The Miami Heat are reportedly willing to part ways with Goran Dragic and Justise Winslow in a deal for Cleveland Cavaliers star Kyrie Irving.
Kyrie Irving has spent the last week or so as the NBA’s most talked about player. And it’s for a good reason. Last Friday, he shook the landscape after a report came out of him requesting a trade from the Cavaliers. Since then, it’s been trade rumors non-stop, and now the Miami Heat are getting their name in the mix.
Initially, Irving gave Cleveland this list of preferred destinations: San Antonio (excellent), Minnesota (weird, but still decent), New York (not sure why) and Miami (hmmm). According to Adrian Wojnarowski, the Heat have mutual interest. They’d form a package with Justise Winslow and Goran Dragic as the centerpieces, but Woj feels there’s an unlikeliness that the two strike a deal.
Trading for Irving would give the Heat’s offense a dramatic facelift and make them a legitimate threat to snag a middle playoff seed. He’s an upgrade over Dragic, but Miami’s defense would falter a bit parting ways with Winslow. Despite playing just 18 games last year (and being dreadful offensively), Winslow was showing signs of being a lockdown defender and Miami was noticeably better with him on the floor.
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However, ESPN’s Zach Lowe noted that the Cavaliers are looking for a “blue-chip” prospect in exchange for Irving. Winslow isn’t that. As solid as he is on defense, he’s an eye sore on the other end. Last season, according to Basketball Reference, 105 players averaged at least 10 shots a night. Winslow had the second-lowest clip at 35.6 percent; Jerryd Bayless, who played in three games, was the only guy below him.
One part of Winslow’s game that was promising last year was his playmaking. Not only did he average 3.7 dimes a night, but his assist percentage also rose to 15.5 while his turnover percentage dropped to 11.8, and that’s encouraging because of his bigger role in the offense.
Dragic more than makes up for Winslow’s scoring ineptitude. The 31-year-old arguably had the best season of his career by averaging 20.3 points and 5.8 assists on 47.5 percent shooting. He’s not the dazzling scorer that Irving is, but he’s exceptional out of the pick-and-roll (0.93 PPP), can get to the basket and finished last season shooting 40.5 percent from three on four nightly attempts.
On defense, Dragic leaves a bit to be desired, but he’s an upgrade from Irving who’s one of the league’s worst point guards on that end.
Both the Cavaliers and Heat would benefit from this deal with Miami making out better regarding talent received. Dragic is the better of the two Heat players, but Winslow isn’t a lost cause. However, Kyrie Irving is a star. And even if this deal gets made, Cleveland is still going to be the favorites to make it out of the East because of LeBron James.
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