Q: If the Heat make a big free agent move or big trade, does it traditionally happen this upcoming week? – Brian.
A: It traditionally would come at the start of free agency, which this year is 6 p.m. Friday. It could happen before that if the move is made with 2021-22 salaries being put into play, but such a trade cannot include any impending free agent. Yes, talk of such deals typically is leaked in advance, but that could change this year after the Heat (Kyle Lowry) and Bulls (Lonzo Ball) were docked second-round picks for premature contact ahead of 2021 free agency. It will be interesting to see the impact of those sanctions when it comes to the timing of the first reports of free-agency moves this time around. Basically, Woj and Shams could wind up dictating the amount of picks in the second round of the 2023 draft.
Q: It gets very nitpicky when you talk about summer-league signings, but I thought Scotty Pippen Jr. would have been a good fit for the Heat and might have ended up giving Gabe Vincent some competition. – Bernardo, Fort Lauderdale.
A: But Scotty Pippen Jr. was given a two-way contract by the Lakers as part of his invitation to summer league (where he will face the Heat in his summer-league opener). Teams are limited to two such deals and the Heat already have Mychal Mulder and Javonte Smart under two-way contract, both already with NBA experience. So in order to bring in Pippen, it would have meant releasing either Mulder or Smart. The Heat tend to be patient with such two-way commitments to undrafted players, with those brought to summer league often invited without guarantees. Such patience last summer allowed the Heat to strike late with the two-way offer to Caleb Martin. Typically, teams shuffle and reshuffle their two-way commitments. For now, the Heat are staying with a pair of players who will have had months of time working in the Heat system ahead of summer league.
Q: Orlando Robinson shouldn’t have gone undrafted. Great pickup. – Rudy.
A: Which seems like all I heard on Saturday. Ultimately, he was sold on the Heat’s developmental program. This well could continue the Heat’s streak of turning undrafted prospects into roster contributors. Summer league will tell.