Which Heat players became trade eligible on December 15?

Miami Heat
Thomas Bryant is one of the four Heat players who became trade eligible Friday. (Photo: Rich Storry-USA TODAY Sports)

On the NBA calendar, the December 15th date rings a bell for fans: Trade season has now arrived!

On Dec. 15, (most of the) players who signed last offseason become eligible to be traded. This year, 81 total players earned such eligibility, including four Heat players–all of whom are on minimum contracts.

That does not mean each player will be traded ahead of the Feb. 8 trade deadline, but the Heat now have that option if they want to explore that route.

Let’s dive into which four players those are!

Thomas Bryant, C

  • Contract: Two-year, $5.4 million
  • 2023-24 Salary: $2.53 million

Bryant signed with the Heat on the first full day of free agency to replace Cody Zeller, who ended up signing with the New Orleans Pelicans.

Bryant, 26, has been out of the Heat rotation for a chunk of the season due to his lack of defensive prowess, but was recently re-inserted in the rotation amid Bam Adebayo’s hip injury. He had 11 points and collected nine rebounds–six offensive–in the Heat’s 115-104 win over the Charlotte Hornets Wednesday.

For the season, Bryant’s averaging 5.2 points and 3.9 rebounds in 16 games on 54.0 percent shooting and 58.5 percent true shooting. His 10.8 percent offensive rebounding percentage is a team-high, 1.1 percentage points higher than Orlando Robinson (more on him later) and 3.8 percent above Adebayo.

Kevin Love, F/C

  • Contract: Two-year, $7.9 million
  • 2023-24 Salary: $3.84 million

Love, who signed with the Heat on a buyout in mid-February, re-upped with the Heat on a two-year, $7.9 million minimum this offseason.

Love has been Miami’s most productive backup 5 this season, averaging 8.9 points, 6.7 rebounds and 2.5 assists on 40.5 percent shooting, including 34.0 percent from 3-point range and 82.1 percent from the free-throw line.

Since Adebayo’s absence, the 35-year-old has averaged 12.3 points and 6.3 boards in 20.8 minutes, shooting 38.5 percent from 3-point range on a steady 6.5 triple tries per game.

Josh Richardson, G/F

  • Contract: Two-year, $5.9 million
  • 2023-24 Salary: $2.81 million

Richardson has missed the last two games due to injury, but has re-integrated himself well into the Heat system after a slow start to the 2023-24 season.

Richardson, 30, gambled on himself this offseason, passing on better deals from the Minnesota Timberwolves and Boston Celtics to join the team he got drafted by and once called home from 2015-19 on the minimum.

He’s averaging 10.3 points, 2.7 rebounds and 3.1 assists on 44.4 percent shooting with a 31.4 3-point percentage. Though Richardson’s knocked down 38.5 percent of his catch-and-shoot triples (4.3 3PA) over his last nine games. He’s also done a much better job getting to his spots inside the arc and chasing guards around the perimeter defensively.

Orlando Robinson, C

  • Contract: Two-year, $3.9 million (partially guaranteed)
  • 2023-24 Salary: $1.80 million (partially guaranteed)

Robinson’s the only Heat player on this list with a partially guaranteed deal. $425K of his contract was guaranteed on Opening Night, $850K was guaranteed on Dec. 2 and his $1.8M will become fully guaranteed on Jan. 10.

Robinson’s flashed more floor spacing capabilities than he did last year. He’s averaging 7.0 points and 5.1 rebounds, starting the last six games in lieu of Adebayo’s injury. The second-year big is knocking down 54.5 percent of his shots and is 7-of-10 from 3-point range in 198 total minutes (11 games).

“He makes you absolutely respect his fortitude and his grit,” Spoelstra said of Robinson’s game earlier this month, according to Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald. “He is relentless with his work, with his approach, with his commitment to earn trust from everybody and he does it with a competitive spirit. He gets better each month. He goes to school on everything. If he makes a mistake in any kind of game, he gets to work with the film, with [Heat assistant coach] Malik [Allen] and then he wants to drill it 10,000 times, which is what we love.”

Do you think the Heat will or should trade any of these four players ahead of the trade deadline? Let us know in the comments!

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SunManFromDogBone

Robinson, Richardson and Love are good to hold on to. Bryant is a good filler in the event of a trade.

vagibugi

Those players are the testament of the heat culture and excellency of Heat front office. Two cheap vets in Love and JRich, which can fix the holes and provides some boost from time to time, one G league product in Robinson, and an interesting player on cheap contract, a low risk acquirement, which could pay big dividends or be a bust with no big consequences.

We wont get any better by swapping them for others of their kind, but if something bigger comes along, none of them should be safe.

Alien

The Heat need not to think of and worry about mismatches against the likes of Jokic (Nuggets vs Heat 2023 NBA championship), Davis (Lakers vs Heat NBS finals 2020, Lakers vs Pacers 2023 in season championship). Lopez (Bucks vs Heat 1st round 2021 NBA east finals), Porzingis etc These guys have eaten the Heat on a steady diet. Sorry to say this but have to say it , Bam was mismatched, OF COURSE, this is by far no insinuation to trade Bam, that will be a great travesty and maleficence on the part of the Heat to fans, players and the organization. HH, Bryant and Orlando Robinson are definitely not the answer. Something to ponder as we enter the midseason of trades uncertainty.

Last edited 2 months ago by Matt Hanifan
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