Q: I saw a lot of negative comments from readers about Dwayne Deadmon the first couple weeks of the season, but he has looked great since coming back. I think people need to realize we need that size against bigger teams. He’s not suited for smaller, agile bigs but is perfect against the bulky guys in the NBA. It’s also no coincidence the rebounding numbers when he plays as well. Do you anticipate Spo being flexible and playing Nikola Jovic against the smaller bigs and Deadmon against the bigger ones? – Cooper, Naples.
A: First, I’m glad that Dewayne Dedmon is getting notice now that he is contributing, after so much criticism when he was struggling. He works as a beefy, brawny contrast to the athleticism, agility of Bam Adebayo. And, yes, this has been a good week for Dewayne. But I also agree that there are some lineups where he has to defer to a more nimble option. I’m not sure that Nikola Jovic is ready for such challenges at the moment, so it is likely the Heat in those situations go small-small with some combination of Caleb Martin, Jimmy Butler, Max Strus and others who by no definition are power players. It simply is where the league is at the moment.
Q: The whole Golden State Warriors and Draymond Green situation got me thinking. If the Warriors decided not to extend Draymond and let him walk, is that someone the Heat might explore? – Rodney.
A: While Draymond Green might fit the mold of Miami Heat player, he will not fit the Heat’s 2023-24 salary cap, when also factoring in the hefty contracts of Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, Kyle Lowry, Tyler Herro, and even Duncan Robinson, Plus for all the consternation about the Warriors’ luxury tax going forward, let’s first see how the season plays out for Golden State. If the Warriors contend for another title, or if they generate a massive amount of revenue, then Draymond very well could find an amenable salary number going forward. As it is, with a team valuation of $7 billion according to Forces, it’s not as if Golden State can’t afford to spend. And, yes, while Pat Riley got Jimmy Butler in 2019 free agency in the void of salary-cap space, the Heat 2023-24 payroll is in a far more complicated state. This time it’s not as simple as selling off an Hassan Whiteside. Beyond that, do the Heat necessarily stand at the moment as a destination of choice, considering their start to the season?
Q: What’s going on with Victor Oladipo? – Wes.
A: It has gotten to the point where even some in the building are unsure. This is where the Heat sometimes can do a player a disservice by thinking they are protecting the player. We keep asking routinely about Vic because the routine response is either “nothing has changed” or “no new update.”