The Miami Heat can be conservative this offseason after an improbable run…or they could make a superstar splash.
Miami has made the conference finals in three of the last four years and advanced to the Finals twice during that span. The team-building strategy of obtaining veteran stars who buy into the team’s hard-working ethos and developing unheralded, undrafted players has been an unqualified success that every team would love to emulate. On the other hand, the Heat finished 44-38 with a negative point differential during the regular season, nearly losing in the play-in tournament to boot.
It begs the question: Should the Heat approach the offseason like a mediocre regular season team or as an NBA finalist?
The franchise’s four core players are under contract for a while. Jimmy Butler has two more seasons on his deal and a player option in 2025-26. Bam Adebayo has three years and $104.5 million guaranteed remaining on a deal that should only look better over time. Tyler Herro has four years and $120 million left as someone whose role will only grow, while Duncan Robinson has two more guaranteed years at just under $38 million before a player option.
But Miami has a good amount of work to do this summer on the margins. Max Strus and Gabe Vincent were essential to the Heat playoff run and are both unrestricted free agents who will make exponentially more than the $1.815 million they each made this past season. What if Miami has to choose between the two?
Udonis Haslem will finally ride off into the sunset, but Miami should try to keep Kevin Love after a season that made him perhaps the most successful player obtained in the buyout market. Cody Zeller is out of contract as well after getting significant run in the playoffs as a backup big. Will Kyle Lowry‘s one year and $29.6 million be in play if the Heat want to lower their $171.2 million in guaranteed contracts for next season?
Miami could justifiably run it back and say it wants to continue this magical playoff momentum. But the Heat are not ones to rest on their laurels, always looking to make a big swing for a star player. Aside from a first-round pick owed to Oklahoma City in either 2025 or 2026, Miami controls all its first rounders and could use it on a big swing trade for a superstar like Damian Lillard. Perhaps they somehow even get in on the big game free agency hunt with someone like Fred VanVleet or even Kyrie Irving.
Regardless, it seems like the Heat aren’t satisfied with their roster and will look to improve in a major way heading into next season. It’ll be fascinating to see how different Miami looks next season after one of the most improbably odd seasons in recent memory.
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