The Miami Heat have reached the end of the road this season and it’s time to do some reflecting.
Things could have gone differently for the Heat had the organization decided to go in a different direction at the NBA trade deadline. Had they been willing to move Tyler Herro, by all accounts, the Toronto Raptors would have happily sent Kyle Lowry to Miami in a deal that likely including Goran Dragic and Duncan Robinson.
It’s been a head-scratching past few months for the Raptors who opted to hold onto Lowry at the deadline. Instead of moving him for a lackluster package from either Miami, Philadelphia, or the Los Angeles Lakers, Toronto kept Lowry and rested him for all but nine of the team’s final 34 games. It wasn’t a good look for the Raptors and now it looks like the Heat might have made a mistake as well.
Herro, the “sticking point” in any trade talks, averaged 9.3 points on 31.6% shooting in Miami’s four playoff games. In the first game, Herro didn’t even touch the court in crunch time, sitting for the final six minutes of regulation and the entire overtime period.
While Dragic did play well in the series and would have been involved in the trade for salary purposes, it’s unlikely the Heat would have even been in the series against Milwaukee had they made the deal for Lowry. Miami fell just one game out of the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference and held the tie-breaker over New York had the teams finished the season tied. That would have given Miami a much easier route to the second round either through New York, had Miami topped the Atlanta Hawks on April 23, or through Atlanta, had the Heat won one more game.
Instead of making the deal with Toronto, Miami made a last-minute trade for Victor Oladipo who played in four games for the Heat before going down with season-ending surgery. The rest, as they said, is history.
Even with Lowry, the Heat likely wouldn’t have gone all the way this season, but he certainly could have helped them avoid the Bucks and make a deeper run in this year’s playoffs.