The Miami Heat are still in the unknown with the departure of Dwyane Wade. They are taking the necessary steps to augment the situation and rumors are swirling that they will trade Goran Dragic, Justise Winslow and Josh Richardson together with a first round draft pick in next year’s draft on a package deal to get Russell Westbrook.
The Heat really felt the impact when Wade decided to move to Chicago and play for the Bulls. As they try to rebuild the team with Hassan Whiteside as the cornerstone and with the uncertainty of Chris Bosh to return to the active roster, the Heat might as well gamble in making the pitch acquire Westbrook from the Oklahoma City Thunder.
KD says he talked to W’Brook: “obviously, it’s tough…I’m sure he wasn’t happy about the decision, but he respected it as my friend."
— David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) July 7, 2016
To make the trade, the Heat must first force Bosh to retire to make room in their cap for Westbrook. Aside from having Bosh retire, the Heat’s central piece in the trade would be Dragic, who brings in a performance average of 14.1 points, 5.8 assists and 3.8 rebounds per game. The 30-year old point guard could also provide the Thunder the stability that they are also looking as they move on and rebuild their team as well.
For Justise Winslow, the incoming sophomore could be developed further in the small forward position as he has been averaging 6.4 points, 1.5 assists and 5.2 rebounds per game. He could very well help Steven Adams and Nick Collison in the defending the shaded area. Winslow could learn and enhance his skills with then under the guidance of coach Billy Donovan.
Adding spice to the Heat’s proposal would be shooting guard Josh Richardson as the 22-year old out of the University of Tennessee could also bring in a versatility. He could come off the bench and with a contribution of 6.6 points, 1.4 assists and 2.1 rebounds per game, he could as well provide the needed breather to a team’s starting unit.
Finishing off the package for the trade would be the Heat’s first round pick in next year’s draft. With Dragic, Winslow, and Richardson, the Heat could very well sound enticing for a trade talk as well as other teams that are pursuing to get Westbrook. The Heat would of course still extend an open dialogue with Bosh to determine if he would be able to play again or start his paper works for his inclusion in the NBA’s Hall of Fame roster.
The Heat is facing a great unknown going into the next season. They have re-signed Whiteside and after failing to re-acquire the services of Luol Deng, the Heat is faced with a bigger dilemma of how the team will perform in next season. Making the trade talks with the Thunder would seem as the one of the opportunity to rebuild themselves. Adi Joseph of Sporting News suggested the Thunder should trade him before he leaves at the end of the 2016-17 season.
“Russell Westbrook needs to go next. The Thunder can’t let him walk away next offseason as a free agent like they did with Durant. The situations are very different, of course; Oklahoma City had plenty of reason to think Durant would return, especially after an impressive postseason run. The Thunder have no reason to think Westbrook would stay,” Joseph stated.
While the Thunder still would listen to offers, the Heat deal could sound appealing as they too take that long road to rebuilding after Kevin Durant decided to sign with the Golden State Warriors. They are also putting their thinking caps on as they try to solve on how to address the issue with Westbrook, who is very vocal about rejecting any re-negotiations with his contract and wanting to be a free agent next year.
Perhaps listening to the Heat offer would not be bad for the Thunder as they would want to get something in return if they trade Westbrook and losing him next year with nothing to gain at all.