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Miami Heat rumors: Latest on interest in Damian Lillard, Monte Morris

Dive into the latest Miami Heat rumors and news for the 2023 NBA offseason. From free agency to constant buzz about trade and draft targets.

The Miami Heat almost pulled off the impossible after reaching the NBA Finals as the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference. However, the Heat’s magical run came up just short in the championship series after losing to Denver Nuggets in five games.

Now, Miami is putting its focus on improving the team and giving Jimmy Butler the help he needs to win the organization’s first title since the 2012-’13 season. The latest Heat rumors suggest they’re going all-in. Last offseason, the Heat didn’t do much of anything in terms of transactions.

The organization focused on acquiring Donovan Mitchell or Kevin Durant and kept its assets. The Heat failed to trade for either of them but drafted Nikola Jovic, a young and raw-talented forward, with the No. 27 pick in the 2022 NBA Draft.

As Miami heads into the summer, it has an opportunity to take the next step and accomplish its dreams of winning a championship.

Let’s dive into the latest Miami Heat rumors for the 2023 NBA offseason.

Related: Why the Miami Heat should feel proud of their 2022-’23 season

Kevin Love, Josh Richardson reportedly returning to the Miami Heat

NBA: San Antonio Spurs at Miami Heat
Feb 26, 2022; Miami, Florida, USA; Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (22) defends San Antonio Spurs guard Josh Richardson (7) during the second half at FTX Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports

Josh Richarson was the centerpiece to a trade that brought Butler to the Heat. Now, Richardson is set to return on a two-year, minium contract with a player option, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.

The 29-year-old guard averaged 10.1 points, 2.7 rebounds, and 2.7 assists while shooting 36.5% from the three-point line during the 2022-‘23 season. It is a massive steal for Miami as “Rook 2” returns for a nother campaign with the team.

Meanwhile, Kevin Love has agreed to return to the Heat on a two-year contract with a $3.7 million cap hit for next season, according to the Associated Press’ Tim Reynolds. Love was linked to many other organizations but helps give Miami more frontcourt depth.

Related: Miami Heat looking to pull off blockbuster trade this summer

Miami Heat rumors: Jae Crowder, Monte Morris linked to team on opening day of NBA free agency

NBA: Playoffs-Miami Heat at Milwaukee Bucks
Apr 19, 2023; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Jae Crowder (99) during game two of the 2023 NBA Playoffs against the Miami Heat at Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The Heat won’t be able to make a big splash in NBA free agency due to the salary cap and hard cap; however, there are minimum-level players and trades that would be able to help improve the organization’s roster.

According to Yahoo Sports’ Jake Fisher, upcoming free agent forward Jae Crowder has interest in joining Miami but is expected to return to the Milwaukee Bucks. Meanwhile, the Heat would be interested in trading for Washington Wizards guard Monte Morris in the event they lose Gabe Vincent in free agency.

Morris would be a good addition to Miami and would likely start with Kyle Lowry anchoring the second unit. Both players would help the Heat’s pursuit of a fourth NBA Finals trophy as they continue to wait on Damian Lillard.

Miami Heat, Cleveland Cavaliers discussing three-team trade involving Max Strus

Boston Celtics
Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Max Strus is likely not returning to the Heat but it is hard to blame him. There are several teams around the NBA that are pursuing his services at a price tag that Miami simply cannot afford, this includes the Indiana Pacers who are considering an offer of around $16 million per year.

Now, the Heat and Cleveland Cavaliers are discussing a sign-and-trade that would send Strus to Cleveland. It would be a three-team trade that would likely net the Heat a trade exception and possibly a second-round pick.

With Strus almost certainly gone, it would be beneficial for Miami to gain some assets along the way. It would be the best-case scenario as any exception or pick would help bolster any potential trade offers this offseason.

Heat rumors: Gabe Vincent return looking ‘less likely’ after latest offer

NBA: Finals-Miami Heat at Denver Nuggets
Jun 12, 2023; Denver, Colorado, USA; Miami Heat guard Gabe Vincent (2) drives during the third quarter of game five of the 2023 NBA Finals against the Denver Nuggets at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Heat met with Vincent in Los Angeles this week; however, it did not go as planned for either side. According to the Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson, the Heat offered Vincent a contract that is similar to Caleb Martin’s deal, which is below his expectations.

Vincent declined the offer of around $7 million per year and is looking less likely to return unless Miami raises its offer. This would be a big loss as the Heat are preparing to lose Strus, who was another start for the team in the NBA Finals.

There is still time for the organization to raise its offer and keep the talented guard but this needs to happen quickly. The NBA free agency period is set to be underway at 6:00 PM EST on Friday evening.

Related: Miami Heat’s offseason outlook heading into 2023 NBA free agency

Miami Heat considering the idea of waiving Kyle Lowry

Mar 11, 2023; Orlando, Florida, USA; Miami Heat guard Kyle Lowry (7) shoots the ball against the Orlando Magic during the first quarter at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports

The Heat are looking to make improvements to their roster for the 2023-’24 season; however, there has been a surprising development on June 27. Miami is considering the idea of waiving Lowry using the waive-and-stretch provision.

This could take place if the Heat are unsuccessful in finding a trade partner for Lowry’s contract. This is surprising due to the organization’s current situation. Miami is unable to perform any sign-and-trades and would likely be worse than last season from a talent perspective.

