Should the Miami Heat consider selling high on Kendrick Nunn?
As the Miami Heat was making a run to the NBA Finals in the restart bubble last season, Kendrick Nunn was in the midst of a historic individual slump. Nunn went from being a starter for the Heat, before the NBA’s hiatus, to not even being in the team’s rotation.
It wasn’t until Goran Dragic‘s injury in the NBA Finals that we saw Nunn back in the team’s rotation. Even then, Nunn looked like a shell of his former self.
During the regular season last year, Nunn averaged 15 points, three rebounds, and three assists on 44 shooting from the field and 35 shooting from 3-point range en route to finishing second in NBA Rookie of the Year voting.
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In the playoffs, he was an entirely different player in which his averages dropped to six points and two rebounds per game on 39 percent shooting from the field and 28 percent shooting from 3-point range.
Nunn was so bad for the Heat, and played such a minimal role, that many were skeptical that he would ever bounce back into the team’s rotation. And after playing such a small role for the team through the first five games, Nunn’s future with the Heat looked bleak at best.
Kendrick Nunn’s turnaround with the Miami Heat
However, over the last 17 games, Nunn has looked more like the NBA Rookie of the Year runner-up than he has to a non-rotation player. Since he was forced into the lineup (in part due to health and safety protocols), Nunn is averaging 17 points and four rebounds per game on 53 percent shooting from the field.
Nunn has emerged as a key part of the team’s offense and has helped carry the load at the point guard position without Dragic, who remains out with an injury. In fact, you can make the argument that Nunn has been a better player than Tyler Herro this season and has been more important.
The big question the Heat needs to ask themselves is whether or not this is simply a hot streak for Nunn or if this level of play is sustainable moving forward. If it is, then perhaps the Heat might’ve already gotten an in-season transaction that could help them turn its season around (especially once this team is fully healthy once again, with the return of both Dragic and Avery Bradley).
Though, if there’s an ounce of hesitance, you’d have to wonder if Miami could view this as an opportunity to sell high on Nunn. The Heat could use what happened in the restart bubble as a lesson.
If Miami isn’t sold on Nunn being a key part of their future, there’s a chance they could simply decide to get in front of a potential drop-off in production and try to trade him leading up to the NBA Trade Deadline.
Kendrick Nunn has been playing great over the last couple of months and has been a key part of their recent semi-turnaround – they’re only 2.5 games out of the 4th seed in the Eastern Conference. But selling high on Nunn at the trade deadline has to be an option on the table for this team.