As we head into mid-July, the Kevin Durant saga continues to drag on with no imminent solution in sight.
He hasn’t backed off asking to be traded from the Brooklyn Nets, and it seems the Nets haven’t yet engaged in any serious trade talks with anyone.
One of the teams rumored to be hot for Durant is the Miami Heat, a team that has reached the Eastern Conference Finals twice and the NBA Finals once in the last three years.
They’re always able to compete hard and have a shot when healthy, but their lack of offensive firepower has prevented them from getting over the hump.
Miami has done a great job of developing unheralded young players, especially those who went undrafted, giving it some interesting assets for a potential Durant deal.
But it has a few men it shouldn’t give up for him, as doing so would give Miami a roster that wouldn’t quite be good enough to go all the way.
After five seasons in the NBA, Bam Adebayo has developed into a borderline All-Star who can not only score, but also defend, hit the open man, and even handle the ball.
He averaged 19.1 points, 10.1 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 1.4 steals and 0.8 blocked shots this past season while shooting 55.7 percent from the field.
The 6-foot-9 big man is seemingly always a candidate for the Defensive Player of the Year award.
Exhibit A why Bam Adebayo is a monster on the switch pic.twitter.com/bPp7gdLKFp
— Kevin O'Connor (@KevinOConnorNBA) May 5, 2022
Just days away from his 25th birthday, Adebayo can still get better, especially when it comes to adding a respectable perimeter shot out to the 3-point line.
Kyle Lowry may be 36 years of age and starting to slowly decline, but he has the ability to be a glue guy for the Heat.
He was hampered by injury in the playoffs, which was one factor in the team falling narrowly to the Boston Celtics in the conference finals in seven games.
Miami has a lack of other legitimate ball-handling, playmaking guards, and replacing even some of what Lowry provides would be a very difficult task.
Kyle Lowry over 7’6 Tacko Fall!
— Harris✱ (@RaptorsHarris) June 30, 2022
The Philadelphia native averaged 13.4 points and 7.5 assists a game in 2022, and he is a reliable 3-point shooter who made 37.7 percent of his treys this past season.
Although he may not be what he used to be in this department, Lowry is still considered an able defender, and he registered a defensive box plus/minus of 0.8 for the 2021-22 campaign.
Robinson started 68 of 79 contests in 2022, and although his 3-point shooting efficiency dropped a bit, he still made a very solid 37.2 percent of his attempts from downtown.
One of Miami’s big strengths is its 3-point shooting – it shot a league-best 37.9 percent from beyond the arc this past season.
It would not be a good idea for it to lose one of the biggest reasons why it was the NBA’s most accurate 3-point shooting team.