The NBA Trade Deadline has passed and after the dust has settled, the Miami Heat are now looking like a team that could once again compete for an NBA title.
The Heat started the season very rough, winning only seven of their first 20 games.
Because of that rough start, fans quickly criticized last year’s runner-up, stating that their success last season was just a fluke.
However, the Miami Heat eventually got back on the winning track and are now looking like a team that could compete for the playoffs with a 22-23 record, sitting as the seventh-seed, only a couple games behind the current fourth-seed Charlotte Hornets who have 22-21 record.
The Heat were involved in multiple trade rumors and after the deadline, changes were certainly made.
The Miami Heat traded away Avery Bradley, Kelly Olynyk and a 2022 pick-swap to the Houston Rockets to acquire Victor Oladipo. They also shipped Chris Silva and Moe Harkless to the Sacramento Kings for Nemanja Bjelica.
These two trade acquisitions elevated the Heat in multiple areas.
Two-time All-Star Oladipo has only played 29 games in total this season, including 20 games with the Rockets. However, despite the limited games he has played this season, he’s averaging 20.8 PPG, 5.0 RPG and 4.7 APG with 1.2 SPG.
Despite being plagued with injuries in the last two seasons, the seven-year veteran has proven himself as a high-level two-way player in his two all-star seasons with the Indiana Pacers, averaging 20.9 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 4.7 APG and 2.0 SPG.
His addition to the Heat would give them another capable scorer that can create space for himself and others who is also capable of being a pesky defender.
He would fit well with the Miami Heat as he has been the second or third option role on a team, which means he won’t struggle in finding ways to be effective despite not having the ball at his hands every possession.
It should be noted, though, that Oladipo is on an expiring contract, and so there is risk involved in bringing him in as a rental until the end of the season. He could walk away for nothing.
Meanwhile, Bjelica would provide some decent shooting from the power forward position.
The 6’11-five-year veteran is averaging 7.2 PPG, 3.8 RPG and 1.9 APG on 46.0% FG in the 26 games that he has played this season.
Although he’s only shooting 29.3% from the three-point line this season, Bjelica has proven in the past that he’s a decent shooter from deep. Last season, he shot 41.9% from the three and for his career, he’s a 38.8% three-point shooter.
His addition would make the Heat even deadlier from deep once Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson starts draining threes more consistently this season – giving him space to work when he’s on the court.
The addition of Oladipo and Bjelica gave the Miami Heat more reliable guys despite losing some of their depth in the trade.
With LaMarcus Aldridge possibly joining the Heat after a buyout with the San Antonio Spurs, we could see the Heat fighting the Nets or Sixers for the right to represent the Eastern Conference in the NBA Finals.
What do you think about the Heat’s chances for the title after the trade? Sound off below in the comment section!