has converted 36.3 percent of his catch and shoot threes since the 2013-14 season on 2.4 attempts per game. On the other hand, he has made 36 percent of his above-the-break threes on 2.3 shots per game.
Why the Miami Heat should be pursuing Kevin Love and Otto Porter Jr before Rudy Gay
Therefore, the Heat should pursue other inexpensive options before acquiring Gay. For example, the Heat should be talking to the Chicago Bulls about Otto Porter Jr. Porter is shooting 41.8 percent on catch and shoots since the 2013-14 season on 3 attempts per game. Conversely, he has shot 39.8 percent on above-the-break threes on 2.3 shots per game.
More importantly. Miami won’t have to give up any premium assets to acquire him as his value is very low due to recent injuries. Porter only appeared in 56 games during the 2018-19 season due to various injuries. For example, he missed the final 11 games with a strained right shoulder.
Porter continued to deal with injuries last season as a broken left foot led to him only playing 14 games. Another option the Heat should be looking at is Kevin Love. Love has made 36.7 percent of his above the break threes since the 2013-14 season on 4.5 attempts per game. Conversely, he converted 36.4 of his catch and shoot threes on 5 shots per game.
Furthermore, the Cleveland Cavaliers couldn’t find a trade for him as of November. According to John Hollinger of the Athletic, teams weren’t interested in acquiring Love when the Cavaliers made him available around the draft.
Therefore, it is reasonable to believe that the Miami Heat can acquire both of these players by offering a draft pick and salary filler in Iguodala/Olynyk. Even though Gay would be a fine option, there are other inexpensive options that would be better fit for the team.