After a season-high 10-game win streak, the Miami Heat find themselves in a two game slide and suffered their worst loss of the year to a depleted Chicago Bulls squad. The defending champs were left searching for answers Thursday night in the shadow of a 107-87 beat down.
One answer could be a reliable replacement for Dwyane Wade. The star guard missed a second straight game and fifth of the season with an illness, which Erik Spoelstra described as the flu. Wade missed the game before to rest his sore knees. Spoelstra and Wade both have been straight forward with the media about “Flash” missing a game here or there as a precautionary measure.
Knowing that Wade will miss roughly one in five games this NBA season, the Heat either need to solidify a current roster member as Wade’s backup or invest elsewhere in a solution. Spoelstra has tried numerous combinations in the absence of Wade including trying James Jones, Shane Battier and Ray Allen in the starting lineup. There has been little success when Wade sits as Miami is only 2-3 when he misses a game.
If the Heat lose a couple of game in a row, you know there will be incredible over-analysis and the rumor mill with begin to spin. Wouldn’t you know, Brian Windhorst of ESPN reported that Miami may be looking to trade for more back court help. Windhorst also reported that the Heat would be interested in dealing one of their big men and the leading candidate is Joel Anthony.
This seems to make sense as the champs have a influx of front court players, and Anthony has only played six games this season with minimal success. I also wouldn’t rule out Udonis Haslem or Roger Mason Jr. Haslem has struggled this entire season, playing in 10 games and only averaging three points with two rebounds. Mason Jr. could be dealt, but Miami is really looking to add another guard and not just flip-flop them.
The speculation around Miami’s possible trade interests are new and details remain scarce. There are no reports on who the Heat are interested in or what teams may be involved, but this will be a story that will continue to grow or remain lifeless rumors.