It makes no sense from a roster point of view; however, it would make sense if the Heat are looking to save money with the luxury tax. This is something to keep an eye on as Lowry’s time in Miami could be coming to an end shortly.

Damian Lillard has ‘serious interest’ in the Miami Heat

NBA: Portland Trail Blazers at Miami Heat
Nov 7, 2022; Miami, Florida, USA; Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (0) dribbles the ball around Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (22) during the first quarter at FTX Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rich Storry-USA TODAY Sports

Lillard is meeting with the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday to discuss the next steps for the organization but it is not the only development of the day. This comes after a report that Lillard has “serious interest” in joining the Heat if he requests a trade from Portland.

The All-Star point guard wants to contend and play with veteran players; however, the Trail Blazers might go all-in on the youth movement after selecting dynamic guard Scoot Henderson with the No. 3 pick in the 2023 NBA Draft.

Lillard and the Heat have been connected for months and there appears to be light at the end of the tunnel. Will Lillard finally ask out of Portland and force his way to Miami or is his loyalty too strong to leave the only organization he’s ever played for in the NBA?

Read More: Damian Lillard has ‘serious interest’ in joining the Miami Heat this offseason

Miami Heat rumors: Team could explore trading Tyler Herro this offseason

NBA: Playoffs-Miami Heat at Milwaukee Bucks
Apr 16, 2023; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Miami Heat guard Tyler Herro (14) drives to the basket against Milwaukee Bucks forward Khris Middleton (22) in the first half during game one of the 2023 NBA Playoffs at Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports

The Heat became the second team in NBA history to make the NBA Finals as a No. 8 seed; however, those efforts came without young guard Tyler Herro after he broke his shooting hand while diving to the floor in Game 1 against the Milwaukee Bucks.

This has led to speculation that Miami could trade Herro this offseason. The Heat have been linked to Lillard so maybe he could be included in a potential deal that sends him to Portland or a third team in the near future.

Of course, Miami won’t trade Herro if it doesn’t think the value is present. The Heat still remain high on the former Kentucky guard as Pat Riley gave him several praises during his offseason press conference before the NBA Draft.

Heat backed off Bradley Beal due to his contract, tax concerns

Miami Heat rumors
Nov 20, 2021; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal (3) dribbles the ball against Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (22) during the second half at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

The Heat were one of two teams in pursuit of Bradley Beal but they came up short after the Phoenix Suns offered a package with Chris Paul’s contract as the centerpiece. It was surprising as Miami could offer more than Phoenix due to its assets.

However, there were valid reasons behind the organization’s unwillingness to give up more picks and expiring contracts. It has been reported that the Heat were concerned about Beal’s contract as they don’t want to go above the second tax apron.

Miami is looking to make a big move for a third star next to Butler and Bam Adebayo but it has to be the right opportunity. Beal may not have even chosen the Heat but it still illustrates how teams are concerned with the new CBA beginning soon.

Miami Heat have interest in potential trade for Paul George

NBA: Los Angeles Clippers at Miami Heat
Dec 8, 2022; Miami, Florida, USA; LA Clippers guard Paul George (13). controls the ball against Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (22) during the first half at FTX Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Miami is searching for a third star and the NBA offseason represents the best time to make it happen as the player movement is high-paced. The team has been linked to Beal and Lillard; however, another name has popped up.

According to Five Reasons Sports Network’s Greg Sylvander, the Heat would pursue Los Angles Clippers forward Paul George if he is made available. It was reported on Tuesday that the Clippers are gauging George’s trade value.

In a follow-up response, Sylvander stated the Heat would not “practice patience” and make a real offer for the Clippers forward. This would be a good option for Miami if Lillard does not request a trade out of Portland this summer.

Heat rumors: Damian Lillard remains the team’s top priority this NBA offseason

Nov 7, 2022; Miami, Florida, USA;Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (0) dribbles the ball against the Miami Heat during the first quarter at FTX Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rich Storry-USA TODAY Sports

Following the trade of Beal to the Suns, the NBA world was slightly surprised to not see the former Wizards guard take his talents to South Florida. Well, there might be a reason behind it as the Heat eye a different player.

According to Bleacher Report’s Chris Haynes, Miami is focusing on Lillard as there is a genuine belief that he could finally ask out of Portland. The Heat have been linked to the Trail Blazers guard for sometime and would be among his top options.

Related: NBA games today

It’s unclear if Lillard will ask out of Portland but it will likely depend on what the organization does with the No. 3 pick in the 2023 NBA Draft. Will the Trail Blazers move the pick for a veteran or will Lillard be requesting a trade sooner rather than later?

Miami Heat draft picks 2023

  • Round 1: 18th overall (G Jaime Jaquez Jr. (UCLA)

Miami Heat free agents 2023

Here is a rundown of the Heat’s free agents and cap space this summer.

  • Gabe Vincent – Unrestricted free agent, bird
  • Max Strus Unrestricted free agent, bird
  • Kevin Love – Unrestricted free agent, non-bird
  • Cody Zeller – Unrestricted free agent, non-bird

How much cap space do the Heat have in 2023?

The Miami Heat have -$64.561 million in projected cap space, per Spotrac.com.