If you love NBA rumors and gossip, we’ve entered your favorite time of year on the league calendar. The Nuggets have only been champions for a few days, and the rumor mill is already working overtime just ahead of the NBA draft. One of this week’s biggest stories involves this year’s runner-up and Eastern Conference champion, Miami Heat. Reports have come out linking the Heat to free agent Kyrie Irving.
Shams Charania dropped this bomb during an appearance on FanDuel TV and even mentioned that Miami made a play for Irving right before he was traded from Brooklyn to Dallas close to the trade deadline a few months back. It’s evident Miami needs more help to get over the hump and win another championship. But Kyrie doesn’t seem the best fit for “Heat culture” as we know it.
Heat culture may have taken a hit losing another NBA Finals matchup, but it’s not like they were expected to be there. Most of their fan base couldn’t have predicted this run after losing their first play-in game to Atlanta. Had Jimmy Butler and the Heat completed the journey and won a title, it would’ve been seen as the greatest, most improbable championship run in association history.
Ultimately, that wasn’t meant to be, but now, to hear these rumors about Pat Riley having his sights set on Irving seems out of place. Miami undoubtedly needs to get Butler and Bam Adebayo more support, but Kyrie doesn’t feel like a Heat player. Not because of his game. We all know Irving is a phenomenal scoring threat but personality-wise and the fact that basketball doesn’t always seem like a top priority makes this feel like an odd fit.
As usual, Miami’s name is already being thrown around as a destination for multiple top free agents. The Heat have also been mentioned regarding potentially acquiring Bradley Beal from Washington and as a possible landing spot for Chris Paul once his departure from Phoenix is official. So, the tea is spilling all over Miami concerning offseason movement. Fred VanVleet is another one to look out for, as he’d likely make the best fit out of all these names.
VanVleet has championship experience, having been part of the 2019 Toronto Raptors title team playing next to current Heat point guard Kyle Lowry. He might not be the splashy signing Irving would be, but he’d come in, work hard, and uphold Heat culture. At this point, Kyrie is too much of a wildcard, especially if he expects that long-term deal he supposedly has his eyes on. It’s true you have to think outside the box sometimes. But with Irving, you’re setting yourself up for failure more often than not lately.