Grade the Trade: The Heat pass on Lillard to land an MVP in this proposal

Jimmy Butler, the Miami Heat with Bam Adebayo (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
Jimmy Butler, the Miami Heat with Bam Adebayo (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) /

After weeks of pursuing Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard, the Miami Heat are left playing the waiting game. The Blazers seem unwilling to trade him to his preferred destination, though no other teams have yet to make an offer.

With training camp just six weeks away, the pressure is on the Heat to add another star, and this proposed trade by Bleacher Report would do just that. It just wouldn’t be Lillard that they acquire. Instead, with the situation in Philadelphia appearing uncertain at best, a recent MVP just might become available before the start of next season.

Grade the Trade: The Heat pass on Lillard to land Joel Embiid in this wild trade.

Rumors have suggested that reigning MVP Joel Embiid could soon ask out of the Sixers, particularly with the drama surrounding teammate James Harden. If that is the case, then the Sixers’ rival, the Heat, might be a possible trade partner, granted an unlikely one. Bleacher Report’s trade proposal has the Sixers receiving Tyler Herro, 2022 first-round pick Nikola Jovic, Bam Adebayo, two first-round picks, and a 2028 first-round pick swap for Embiid, Forkan Korkmaz, and PJ Tucker.

That is a potentially colossal trade that would see two of the Heat’s three best players moved for Embiid and two rotation players. Interestingly enough, the hypothetical trade would likely keep the Sixers from bottoming out with Bam and Herro.

Though, assuming this trade would follow a James Harden trade, the 76ers could quickly retool around them, particularly with two future firsts, a pick swap, and whatever they get in return for Harden. That might be intriguing to Sixer Team President Daryl Morey, but what about the Heat? Bam would generally be untouchable in a trade but moving him into a deal for Embiid is a different story altogether.

Additionally, the Heat have already been rumored to be willing to move on from Herro, Herro, and multiple first-round picks in a Lillard trade. If they are willing to give that to Lillard, who is 34, then they likely wouldn’t think twice about giving that haul up to Embiid, who’s just 29.

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All in all, Bleacher Report’s hypothetical Embiid to Miami trade would almost certainly be one that the Heat would do. Meanwhile, the Sixers probably aren’t considering moving on from the league’s most valuable player. But if he demands a trade, this proposed deal is actually about as good of a return as a team could reasonably get for a superstar.

Grade: A-