After making the NBA Finals last season, the Miami Heat find themselves stuck in an unusual position this summer. The team has been in hot pursuit of a star to finally get them over the hump after three deep playoff runs in the last four seasons.
Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard remains their top target, though whether a trade actually gets done remains up in the air. With Portland asking for a lot in return for their star and other teams potentially getting into the race to acquire Lillard, the Heat are left to wait and hope that they can land him.
In the meantime, they have already lost two starters from last season’s team and could lose up to five more players in a potential trade. That all but ensures that Miami will need to rebuild their roster on the fly if Lillard actually joins the Heat.
Miami is targeting a top free agent.
While most of the available free agents have already been signed, there is still some talent left on the open market. In fact, the Heat have been linked to center Christian Wood, the best remaining free agent, and he is reported to have interest in the Heat too.
Wood has bounced around the NBA, playing for seven teams thus far, and has failed to stay in one spot for more than a season or two.
That may be the reason he remains unsigned, with good teams not having the cap space to meet his contract demands. On the other hand, the bad teams that can afford him either have already had him play for their team or aren’t interested in bringing him in given his reputation for being difficult.
With so few options, the Heat are hoping that he will take less to play for a contender in the short term. Moreover, the Heat could be a particularly attractive option for Wood since they may be shorthanded following a possible trade, and he would presumably have a big role. Playing well on a great team could pay off in the long run for Wood, especially if Miami makes another deep playoff run.
All in all, while Miami has missed out on key free agents, there appears to be mutual interest in the top remaining one. Wood, in addition to potentially adding Lillard, would provide a big boost to the team’s core of Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo and might be enough to win a championship.