NBA Rumors: Miami Heat Taking Aim at a Big Star This Offseason

After a middling regular season, the Miami Heat made a run to the NBA Finals on the backs of Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, with a little Kyle Lowry and Gabe Vincent along the way. But is that enough for a return engagement? 

According to NBA Insider Brian Windhorst, the Heat don't think so. On ESPN's Hoop Collective podcast, Windy says they're going 'big-game hunting' this summer. 

They have draft picks at their disposal. And they potentially have tradeable contracts and I think they're going to go hunting for a star. I don't know if they'll get one. I don't know if it will break their way. There's other teams interested in it. I'm not going to sit here and tell you who it is because I'll get aggregated. But there are players they are keeping an eye on and they have the ability to do it, especially if the player says 'Send me to Miami.'

That was a thinly-veiled reference to the fact that superstar Damian Lillard, just last week, answered "Miami, obviously" when asked what team he'd like to land with if—IF—he were to ask for a trade. 

And the oddsmakers seemed to feel that Dame to South Beach was a pretty good bet.

The Heat do have some huge contracts that could be combined to allow a star player on a hefty deal to come in... Tyler Herro will earn $27M next season; Duncan Robinson $18M, and even Kyle Lowry ($29.6M). 

“They have a little window here before the second (tax) apron kicks in where they may be able to spend a little bit of money,” Windhorst added. “They have some draft picks they can trade. After the draft, they get access to their 2030 pick... if a player says ‘Send me to Miami’ in the next two weeks, they’re not in the worst position.”

What other big names might the Heat chase this summer? Bradley Beal, perhaps (teams are circling around the Wizards)? Joel Embiid (if Harden leaves)?? Should be interesting to keep an eye on. 

Photo: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports