It's been a quiet week for the Miami Heat with the trade deadline tomorrow. After winning 14 of its last 16 games, it's been widely expected that the team will stand pat at the deadline.
That doesn't mean the team won't try to add pieces to the team. According to HoopsHype's Alex Kennedy, the Heat are among many teams eyeing free agent forward Larry Sanders.
The Los Angeles Lakers, Boston Celtics, Houston Rockets and Miami Heat among others have also shown interest in Sanders, according to sources.
The 6-foot-11 forward last played with Milwaukee during the 2014-15 season and once finished seventh in the Defensive Player of the Year voting. He surprisingly left the game to deal with depression, anxiety, and mood disorders. However, Sanders has made it clear he's ready to return and has been working out for most of the season.
Earlier today, Sanders worked out for the Cleveland Cavaliers, who are looking for depth with Kevin Love sidelined. The Cavs haven't discussed a deal with the forward as of now. Sanders is reportedly considering signing with Cleveland among other suitors.
If he decides to sign with Miami, the Heat must clear a roster spot to add him. They could trade a player by the deadline, waive a player, or wait until March 1st when they medically waive forward Chris Bosh.
In five seasons with the Bucks, Sanders averaged 7.3 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks.
Not too long ago, the Heat were among the bottom feeders in the league. At one point, they were second in the reverse standings behind the league's worst team in the Brooklyn Nets. And were looking at the possibility of drafting Lonzo Ball or Markelle in a deep draft.
Now, things have changed. The team has won 14 of it's last 16 games and are now 2 games out of the playoffs at the All-star break. One guy who's played a big role during the stretch is Dion Waiters, who's currently having a career season. Not only has he provided scoring, he's also finding teammates and playing great defense.
Likely to opt out of his $3 million deal for next season, Dion could command significantly more during this summer's free agency. However, a scout told Miami Herald's Barry Jackson he needs to see more before making any commitment.
“I need to see more,” one scout said. “He's a streaky player, and there’s a track record of him being up and down. He is certainly capable of this, but can he sustain it? I would be surprised based on his first four years. Look at the shooting percentages over the years [41.2 career]. That suggests this won’t continue at this efficiency. Why all of a sudden has he become consistently productive scorer/shooter?
“Everyone was talking up TJ McConnell because he was the starting point guard on [a 76ers] team that won 10 of 17. You can get fooled sometimes. Someone could pay Waiters $14 million a year but that would be a mistake. He will get $10 to $12 million probably. If [Portand’s] Meyers Leonard gets $10 million and [Portland’s] Maurice Harkless gets $10 million [as they did last summer], Waiters is going to get paid at least that. But I’d be shocked if gets more than $14 million."
The Heat are expected to have approximately $40 million in cap space this summer after they medically waive Chris Bosh. And also after Willie Reed and Dion Waiters opt out of their deals as expected. Before committing long-term to Dion Waiters, the team has to see how he looks the rest of the season. If he continues to play like he has during this stretch, the team just might considering bringing him back at the right price---likely around the $10 million range.