Heat’s Pursuit of Zach LaVine: Exploring Three Blockbuster Trades

November 15, 2023

The Miami Heat are reportedly eyeing a potential blockbuster trade for Chicago Bulls All-Star guard Zach LaVine, and several scenarios are being explored. Here are three proposed deals that could send LaVine to Miami.

Reunion with Raptors Duo

The Heat are looking to offer the Bulls a combination of payroll savings and promising young players. In this scenario, Miami sends out Kyle Lowry’s expiring $29.6 million contract, reuniting him with long-time Toronto Raptors teammate DeMar DeRozan. The Bulls also acquired Caleb Martin and Nikola Jovic in the deal, providing them with defensive prowess and young talent.

The addition of Martin enhances the Bulls’ defensive capabilities, forming a formidable duo with guard Alex Caruso. This move shifts Chicago’s focus from offense to defense, creating a more balanced roster. While the Heat part ways with Tyler Herro, the acquisition of LaVine and Caruso bolsters their defensive lineup, complementing the skills of Jimmy Butler, Haywood Highsmith, and Bam Adebayo.

Backcourt Upgrade with Draft Picks

In this draft-pick-centric deal, the Heat sent out Kyle Lowry’s expiring contract and improved shooter Duncan Robinson to acquire LaVine and Jevon Carter. The proposed trade involves giving up first-round picks in 2028 and 2030, a risky move that underscores Miami’s commitment to building a championship-caliber team.

The potential backcourt partnership of LaVine and Tyler Herro adds a sharp-shooting dynamic to the Heat’s offense, providing more space for Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo. A reliable point guard, Carter adds depth and defensive options off the bench for Heat coach Erik Spoelstra.

Despite the risk of relinquishing future draft picks, the Heat believe a starting lineup featuring Herro, LaVine, Butler, Highsmith, and Adebayo could compete at the highest level in the Eastern Conference.

Strategic Swapping of Backcourts

Miami is considering a strategic swap of backcourts, trading the younger, more affordable Tyler Herro and Kyle Lowry’s expiring contract for LaVine and Alex Caruso. While parting with Herro is difficult, LaVine’s scoring ability and experience alongside ball-dominant players make him a valuable addition to the Heat’s roster.

Caruso, an all-NBA defender, replaces Lowry and contributes to a lineup featuring elite defenders in Butler, Highsmith, and Adebayo. This move enhances Miami’s defensive capabilities while maintaining a solid offensive presence.

Despite LaVine’s higher salary, the Heat believe he can seamlessly integrate into their system, providing scoring and floor-spacing alongside Butler and Adebayo.

These proposed trades showcase the Heat’s willingness to explore various avenues to bring Zach LaVine to Miami, strengthen their roster, and maximize their championship window. Each scenario presents unique benefits and considerations, highlighting the complex decisions in pursuing a high-profile trade.