OTG's Trade Deadline Marathon: Heat and Timberwolves Move Forward
Miami receives: Robert Covington
Minnesota receives: Justise Winslow
Why Miami does it: The Heat are sitting pretty at a 29-12 record, good for second in the Eastern Conference. Do they need to make a move? Absolutely not. But when playoff time comes, if Winslow is not healthy, they lose key defensive contributor who is capable of defending multiple positions.
The strength of this team lies within their depth. Rookies, Tyler Herro and Kendrick Nunn, are both having seasons that far exceeded expectations. Everyone's favorite big man, Bam Adebayo, is also continuing where he left off last year and turning into one of the leagues most versatile centers. Even sophomore Duncan Robinson is joining in on the fun and having a breakout year himself.
While they would miss Winslow's playing-making abilities, they can afford to pull off a move that improves their team defensively. Currently they sit 14th overall in net defensive rating. Covington's is one of the league's best 3-and-D wings, who, like Winslow, can also defend multiple positions. Most importantly, he is healthy and can contribute right away.
Why Minnesota does it: The Timberwolves season is going nowhere quickly. After shipping out Jeff Teague in a deal with the Atlanta Hawks, they have been rumored to be in search of another ball-handler. Winslow isn't your prototypical point guard, but he does have nice play-making upside.
When the Heat experimented with Winslow at the point guard position last year, they found success with it. When healthy, Winslow is also a good defender who has been known to guard all five positions. Defensively, he could slide in right where Covington left off.
It would take work to make the starting lineup of Winslow, Culver, Wiggins, and Towns, successful, but the potential would be far more than what they are facing now. Even though Winslow is currently dealing with injuries, they make this move to build upon the 2020-2021 season.
This deal also allows for both teams to add a player of need, who wouldn't encroach on the development of their younger players. In this scenario the Heat are able to allow Herro, Nunn, and Robinson to progress offensively. Meanwhile, the Timberwolves don't face the temptation to force Jarrett Culver or Josh Okogie to play out of position.
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