Let me begin by saying I'm a big KOC guy. Ever since his days back when he wrote for CelticsBlog, there is no doubt at this point he's fairly plugged in. While this idea of Miami being a free agent destination isn't all that new, we have heard about them being after Giannis and Oladipo before, this is a little different in my opinion. This isn't just Twitter speculation. If there are apparently league executives that thing the Heat might be the best destination for a star, there's probably a lot of truth to that.
And frankly, why wouldn't they be? No state income tax, beautiful weather, even more beautiful women, a top tier night life, one of the best coaches in the league, great ownership, a legit roster, what more could a star want? Now that Jimmy Butler has asserted himself as someone that can absolutely lead you on a deep playoff run, Bam turning into the best big in the East and good young shooters? Sure it may sting if they lose this title, but this playoff run for the Heat has without a doubt helped them long term.
The question now becomes, who is going to be the star with the wandering eye? As of now, Heat fans are begging for it to be Giannis, but I'm still not sold on him not signing his supermax. We know Oladipo might be on the way out in IND, but that would have to be a trade. So who would qualify of being a star while also maybe hating their current situation?
If you're going to dream big, you may as well go all the way to the top. If Giannis stays in MIL, and the Clippers have another underachieving season, would it shock anyone if Kawhi looked around? I mean that team went all in for this group, Kawhi has a player option after next season, and if the Heat don't spend their cap space on Giannis they could easily make that work.
Remember Blake Griffin? He's been exiled in Detroit, but a healthy Blake was putting up MVP caliber production. You don't think he would love a change of scenery? He's another guy that has a 2021 player option. If you're Blake and you have the choice to stay with the Pistons who are at best a 8 seed and in a full rebuild OR you could go to South Beach and be part of what the Heat are building, what are you choosing?
This one is a little more complicated. If Hayward opts out of his player option, you have to think he'd consider the Heat if they were interested. Remember, they were in on Hayward before he signed in Boston, and while he would for sure have to sign for a lower price, there were rumors that Miami was where his wife wanted to go initially. Even if Hayward opts into his player option this offseason and hits the market next offseason, he could be be an option on the wing for the right price.
Does Holiday count as a star? Maybe not, but he's one of the best on ball defenders in the entire league and is big time underrated. He's not a free agent until 2022, he'll be in his low 30s, but can you imagine adding that defense to this group? That would be crazy.
Beal has a player option in 2022. Let's say the Heat don't bring in a big time name this offseason or next but continue to be competitive in the East. Why wouldn't Beal at least consider this if the Heat have the space? You can't tell me Bradley Beal doesn't have a wandering eye. How could he not as he wastes away his prime on a team that can't even get into the top 8. How much of that changes with John Wall back, especially if he's not the same guy?
Lavine is another guy who is up in 2022 and is for sure already looking around the league for his next stop. Who knows, maybe he thrives under Billy Donovan and ends up staying in Chicago long term, but he does fit the description of a star-ish level player that could be looking for a new home in the near future. I'm not sure if he fits the Heat culture considering he plays absolutely no defense, but this is also a franchise that gave Kelly Olynyk a shit ton of money and taught him how to defend. Plus, Jimmy Butler would whip him into shape I bet.
If we don't count Giannis, I think the leader in my clubhouse for the next star to maybe find his way to South Beach would be Blake Griffin. That would be one hell of an upgrade at the PF spot from Jae Crowder. It allows you to keep him at the four since Bam is your starting center, now that he shoots threes he can absolutely space the floor, and even though it might be bad for my favorite team, I kind of want to see it. He's on the back 9 of his career for sure, but he's still really fucking good.
Either way, you're kidding yourself if you think this run by the Heat is a one time thing. Between the young talent continuing to get better and the available cap space they will have in the next few years, they have to be as close to a lock to landing another star as any team in the league. Who do you think it could be?