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Report: Heat were offered Evan Turner before Pacers, but wouldn’t give up Udonis Haslem

Apr 13, 2014, 7:30 PM EDT

2013 NBA Finals - Game Seven 2013 NBA Finals - Game Seven

The Pacers are likely to end up with the top overall seed in the Eastern Conference, but the team has undergone an incredible amount of turmoil since the trade deadline, and its contender status has been shaken to the core.

Indiana traded Danny Granger in exchange for Evan Turner, in a move that was supposed to add talent and shore up the bench for the second half of the season and on into the playoffs.

But it messed with the locker room chemistry much more than it provided on-court dividends, and the team lost a leader who it’s now apparent was extremely important to the unit’s cohesiveness.

The Heat, too, were offered Turner before the trade deadline, and all it would have cost them was Udonis Haslem. On paper, at the time, it may have been hard to believe Miami wasn’t interested, considering that Haslem had been relegated to end-of-the-bench status for much of the regular season.

But looking back, we know now that Miami made the right choice.

From Dan Le Batard of the Miami Herald:

The Heat was offered Evan Turner before Indiana. All they had to give up was Haslem, who wasn’t even playing. Haslem, like Danny Granger, has spent his basketball life with only one team, and he talks a lot about the Heat way and family. The Heat didn’t make the trade at least in part because it didn’t like how the message contradicted what it was selling James when it met him, or what it might do to the locker room.

And Haslem, the old pro who has twice given up in excess of $10 million to stay in Miami, never once said a negative syllable from the bench, telling anyone who would listen that a time would come when he would be needed. And, as the Pacers continue an uncommon short-circuiting since the Granger-for-Turner trade, that was the undersized Haslem pushing around Roy Hibbert, the giant who called his teammates selfish, in the most recent game to help decide the Eastern Conference’s best team.

An anonymous Heat official, you may recall, pointed all of this out recently.

The entire piece is worth reading, and details Riley’s approach that extends beyond the court and into his players’ personal lives. The bond is formed off the court, and helps solidify the way the team plays on it.

It’s an easy philosophy to have when you’re winning championships, of course, but the Pacers proved to be a formidable foe in last year’s playoffs, and were on track to run away with the conference this season. Miami could have traded its longest-tenured veteran who wasn’t contributing at the time, but Riley was all too aware of the potential for negative consequences.

  1. miamiheatles - Apr 13, 2014 at 7:35 PM

    Gotta love these guys. Pullin 4 them in the playoffs.

  2. antistratfordian - Apr 13, 2014 at 7:44 PM

    Evan Turner would’ve been a much better fit on Miami than on Indiana – being a top offense, the Heat can afford to add that kind of inefficient scorer to boost bench point totals. But Haslem has something inside of him that you cannot teach that Turner will probably never have, and it’s not like Miami can afford to lose a gritty rebounder.

    A no brainer from Riley.

    • wupsumskul - Apr 14, 2014 at 9:41 AM

      Efficient scorer??? Have you looked at his stat? No d at all, not efficient scorer, and causes bad chemistry. There is a reason philly was trying to get rid of him for nothing in return. All year long everyone knew that he was in the doghouse in Philly. Why would a winning team want anything from the worst team in the league other than draft picks???

      • john242322 - Apr 14, 2014 at 11:03 AM

        He said inefficient* not efficient…relax

      • doctordunkenstein - Apr 14, 2014 at 12:21 PM

        umm..he said inefficient scorer

      • doctordunkenstein - Apr 14, 2014 at 12:21 PM

        umm..he said inefficient scorer

  3. goraidersgospurs - Apr 13, 2014 at 7:47 PM

    Report: Spurs tried to trade for Evan Turner before Pacers got him

    Dan Feldman


    Mar 13, 2014, 11:15 AM EDT


    Evan Turner played his way out of the NBA cellar before the trade deadline. Apparently, the only question was which championship contender he’d join.

    The Pacers traded for Turner, but reportedly he could have been a Spur.

    Marc Stein of ESPN:

    Announcement: Pro Basketball Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $70,000 Fantasy Basketball league for Thursday night’s games. It’s $25 to join and first prize is $8,500. Starts at 7pm ET on Thursday.Here’s the FanDuel linkIf I were Turner’s agent, I wouldn’t shut up about this. Two of the NBA’s most savvy front offices tried to trade for Turner. I’d play that up big this summer when he becomes a free agent.

    Though trading for a player on an expiring contract is quite different than signing him to a multi-year deal, these teams coveting Tuner should still boost the perception of him.

    I just wouldn’t mention that the 76ers had to lower their asking price for him.f

  4. casualcommenter - Apr 13, 2014 at 8:03 PM

    Don’t understand the “loyalty” claims being made by the Heat.

    Mike Miller came through in the clutch multiple times for the Heat, especially in the Finals the past 2 years, and he was amnestied for salary cap reasons. It was a sound business decision, but it wasn’t a great example of loyalty for a guy who played through debilitating back pain.

    Joel Anthony had been on the Heat for 7 seasons, yet he was traded away for salary cap reasons. It was a sound business decision, but it wasn’t a great example of loyalty for a guy who did a lot of the dirty work for the Heat in terms of defending the low post, setting screens, and blocking shots.

    Smart teams make savvy business decisions rather than get sentimental. Given the Heat’s luxury tax bill, trading Joel Anthony was very smart, and trading Mike Miller was defensible (though I think he could have helped them this year at times). However, it’s insincere to cut those guys loose for salary cap reasons then brag about how keeping Haslem is an example of loyalty and brotherhood.

