Q: Ira, if the Bucks can’t trade Serge Ibaka, would he be a good fit? – Henri.
A: Serge Ibaka of a decade ago? Perhaps. But there obviously is a reason he has not been playing, or hasn’t been given an opportunity to play. The Heat over the years have looked into the possibilities of adding Serge Ibaka, and if he still can show range with his jumper, he could be a potential fit. But, for now, that is something for the buyout market, which means at least waiting until after the Feb. 9 NBA trading deadline to see if he might be dealt by Milwaukee, and then perhaps waiting until closer to the March 1 deadline for playoff eligibility. But what such names mean is that the Heat have to keep themselves in the heat of the playoff race in order to make themselves attractive to buyout targets willing to play for the minimum. Of course, if the Heat only have one minimum salary left to offer, would that be better utilized on converting Orlando Robinson’s two-way deal than on another 33-year-old big man?
Q: Do we have to rethink Caleb Martin? – Peter.
A: I think, as Erik Spoelstra might say, there needs to be a degree of grace considering the quadriceps issue that Caleb Martin has attempted to push through. The problem for the Heat at power forward is that there isn’t necessarily a Plan B. But if Friday’s struggle was indicative of where Caleb stands, then another break might be required, and perhaps a turn back in Haywood Highsmith’s direction. The problem at the moment is there simply are too many components of the power rotation not playing, from Omer Yurtseven to Nikola Jovic to Dewayne Dedmon and Udonis Haslem.
Q: Did anyone want to play defensive on the perimeter? – Ira.
A; That was the tradeoff for the double teams thrown at Luka Doncic.The irony, of course, is that the Heat on Friday night neither stopped Luka nor the Mavericks’ 3-point shooters.