[In the 30 days leading up to the season opener, we'll preview all 30 NBA teams, from Tanking Teams to Lottery Leaders to Warriors Wannabes. Tanking Teams are fighting for the No. 1 pick. Lottery Leaders could make the playoffs, or they could land in the lottery. Warriors Wannabes are title contenders. Then there are the Warriors in a league by themselves. Team 1 in our preseason rankings is the Sacramento Kings. Check back every day for previews of every team in the NBA followed by our complete preseason rankings.]
Key Losses: Luke Babbit and Jordan Mickey. The Miami Heat did an excellent job retaining talent this season. Babbitt played in just 13 games during the 2017-18 season, averaging just under three points. Mickey looked like a solid rim-protector coming out of college but could barely crack the roster.
Key Returns: Wayne Ellington, Dwyane Wade, and Derrick Jones Jr. The Heat could've had a bad offseason if it wasn't for retaining these players. Jones has promise as a former two-way player, Ellington has become a go-to scorer from behind the arc, and Wade is the face of this franchise. As he showed in the playoffs, he can still turn it on when he needs to. As ridiculous as it sounds, he could even get some Sixth Man of the Year votes.
Sources: Miami has been the most engaged team with Minnesota on a Jimmy Butler trade. So far, no traction with Clippers and Nets. Houston's tried to be creative in its pursuit. It'll be a challenge -- although not impossible -- to get any Butler deal done without a third team.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) September 26, 2018
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