Welcome to part three of my NBA Trade Deadline series; in this article, we will take a look at what moves the Heat made on the busiest trade deadline in NBA history.
I am actually not the biggest fan of this trade. Basically it’s assuming that in 2017 and 2021 they will still be good enough that those picks won’t matter, which is flat out wrong. The top-7 protection for 3 years on the 2017 is a nice condolence, but they aren’t going to be that bad that quickly. Lottery bound? Maybe, but definitely not at the bottom of the NBA, so that one is getting sent out in 2017 for sure.
The lack of protection on the 2021 is going to be ridiculed by then. People will be amazed at it not having at least top-5 protection, because by then they will have a good chance of being really bad; and by really bad, I mean they could be the 2021 version of this years New York Knicks.
By the time they convey those first-rounders, they will be lottery-bound for two reasons. First, Wade will not be 35 and 39 when those picks are owed; with his ongoing knee issues, he’s not going to be a major factor when the first pick is given, and probably not playing in the NBA for the second one. Secondly, the East is getting better overall, and they won’t be able to sleep walk their way to the 7th or 8th seed like they can now. Celtics aren’t in tank mode forever, and Sixes have a chance at actually being competitive by 2021. Bucks, Wizards, and Hawks aren’t slowing down for anyone, and I don’t doubt Phil Jackson being able to rework the Knicks and turn them into a decent franchise in the next couple years. Don’t forget about the Magic are coming in hot with the great young players they’re developing.
Bosh is still going to be solid even in 2021, along with Dragic if they still have him, but unless they can make another major move in the next year or two, they are a team in decline. Not to mention that I’m not entirely sold on Dragic staying after this year, unless the Heat for sure give him an extra fat contract. If another team comes in with a better offer, I don’t see Dragic feeling obliged to stay, even if he made a side deal with Pat Riley before this trade agreeing that he would.
On the other hand, this keeps interest and ticket sales going strong for this season and next, and the ultimate goal of professional sports in the end is to make money. I won’t ever say that Riley can’t wiggle around and get something done, it’s he just gave up quite a bit for a player that isn’t going to be able to keep the team afloat by himself if he doesn’t have a other dominant force on the court with him.
The dream of a deep playoff run this season was cut short after it was announced that Bosh is out for the rest of the season with blood clots in his lungs. I can’t say it was a bad move for their short-term, considering they did it before they knee about Bosh’s health, it just didn’t feel like the slam dunk everyone else is claiming it was, even before that news.
Grade: C. Even if they had Bosh this season, I just am not a fan of a team sacrificing so much of it’s future for a player who doesn’t really move the needle all that much. Goran Dragic isn’t a player you build a franchise around in my opinion, yet they gave up assets like he is. Maybe I’ll be proven wrong and they will be able to make a couple deep playoff runs, but I just see the East getting better much faster then the Heat can keep up.