I’ve long thought that Giannis Antetokounmpo would be a member of the Miami Heat after next season. The Heat are my Giannis favorites, for a vast amount of reasons.
Shooting + Spacing
The Heat have an amazing plethora of young shooting snipers who can completely take all of the defenses attention and center it on them. Duncan Robinson is practically a 3 pointer or bust, and Tyler Herro has proven in these playoffs he can do it all offensively, led by an amazing 3 point shot, phenomenal shot creation, and remarkable playmaking. Don’t forget shooting bigs Kelly Olynyk and Meyers Leonard, as well as Jae Crowder. Goran Dragic has looked like an All-Star this postseason, and Jimmy Butler’s offensive game expands once the playoffs start.
Coaching + Versatility
Let’s be honest, Mike Budenholzer is a great *regular season* coach. However, he just does seem to care to adjust to what teams are doing in the playoffs. He practically lives and dies by the 3, similar to Mike D’Antoni, just in a totally different fashion. Erik Spoelstra has always been one of the best coaches in the NBA, and his ability to adjust on the fly, as well as his creativenes defensively, has made him one of the best coaches in the league. He’s a truly great coach, and in he can coach at his best when it matters most.
Leadership + Team Culture/Fit
This Miami team spreads the wealth so well offensively, very few probably know that Goran Dragic is their leading scorer this postseason. Everyone shoots, everyone passes, and everyone is tough as nails, and willing to play on both sides of the ball. This accountability factor, as well general system would be perfect for Giannis, and he would thrive even more. The ability of Jimmy Butler to elevate his teammates has been seen for years now. The Bulls and Timberwolves last made playoff appearances with Jimmy Butler, the Sixers best playoff run since Allen Iverson was with Jimmy Butler, and the Miami Heat are in the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since 2014, with Jimmy Butler.
Free Agent Market
Florida is a rather attractive destination, I would say. Players don’t have to worry about taxes, and Miami is a really good team in the Eastern Conference. That’s an easy win-win for any player that fits the Miami culture. Giannis and Jimmy could essentially recruit anyone, and they’d likely listen. Another player I’ve linked to Miami is Victor Oladipo. He reportedly turned down an extension that was worth 4 years, $80 million prior to his injury, and now there’s likely no chance Indiana offers that contract again. Look for Dipo to be on the move, and possibly end up in Miami, where I think he would fit in tremendously well.
Next offseason will be a really entertaining one to see, and I’m thrilled to see where the big names are heading next!
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