The Miami Heat have a 1-2 record to start the 2022-2023 season, with all three of their games thus far being at home. One of the glaring weaknesses for the team that had just competed in last season’s Eastern Conference Finals is the lack of defensive production at the power forward position.
The team has relied on Max Strus and Duncan Robinson to handle the load at the power forward slot, but the team looks to be losing hope in their defensive powers as reports suggest the Heat are looking at trade suitors.
“Kyle Kuzma and Taj Gibson aren’t the only potential moves that the Heat have been linked to recently,” according to Heavy.com’s Thomas Darro. “Link them to PJ Washington from the Charlotte Hornets, as well as finalizing a reunion between Crowder and the Heat. But another has been Bojan Bogdanovic from the Detroit Pistons and Lauri Markkanen from the Utah Jazz.”
Kuzma of the Washington Wizards is off to a fantastic start to the young season as he’s averaging 19.7 points, 7.0 rebounds, 1.3 blocks, and a staggering shooting at 46.5 percent from the field and 40.0 percent from beyond the arc. His size and length could turn him into a problem under the talented Heat coaching staff, but Heat President Pat Riley always keeps the door open to other options.
Washington is a restricted free agent this upcoming off-season due to the inability to negotiate a contract extension. The Hornets may be focused on providing their star point guard LaMelo Ball an enormous deal for the 2024 season, leaving little cap space to work for Washington.
The Heat wouldn’t mind one-year rentals, especially when there’s a lot of talent that needs to be proven out of the group. The 24-year-old would add the floor spacing, agility, and defensive intangibles that much up well against star rivals like Jaylen Brown, Khris Middleton and Demar Derozan.
Finally, the reunion Heat fans would welcome with open arms. Not too long ago, Phoenix Suns’ Jae Crowder was part of the resilient 2020 Heat squad that, as a 5th seed, went six games against the eventual champion Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals. The chemistry on display, both offensive and defensively, is in no way bound to be lost in just the two seasons apart.
With this possibly being his 10th straight playoff appearance, a reunion with the Heat opens the door to a final run at a championship.