    • antistratfordian - Apr 13, 2014 at 8:32 PM

      It’s not insincere. Or, rather, it’s as sincere as a franchise can get, as teams are always going to have to make tough decisions regardless just to make the numbers work. But you can’t compare the likes of a Mike Miller or Joel Anthony (!) to a Udonis Haslem or a Dwyane Wade – guys who have been the heart and soul of the franchise for going on a decade now.

      People want to see that if a player puts their time in and proves themselves through thick and thin (like setting franchise records in the process), that the team is going to give them the benefit of the doubt. Deserved or not, the Heat have that reputation.

    • gofinsgoheatfloria - Apr 14, 2014 at 9:54 AM

      The word “loyalty” doesn’t appear in the article nor in the earlier article it links to. The topic of both is chemistry. The Heat were concerned – and Rio shows why – about the effect of trading Haslem. No one so far has remarked on any chemistry side effect from the Miller or Anthony moves – their contributions were major at times as you say, and both fit well in the locker room, and we miss them both, but a Haslem trade would have hit much harder. Whether Granger actually held the same place for the Pacers is hard to judge from outside, just as how Haslem is perceived here may be hard for outsiders to see from where they are.

    • fseque83 - Apr 14, 2014 at 10:10 AM

      You can compare UD to Miller or Anthony. UD is one of the veteran leaders of this team and has been with the team his whole career. Miller was down here fora couple of years and Anthony was just a Defensive player, he wasn’t a leader in this team.

      • fseque83 - Apr 14, 2014 at 10:10 AM


    • beach305 - Apr 15, 2014 at 12:43 AM

      You can’t compare the short tenure of Mike Miller or the impact of a Joel Anthony with that of U.D.

      Haslem is the backbone of this team, trade him after he has given up millions to stay would be a bad message to send. Mike Miller was only here for three years and was giving his money via amnesty. Joel, while a good guy, never had that sort of stature in the locker room.

  5. cantonbound13 - Apr 13, 2014 at 8:04 PM

    Good for Evan. Now he can go to the NBA Finals.

    • soflasfinest - Apr 13, 2014 at 9:41 PM

      Unlike your team. Man, now I know why you’re always so bitter and acting like a little jit. The downside of consistently having a disappoint of a “team”.

  6. greenandgoldgirl - Apr 13, 2014 at 8:38 PM

    This move is going to help the Heat against the Pacers.
    They have found a way to get to Hibbert with Haslem. They really had him rattled.
    Evan Turner would give them nothing, Haslem will give them a championship shot.

  7. kb2408 - Apr 13, 2014 at 9:20 PM

    I’m not buying this. If Indy beats Miami in the playoffs and ET contributes the question will be why didn’t Miami do something at the deadline. Trading Danny is not why the Pacers are struggling. Roy going in the tank, crumbling under the weight of the pressure and a lack of scoring are the reasons. Danny wasn’t helping in either of those situations. And it’s not like Haslem has done much for Miami who happens to be struggling almost as much as Indy in the second half of the season. Bird rolled the dice, it is left to be seen if it is going to be a success. The playoffs will determine that.

  8. themagicfanguy - Apr 13, 2014 at 11:56 PM

    @anti You have no idea what type of reputation the Heat have in league circles. You’re not a player, coach, or executive. You’re a fan(probably a recent addition) who is spoon fed fake story lines by bloggers every day.

    • bcb11 - Apr 14, 2014 at 12:29 AM

      To attack a person’s credibility is no argument: at the very least, an obvious reply for most would be that you are none of those things either. “The pot and the kettle”, and so forth. Besides, anti never said ‘in league circles’, you simply put in that bit yourself and used it as the basis for your holier-than-thou criticism.

  9. 00maltliquor - Apr 14, 2014 at 12:23 AM

    Now that’s what I’m talking about. I like organizations like this. Plus, did MIA really need another wing and afford to lose what little bigs they have, uundersized or not, especially after purging Anthony?

    • Kevin S. - Apr 14, 2014 at 12:41 AM

      Seriously, the last thing Miami needs is a play-making wing, especially one who isn’t even that good at making plays.

  10. davidly - Apr 14, 2014 at 6:48 AM

    I am one of the Indiana fans who was not thrilled with the trade, but it is what it is: the double-edged combo of money concerns and basketball needs.

    Keep in mind that Turner may still turn out to be a net positive in the playoffs. Also, he was a huge reason why Indiana beat Miami at home a week ago. You take what you can get.

    • gofinsgoheatfloria - Apr 14, 2014 at 9:59 AM

      There is a certain delightful justice in Turner’s performance in that game, coupled with Haslem’s performance in the follow-up here. Sometimes we all need reminding that this game isn’t always about the stars.

  11. dexterismyhero - Apr 14, 2014 at 4:58 PM

    “But it messed with the locker room chemistry much more than it provided on-court dividends, and the team lost a leader who it’s now apparent was extremely important to the unit’s cohesiveness.”

    That is a load of crap. Granger hadn’t played hardly any games and was of no use to the Pacers anymore. Now bringing in Bynum may have caused some chemistry concerns, but that is Hibbert’s fault and the coaching staff.

  12. miamatt - Apr 14, 2014 at 6:24 PM

    Le Batard talked about this on his radio show at least a month ago. Not much of a story to Heat fans in the know.

    Haslem is the textbook example of a guy who isn’t a hall of famer but needs to have his jersey hung in the rafters in Miami.

    People mock it, but player after player talk about the family environment on the Miami Heat. Ray Allen has said repeatedly that he’s never had so much fun being on a team as he is having right now. Of course, there are times business decisions must be made -amnestying Mike Miller, trading Joel Anthony- but you can sell the locker room on why. Even to that end, Riley was practically in tears when he was interviewed after trading Anthony. To trade Haslem -and to sell it to that locker room- the prize would have had to be much greater than Evan Turner.

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