Q: That Kyle Lowry trade looks worse and worse every day. Precious Achiuwa would have been a perfect fit next to Bam Adebayo. – Jeffrey, Miami.
A: Yes, it does and yes he might have been. At this moment, it is difficult to justify giving up a rebound machine who also makes 3-pointers, while at the same time doing it to be able to sign Kyle Lowry at three years, $85 million. But again, we’re four games into a season, talking about a Heat team that Lowry did help advance within one game of last season’s NBA Finals. And yet perhaps there is a reason the Heat moved on so quickly from Precious Achiuwa. Asked in his pregame media session Monday about Achiuwa, Raptors coach Nick Nurse said, “He’s got an offensive game. He’ll shoot. He’ll get some drives and things like that. I’m probably more concerned with him getting up and down the floor both ways faster, getting on the glass a lot harder, keeping people off the glass a lot harder, and being more of an all-around player. We really need him to be an integral cog in our defensive and rebounding kind of machine. His scoring is great, and we also need that.” For at least one night, those words seemingly hit home. So yes, the Raptors and Achiuwa both came away winners Monday.
Q: At some point Miami needs a legitimate power forward. You got to package Duncan Robinson’s for a veteran (maybe even a back-up power forward who is in a doghouse). Caleb Martin is not a power forward and Jimmy Butler is undersized and you don’t want Jimmy Butler taking the punishment. Heck I’d even use Udonis Haslem for 10 minutes a game – Martin.
A: It was telling Monday that with Caleb Martin suspended, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra elected not to go with Haywood Highsmith as the replacement starter, even with Highsmith essentially on the roster as the backup power forward. And it’s not as if Nikola Jovic, if not suspended, would have been cast as starter. Spoelstra simply does not turn to such youth so soon. So, yes, there’s a void. But it’s also not as if anyone is rushing to take on Duncan Robinson’s contract. So it comes down to how much of a sweetener you would be willing to add to Robinson to get the likes of a Jae Crowder. As for Udonis Haslem, as Monday showed, he is not here to play. So, yes, Jimmy Butler might well remain the best option.
Q: Ira, what’s going on with Bam Adebayo and Kyle Lowry? Is part of the problem that Tyler Herro is now playing with the starters, taking ballhandling and shots away from Bam and Lowry. – Joel.
A: Yes. That’s a lot of it. Plus it gives opponents an early defensive target.