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Latest update on the Miami Heat’s pursuit of DeMar DeRozan

DeMar DeRozan is still a free agent and the Miami Heat are still in the race. How can they acquire DeRozan and who are the backup plans if they can't sign him?

DeMar-DeRozan
POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Heat made a flurry of moves by agreeing to deals with Kyle Lowry, P.J. Tucker, and many free agents that were on the team last season on the first day of free agency.

However, none of those moves were for former San Antonio Spurs forward DeMar DeRozan and they are still looking for a way to sign him. What’s the latest on DeRozan and how could they acquire him?

Latest updates on DeMar DeRozan

DeRozan is still available as we enter the second day of free agency. With money drying up, the likeliest avenue for any team to acquire the 31-year-old forward is through a sign-and-trade.

The Chicago Bulls have been rumored to want a sign-and-trade that would send Lauri Markkanen to the Spurs for DeRozan. This trade would give the Bulls a lineup of Lonzo Ball, Zach LaVine, DeRozan, Thaddeus Young, and Nikola Vucevic.

Chicago wouldn’t be a move with thoughts on a championship, but it’s hard to turn down money coming off a year where DeRozan averaged 21.6 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 6.9 assists while shooting 49.5% from the floor.

The Los Angeles Clippers and Atlanta Hawks are two other teams to watch. Atlanta could surprise people and send John Collins to the Spurs for DeRozan in a sign-and-trade.

DeRozan has been vocal about his desire to win and the Heat represent his best chance. New Heat point guard Kyle Lowry has also shown interest in a reunion. The Heat are still in the fight, but it will take some work by cap wizard Andy Elisburg.

How can the Miami Heat acquire DeMar DeRozan?

The Heat are in a tough spot when it comes to their pursuit of DeRozan. Since P.J. Tucker agreed to a two-year, $15 million contract, the organization can’t sign DeRozan into their Mid-Level Exception.

The only way would be through a sign-and-trade, which makes things difficult. One way would be trading Kendrick Nunn and Tyler Herro to the Spurs if Nunn wanted to sign there, but it seems unlikely that Miami parts with Herro in that deal.

Another way could be including Nunn and K.Z. Okpala in a complicated sign-and-trade with Kyle Lowry. The deal would expand to three or four teams, which is certainly possible since no trade details have been released yet.

The concern for Miami is the amount of money DeRozan would sign for with the team. The contract would need to be for three years, so it would need to be worthwhile for DeRozan.

Nunn’s free agency is another factor. The Heat don’t have a say in where Nunn goes during the offseason. If Nunn doesn’t want to go to San Antonio or another team, that’s unfortunate for the Heat’s pursuit of DeMar DeRozan.

Other options if DeMar DeRozan signs elsewhere

There are other options for the Heat if they don’t land the 31-year-old forward. Miami is also interested in Kelly Oubre Jr., who would need to be acquired in the same way as DeRozan with the MLE mostly committed to Tucker.

The team’s interest in Oubre was known before free agency. Perhaps, Miami could work with Andre Iguodala and send him in a sign-and-trade to the Golden State Warriors for Oubre.

Miami did Iguodala a favor by declining his option and giving him a say in where he goes instead of trading him to any team. Iguodala could be willing to help out if the Warriors really want the 37-year-old veteran.

Rudy Gay is another name that could be of interest to Miami. Gay has been linked to the Heat and would be a great fit in the rotation. The 34-year-old forward has been interested in joining the Heat before.

Gay could be signed with the bi-annual exception, which is $3.6 million. The option of having Gay start at the four or having two interchangeable fours in him and Tucker is very intriguing.

Markieff Morris is another option, who has received an offer from the Heat during this process. Much like Gay, he could be offered the bi-annual exception to be the starting four next season.

Either way, the Heat are not done yet. They currently need a backup point guard and another forward. Maybe, they’ll need more depending on what they decide to do in the coming hours and days.