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Heat Reportedly Eyeing 2 Big Names On The Trade Market

Jimmy Butler celebrates with teammates.

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 09: Jimmy Butler #22 of the Miami Heat celebrates with Goran Dragic #7 after a play against the Washington Wizards during the second half at Capital One Arena on January 9, 2021 in Washington, DC.(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

The NBA trade deadline is just a few days away, meaning its decision-time for multiple contending teams. The Miami Heat, who made a run to the NBA Finals in last year's bubble playoffs, are expected to be one of the major buyers this week.

A big week looms for the Miami Heat, who continue to strongly covet Kyle Lowry via trade and who league sources increasingly peg as the most likely landing spot for LaMarcus Aldridge -- provided San Antonio can't find an Aldridge trade before Thursday's deadline and buys him out.

— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) March 22, 2021

">According to Marc Stein of the New York Times, the Heat still "strongly covet" Toronto Raptors veteran point guard Kyle Lowry ahead of the Thursday deadline. Miami also remains the "most likely landing spot" for San Antonio center LaMarcus Aldridge, provided that the Spurs cannot find a trade and chooses to buy out his contract. "A big week looms for the Miami Heat, who continue to strongly covet Kyle Lowry via trade and who league sources increasingly peg as the most likely landing spot for LaMarcus Aldridge -- provided San Antonio can't find an Aldridge trade before Thursday's deadline and buys him out," Stein tweeted on Monday. The Heat (22-21) bounced back from a slow start to the 2020-21 regular season and now sit in the fifth spot in the crowded Eastern conference playoff picture. An upgrade or two could go a long way in allowing Miami to compete later this summer, with Lowry and Aldridge both being potentially major additions.

Lowry has had another strong year in Toronto, amidst the Raptors tumultuous season. Starting in 35 of the team's 42 games, the 34-year-old point guard has averaged 17.7 points, 7.5 assists and 5.6 rebounds per game. The Raptors have favored young breakouts Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet and may be willing to part with Lowry if the Heat offer another young piece in return.

The Spurs and Aldridge finally reached a mutual decision to part ways earlier this month. San Antonio hopes to trade him before Thursday's deadline, but may run out of time.

If so, the Heat will be among the suitors trying to court the 35-year-old center. Aldridge has averaged his lowest totals since his rookie year, but could still serve as a reliable front-court reserve on a contender.

The NBA's official trade deadline is on Thursday, March 25 at 3:00 p.m. ET.