The reigning Eastern Conference champion Miami Heat have been surprisingly inactive thus far this summer as they try to land another star. That inactivity could pay off if they land star Damian Lillard, or it could blow up in their faces. Assuming that it doesn’t and they are able to trade for Lillard, team president Pat Riley has big plans for the Heat’s roster.
According to Heat insider Greg Sylvander, the team plans to pursue remaining top free agents, Christian Wood and Kelly Oubre. Not only that, but they are hoping to sign both players to minimum contracts, far below what they made during the 2022–23 season. That is an ambitious plan since it hinges on them acquiring Lillard, and the Portland Trail Blazers haven’t given a strong indication that they will trade him to Miami.
NBA Rumors: The Heat have big plans to upgrade the frontcourt if they land Damian Lillard.
Still, if the Heat are able to get a deal done, then Wood and Oubre would be much more likely to take less money to ring chase while playing along with three stars in South Beach. Just the fact that we are nearing the third month of free agency and neither Wood nor Oubre have yet to sign with another team is a strong indication that they are waiting to see what will happen.
Both players would join all-stars Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, as well as Kevin Love, Thomas Bryant, and possibly even Blazers starting center Jusuf Nurkic, depending on the final version of a potential Lillard trade. That would be a talented and deep frontcourt that could help them fill out an otherwise thin roster with solid rotation players.
Ultimately, the Heat’s potential front-court upgrade appears contingent on them landing Lillard. However, a trade doesn’t appear close, and it only adds more pressure on Miami to get a deal done.