Q: Ira, you never answer the question and instead talk about the luxury tax. Are you telling me of all the players released this week that none would be better than Udonis Haslem? – Carl.
A: Or is it you’re not getting the answer you want? First, you are talking about a 14th player (to replace Udonis Haslen) or a 15th player (which would put the Heat into the luxury tax). So if the contention is that a 14th player on the standard roster (and the Heat likely would consider it a 17th player, considering their faith and willingness to play their two-way players), then isn’t there a problem in the first place. We’re not talking about a Jae Crowder here, or a player acquired in a trade. We’re talking about players that other teams did not deem good enough to be their 15th man. As it is, the Heat likely will have trouble finding minutes for Jamal Cain or even Gabe Vincent in their perimeter rotation. And if it’s a waiver-wire big man you are talking about, would you want such a player to receive minutes ahead of Nikola Jovic or Omer Yurtseven? Yes, at times more can be better. But if a 15th man is your greatest concern on the eve of a season, then you only have good problems. (I know, I know, probably not the answer you were seeking. But Udonis Haslem is under guaranteed contract, and that is not going to change. And the Heat at the moment have no compelling need to move into the tax.)
Q: I know the Heat don’t have room to maneuver. But, how do the Heat get Carmelo Anthony on the team? He seems like he is ready for a redeem season. He could help the second unit on offense. Seems like a good Heat project. He has a lot of situational experience, probably hungry to have a NBA Finals on his resume. And you say? – Stuart.
A: I say Max Strus and Duncan Robinson. If the Heat are playing both on the second unit, then there simply is no room at the (second-team) inn for Carmelo Antohny. And again, as mentioned above, there simply isn’t an opening or the need.
Q: Why is it that Precious Achiuwa has developed and is playing better in Toronto than he did in Miami? Was it a problem with coaching in Miami, where he wasn’t developed properly or perhaps they weren’t patient enough? It’s beginning to look like Toronto got the better deal. – Rodney, Sarasota.
A: And you certainly could cite a lack of patience, but that can be part of the equation with the win-now Heat. So after one lockout-shortened season, they included him in the trade for Kyle Lowry. But also consider Toronto’s situation at center; namely they don’t have one. So sometimes it’s all about opportunity. Bam Adebayo was and is the Heat priority. Precious, with his 3-point stroke, certainly could have a successful career. But with Lowry, the Heat got within one game of last season’s NBA Finals. It is a trade they would make again.