Report: Heat active in trade talks, could target an All-Star

By Vincent Frank

The Miami Heat entered Sunday’s action with a 28-21 record and as a top-four seed back east. Their success under head coach Erik Spoelstra this season has been somewhat surprising given that Dion Waiters has played in just 30 games and is out for the remainder of the year. In addition to that, Hassan Whiteside has missed 18 games to injury himself.

Despite this, the Heat find themselves as a legit second-tier contender back east behind the likes of Boston, Toronto an Cleveland.

Now, with the trade deadline quickly approaching, it seems as if Miami is active on talks and looking to add an All-Star caliber player to the mix.

“If the Heat is playing well just before the Feb. 8 trade deadline, Miami would look to make a trade only if an All-Star talent becomes available,” Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reported. “But we’re told Miami would be more active in trade talks if it’s playing poorly before the trade deadline.”

Charlotte Hornets guard Kemba Walker is said to be available in a trade. But as Jackson notes, he doesn’t seem to be much of a fit with Goran Dragic running Miami’s offense.

The Heat themselves are behind the proverbial eight-ball here. Their first-round pick in this year’s draft will go to Phoenix as part of the Dragic trade a couple seasons back. The team also doesn’t have a second-round pick.

This means president Pat Riley and Co. would have to use a combination of expiring contracts and trade exceptions to make something work.

We do know that the Eastern Conference is much more wide open than in previous years with Cleveland struggling big time as of late. That should lead to a more active trade deadline. Whether this means Miami will find a way to add an All-Star caliber player remains to be seen.