The Miami Heat have shocked a few people with their impressive performances in the NBA Playoffs this season, and they required only 5 games to knock out the favorites to win the East - the Milwaukee Bucks. As a result, various NBA trade rumors have been centered around the Heat.
The Heat have a deep roster filled with both young talents and wise veterans who complement each other perfectly, allowing the team to perform much better than one would normally expect. Numerous NBA trade rumors have suggested arrivals that further strengthen the roster over the upcoming off-season, but the Miami Heat need to focus on their outgoings first.
Re-signing Goran Dragic is said to be the priority for the Miami Heat heading into the off-season, and rightly so. Kelly Olynyk has a player option of around $12.5 million that he will most likely exercise. Jae Crowder, their starting power forward, could well be departing the franchise at the end of the season. If they fail to re-sign him in free agency, a replacement must be identified.
NBA Trade Rumors: Miami Heat would have another serious offensive threat in Bojan Bogdanovic
Since joining the Miami Heat midway through the 2019-20 season, Jae Crowder has been like a breath of fresh air. The vastly experienced forward has averaged 11.9 points with incredible 44.5% shooting from outside the arc to give the Heat some much needed floor spacing.
He performed better than the two players coach Erik Spoelstra had tried out at the 4 prior to his arrival - Derrick Jones Jr. and Meyers Leonard. Jae Crowder is now an integral part of the squad, starting for his team at the power forward spot and playing around 30 minutes a night in the NBA Playoffs.
However, Jae Crowder's fantastic performances means that the 30-year-old has upped his value tremendously heading into the 2020 free agency market. There is a good possibility that he receives offers larger than what the Miami Heat are capable of paying him, and might end up changing teams come the end of this season.
In such a scenario, the Miami Heat would need to find an able replacement to fill the vacancy at power forward.
Bojan Bogdanovic career stats
Career points per game - 14.2
Career assists per game - 1.5
Career rebounds per game - 3.5
Career field goal % - 46.0%
Career 3pt % - 39.4%
One excellent candidate is former Indiana Pacers forward Bojan Bogdanovic. Since joining the Utah Jazz at the beginning of this season, the 6'8" Croat has played some sensational basketball, recording a career high 20.2 points per game.
He has been one of the most efficient volume shooters in the league over the past few years. He attempted as many as 7.3 threes a game this season - a lot more than the 4.8 from the previous season - and still knocked them down 41.4% of the times.
Bogdanovic is taller than Jae Crowder by a couple of inches, and yet, his perimeter defense is not quite up there with the former Boston Celtics man. Regardless, he more than makes up for it at the other end.
Bogdanovic isn't as athletic as Crowder either, but the 31-year-old is laterally quicker than he looks. He can certainly put his arms up to contest a shot, but there is no denying that the Miami Heat will be taking a bit of a hit on defense if they trade for Bogdanovic.
NBA Trade Rumors: How can the Miami Heat work out a deal to bring Bojan Bogdanovic?
Interestingly, Bojan Bogdanovic was picked by the Miami Heat in the 2011 NBA draft before he was traded away on that very night. It'd be quite a story if he were to finally don the Miami Heat jersey. For that, Pat Riley will have to let go of former Finals MVP Andre Iguodala to balance the books.
Of course, the Utah Jazz will not be content with that, which is why the Miami Heat might have to let go of sharpshooting rookie Tyler Herro as well. If the Miami Heat can pull off this trade, they will have a stretch four who can shoot as good as any other power forward in the NBA.
While they will be losing Jae Crowder's elite defense, they can bank on Bojan Bogdanovic to more than balance that with his versatile scoring.
Published 16 Sep 2020, 05:00 IST