The Heat are in the process of overhauling their roster, looking for young and athletic players, and it appears that a veteran NBA player wants in.
According to the Miami Herald, Sacramento Kings forward Rudy Gay has expressed interest in joining the Miami Heat via trade. Gay and the Kings have had a turbulent relationship during his three years with the team, and there is plenty of speculation that the Kings have been looking to trade Gay.
The 29-year-old is a career 45 percent shooter, including a respectable 34 percent from beyond the arc, while averaging 18.4 points and 5.9 rebounds per game. Last season, Gay averaged 17.2 points per contest and rebounded above his career average, grabbing 6.5 boards per game.
While Gay would certainly add a talented scorer and established veteran to the roster, swinging a trade for the forward will be tough for Miami. The Heat made several additions this offseason, and any player signed this month cannot be traded until December, leaving the Heat with only a few assets to work with.
Beyond that, Gay is set to make $13.3 million this season and also holds a $14.2 million player option for next year. That means that if the Heat were to trade for Gay, they would need to send a package of considerable salaries to Sacramento.
According to CBS Sports, possible trade packages that the Heat could craft include a one-for-one trade of Chris Bosh, Hassan Whiteside or Goran Dragic, and the Heat likely aren’t inclined to trade any of those three. The Heat could also offer a package of Josh McRoberts, Udonis Haslem and Josh Richardson, but that is a price tag that seems too steep for the Heat to consider.
Miami’s best bet may be to allow Gay to play out his contract with the Kings and pursue the forward in free agency.
The Heat decided to give Hassan Whiteside a max contract this summer.
Many questioned whether Miami would make that type of investment in the 27-year-old center, but Heat president Pat Riley believes Whiteside’s four-year, $98 million contract is a good deal for both sides. Considering the explosion of dollars in the NBA’s free-agent market this summer, Riley may be right if Whiteside’s upward trajectory continues. Continue reading “Pat Riley: Hassan Whiteside ‘worth the investment’ of max contract”
The Heat invested a lot of money in center Hassan Whiteside this offseason. $98 million over the next four years, to be exact.
That investment looks a little smarter Wednesday after the NBA approved a few rule changes to limit the “Hack-a-Shaq” strategy. Whiteside has been the subject of the “Hack-a-Shaq” tactic at times, as he’s a 59.8 percent free-throw shooter for his NBA career but improved to make 75 percent of his free throws after the All-Star break last season. Continue reading “NBA approves rule changes to limit ‘Hack-a-Shaq’ strategy”
You have to admire his enthusiasm. Huell, a freshman forward for the University of Miami men’s basketball team, is a highly rated recruit but hasn’t played in a game yet, so his comments are a tad premature. They were borne of respect, given that Huell is one of countless Miami natives who grew up loving Wade.
Now that Wade has left town, who is the most important local athlete, the face of South Florida sports? Scouring the major sports teams for potential candidates:
The Heat’s rise coincided with a long dry spell for the area’s bedrock franchise. The Fins haven’t won a Super Bowl in nearly two generations (1973), and scored their last playoff win when Wade was a freshman at Marquette (2000). They’ve made the playoffs once since then. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill might be South Florida’s leading man if he proves capable of leading his team to a few successful seasons; local opinion varies, to say the least, on whether he has the goods to do that. With a $96 million contract extension, he’ll get at least two more years to sort things out. If the Fins develop one of the NFL’s feared defenses, perhaps defensive end Cameron Wake or tackle Ndamukong Suh will capture the area’s attention.
Though the Marlins haven’t been very good either, they employ two of the must-watch athletes in town. Outfielder Giancarlo Stanton and right-hander Jose Fernandez produce highlight-reel moments on the regular. Stanton’s mammoth homers and Fernandez’ video-game stuff get gobbled up on social media. They are two of the franchise’s best ever, but Marlins Park is rarely the hot place to be. Distrust in the team’s ownership is one of the reasons for this, as is a playoff resume that includes two World Series titles (1997 and 2003), two subsequent fire sales, and nothing more. The Marlins, 2.5 games behind in the NL Wild Card race, need a hot second half to make anyone forget about Wade’s painful exit.
If only the Dolphins had a Brad Kaaya. UM’s junior quarterback, who might be a first-round NFL draft pick if he decides to leave after this season, has helped keep the Hurricanes afloat in his three seasons. He is one of college football’s best passers, but UM hasn’t been nationally relevant in more than a decade. Miami used to be a Canes town, so if Kaaya and new coach Mark Richt can break a long stretch of local malaise and bring the program back to elite status, they’ll be the talk of the town. Men’s basketball coach Jim Larranagahas done a wonderful job, reaching the Sweet 16 twice in four seasons, but ‘The U’ was built on football success.
Coincidentally, the team held a press conference to discuss an eight-year contract extension for young star defenseman Aaron Ekblad on Thursday, while South Florida was still reeling from the Wade news. Ekblad and forward Aleksander Barkov will be with the franchise long-term, so they will build up a new generation of followers if the Cats keep winning. Elder statesmen Jaromir Jagr and Roberto Luongo are more recognizable to the average fan, but the veterans won’t be around as long.
Maybe it’s up to you, Hassan Whiteside. The 7-footer, who seemed surprised to learn of the Wade news, agreed to a max contract last week that will keep him in Miami for the next four years. He will enter next season as arguably the Heat’s most popular player. If he continues producing at a high level, there’s no reason he couldn’t be the most beloved guy in town. If Chris Bosh returns to form, that title could go to the affable forward, the last surviving member of the Big Three. Maybe a new star in town, acquired by the Heat during its rebuild, could capture the hearts of fans.