Report: Heat Shopping Justise Winslow Ahead of 2018 NBA Draft

Issac Baldizon/Getty Images

The Miami Heat are reportedly looking to trade into the first-round of the 2018 NBA Draft, and could be dangling Justise Winslow in trade proposals to make it happen:

It’s currently not presently known how much trade value Winslow has across the league, but with Winslow set to become a restricted free agent next summer, it makes sense for Miami to see if they are going to be able to squeeze any value out of the versatile forward just in-case they aren’t able to retain him 12 months from now.

Miami is still a big fan of Winslow’s game, and wouldn’t just give him away in a trade. However, as touched on, they may need to part ways with him in-order to obtain a first-round pick that they are currently seeking.

The Heat don’t have their own first-round draft pick because of the 2015 Goran Dragic trade with the Phoenix Suns. They also won’t have their 2021 first-round draft pick because of the same trade, but they will be able to trade their 2019 first-round draft pick starting tonight.

If Miami does acquire a first-round draft pick, it will be the Heat’s first time with back-to-back first round draft picks since 2014 and 2015. In 2014, they drafted P.J. Hairston before trading him on draft night for Shabazz Napier, and then they picked Winslow 10th overall in 2015. Center Bam Adebayo was the team’s first-rounder last year.

Winslow made significant strides shooting wise in 2017-2018 by knocking down 38% of his three-point attempts. He also grew as an offensive playmaker, as he was Miami’s primary ball-handler alongside James Johnson in a bench role.

There is still some work to be done when it comes to Winslow’s entire offensive game, as he needs to become a better finisher at the rim, especially finishing through contact. He often missed many wide-open layups last season, which means that if there was a defender in the vicinity, things wouldn’t have went for the Duke alum.

We also saw a bit of a villain role from Winslow during the Heat’s playoff run in their first-round series against the Philadelphia 76ers. He tried relentlessly to get under the skin of Joel Embiid as well as Ben Simmons, and even received a $15,000 fine for intentionally stepping on Embiid’s mask during one of the playoff games.

Winslow’s top moment from last season was scoring 19 points against Philadelphia in Game 3. Even though he shot 4-11 from the field, he shot 4-6 from three, which was good for 66%. He also grabbed 10 rebounds, dished out 3 assists, and blocked 2 shots in the game, as he was doing a little bit of everything.

Photo: Issac Baldizon/Getty Images

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