In the 2014 NBA final the Miami Heat were dominated. The Heat were beat by an average of 14 points a game. The Heat were out rebounded in every game except the one they won. Miami was also out blocked in every game except the game they won. In the series the Heat had 6 fewer blocks than the Spurs.
Since Miami will likely re-sign the big three or the big three will opt into the final years of their contract, cap space will be scarce. That will likely mean expensive star Centers will be off the radar.
Fortunately for the Heat, the Portland Trail Blazers have an inexpensive big man, Robin Lopez. Lopez will be on the last year of his contract and will likely leave Portland in next year’s free agency.
Lopez is an adequate scorer, averaging over 11 points a game while connecting on over 55% of his field goal attempts and shooting nearly 82% from the free throw line last season. The most important parts of Lopez’s stat line are his 8.5 rebounds and near 2 blocks a game last season.
Miami is deficient in trade resources. Three players, Udonis Haslem, Norris Cole and bench warmer, Justin Hamilton, are under contract for next season. The Heat only have two pieces of valuable trade bait, the number 26 and 55 draft picks in the upcoming draft. The Heat are pursuing a fifth consecutive final appearance and do not have a large enough window of opportunity to develop a late first round draft pick. To make the best use of cap space Miami will trade their picks for an immediate contributor.
In July 2013 when Portland traded for Lopez, they acquired Robin Lopez and Terrel Harris for two second round draft picks. If Miami could acquire Lopez for their first round pick and cash considerations, that would significantly improve their roster while only adding $6.1 million to the team’s salary.
Robin Lopez is young and could use some help becoming a complete player, but he already has some skills which will drastically improve the center position in Miami.
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