With trade talks seemingly stalled between the Miami Heat and Portland Trailblazers, it appears increasingly possible that a trade won’t happen. While a deal could still get done before training camp, if one doesn’t, then the Heat would have a surprisingly thin roster as a result of their failed pursuit of a star.
They have already lost several players from last season’s team and have yet to fully fill out their roster since it’s hard to say what they would have to give up in a Lillard trade. That is a risky proposition and something Miami could and should avoid. But with limited options, they would have to make several smart moves to improve their team on the fly.
That is something that team President Pat Riley has proven more than capable of doing, and he assuredly has contingency plans in case they strike out on Lillard. One option would be to alter the protections on their 2026 first-round pick that is owed the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Unprotecting that selection would allow them to more easily make big moves. That leads us to three realistic moves the Heat should make if they fail to land Lillard, starting with signing the best remaining free agent.