If the NBA season ended today your Miami Heat would have the second best odds at getting the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft.
That’s not good enough.
The key to the rest of the Heat’s season should be about owning that No. 1 slot, which is currently in the hands of the Brooklyn Nets, which actually transfers to the Boston Celtics, who have the right to swap picks. The value of this upcoming draft’s No. 1 overall pick will be the highest it has been in years.
If the Heat follows this five-step plan, securing that No. 1 slot will be a given.
1. Trade Hassan Whiteside to the Bucks
I think Hassan is an incredible talent but not a core piece (one of your two best players) on a contender. Considering Pat Riley and the Heat are seeking titles, I’ve illustrated why it’s a better idea to prioritize trading Whiteside before anyone else.
ESPN’s Zach Lowe also made it clear he thinks anyone on the roster could be traded.
An interesting trade partner could be the Milwaukee Bucks, a young team sitting at a respectable 19-18, good for sixth in the Eastern Conference. The Bucks are a squad on the rise, looking to break into the East’s elite.
We all know the Bucks love themselves some long humans and a defensive-oriented lineup featuring Whiteside, John Henson, and Giannis Antetokoopaloompapookooooooo would be a terror — all have wingspans exceeding 7-foot-3.
In return, Miami would land Milwaukee’s first-rounder (currently slotted in the high teens) and the injured but talented Khris Middleton, who is perfect for them because he wouldn’t affect tanking considering he’s out indefinitely with an injury. To make the salary swap work, Miami would also receive Steve Novak as filler and, last but not least, welcome the return of Michael Beasley for his FOURTH stint in Miami.
South Beach, prepare your loins accordingly — the Beas is coming. Beasley would immediately slide into the starting lineup (at center) and be depended on for 40 minutes of beautiful ball-stopping offense and defenseless defense.
2. Sign Almario Chalmers
Because we need more irrational self-confidence and I miss him.
3. Get Goran Dragic arrested
Dragic has been excellent this season, racking up 19.0 points and 6.5 assists on an efficient 45-40-80 (FG/3FG/FT) shooting split. He must be stopped.
However, I’m not down to trade him yet unless they’re netting excellent value in return. So I propose Riley orchestrates a wild, elaborate plan by planting drugs in Dragic’s locker that ends with his star point guard on home arrest.
While this is an extreme measure, I’m sure Dragic wouldn’t mind hanging around his new $8 million mansion considering the alternative, which would be playing alongside Chalmers, Beasley, AND Waiters. He’d end up in a psyche ward.
4. Unleash Dion Waiters
Dion Waiters will have the most integral role in this Miami Heat tankathon.
Every possession of the Heat’s offense will run through Waiters and “AND ONE” shall be screamed on every drive.
Let us present the Dion Waiters shot chart, in all of its bloody glory.
5. Shatter Erik Spoelstra’s will
The major roadblock in finishing with the worst record in the league is the Heat’s coach, who consistently gets the most out of his players.
This is partly why the previous four steps were taken. The goal has always been to break Spo’s will, and I’m pretty sure the following starting lineup would break Spo like a twig.
A frontcourt of Novak, Babbitt, and Beasley would be easier to penetrate than Beth from 40 Year Old Virgin.
A backcourt of Chalmers and Waiters would cause basketballs to spontaneously implode.
It will be undoubtedly be a challenge to execute this five-step program, but this carefully crafted plan would give the Miami Heat the best chance possible at securing the No. 1 overall pick, which would bode well for the franchise’s immediate and long-term future.
The tank is in motion. Don’t let go of the rope.