On Wednesday the Miami Heat were involved in a three-team trade with the Boston Celtics and Golden State Warriors. The only team that improved their roster in the trade was the Warriors, who acquired Jordan Crawford and Marshon Brooks from the Celtics. After losing Jarrett Jack in the offseason, the Warriors have struggled with depth behind Stephen Curry on the bench and Crawford provides that. All the Warriors sent away was Toney Douglas who ended up in Miami as the Heat traded the seldom used center Joel Anthony and two draft picks to Boston.
The Celtics traded away a rotation player in Crawford, who was about to lose playing time with the return of Rajon Rondo. They did take on the contract of Anthony, who probably won’t play too often for Boston, but it allowed the Celtics to continue their rebuilding by getting two draft picks. Anthony, who is signed through next year at 3.8 million annually, was costing the Heat much more than that because of the luxury tax penalties. For someone that doesn’t play, his cost was too much to keep him on the roster with all the moves that need to be made this upcoming offseason.
For the Heat, they have been searching for another guard to take the place of Dwyane Wade when he is sitting out. They would also like to give Ray Allen a few more nights off to preserve him for the postseason. Douglas could be that player, but it is hard to imagine him as anything other than the next player cut. They currently have Roger Mason Jr. on the team, who plays a very similar game to Douglas. Mason has been the third point guard and third shooting guard on the roster and Douglas doesn’t provide a major upgrade over him.
Miami doesn’t have very much flexibility when it comes to making a trade, but Douglas could be a piece to a team looking to get rid of a contract. Miami could use Douglas in a package deal with Udonis Haslem or James Jones to upgrade either guard position or center.
The most likely scenario is that Miami will hold onto Douglas until they find a free agent they want. Many thing Andrew Bynum is that player, but if Miami hasn’t signed him yet, they are not likely to change their mind unless someone gets hurt. While Bynum used to be an all star, he has the second-worst shooting percentage out of all starting centers in the NBA and is in the bottom third in rebounding. A player that is likely to be cut is Emeka Okafor, who doesn’t fit in with what the Phoenix Suns are doing. He could be a player the Heat looks for, but I believe they are waiting for a guard to be cut after the trade deadline.
Recently, Miami has been able to get Erick Dampier, Chris Andersen, Mike Bibby and Ronny Turiaf late in the season. Both Turiaf and Andersen played big roles in winning championships and Miami is probably just waiting for the right piece. Someone like Luke Ridnour, Brandon Rush and Caron Butler that are on losing teams might be appropriate. Free agents at the end of the year could be available late in the season, as well. So while Douglas may be on the team for a few weeks, it is unlikely he will contribute at all or be on the team when the playoffs begin.