Answering Your Heat Off-Season Questions

After spending quite some time diving into individual Heat players, or possible free agency/trade acquisitions, I want to talk about some things in the big picture.

So, I’m going to be answering all of your questions in this piece. Personal opinions on specific players, scenarios, and more. Well, let’s hop right into it…

Some may view this as a tough question to answer, but I believe the perfect combo for this current Heat team is a veteran point guard and a young big.

Now, this doesn’t mean that if a type of deal with Collin Sexton and Kevin Love came available that I wouldn’t do it. But when talking about players in a general sense, that is not only the best option in the short-term, but also the long term.

There are two point guard options that I believe are 1 and 2 on Miami’s priority list, and neither of them fall under the youth category. With the cap room that they have, it feels like Kyle Lowry or Mike Conley will be on this Heat team in a matter of time.

The reason I say that the youthful big man is the way to go seems pretty clear. Veteran front-court pairings is all Bam Adebayo knows in the NBA, and if they want to maximize his game, a viable sidekick is necessary. Not switching from Meyers Leonard to Jae Crowder one year, then reiterating the same thing with Kelly Olynyk and Trevor Ariza the next.

They did what they had to at that time and they plugged those holes, but if they can find a stretch four that they trust via trade, I believe they pull the trigger.

As much as I just harped on finding a young big, a cheap front-court filler seems to be the most likely option moving forward. I don’t believe Andre Iguodala will be back, while Trevor Ariza could be resigned to play a much different role.

But if both are off the table, there are plenty of guys to plug into that spot, and two of them come to mind for me.

The first one is Jeff Green, who is getting up there in age but continues to be effective. He’s coming off some big time playoff performances next to Kevin Durant, and obviously, that’s not what he would be asked to do in a Heat uniform.

Green fits the build of the players that they like to plug next to Adebayo, and could be plugged into whatever spot Coach Spo needs him to with the amount of experience he has.

The second guy that could be a possibility is soon to be NBA champion Torrey Craig. Not only is he about 5 years younger than Green, but he seems to me like the type of player that the Heat would like for super cheap. If a lot of the guys that we expect to be out the door for the Heat actually are, then cheap deals like this one will be neccessary.

Those are just two options, and I could spend much more time on that subject with the amount of guys that are in that play-style/money range.

For starters, I don’t believe there’s any way that the Heat would trade Bam Adebayo under any circumstance. The reason we have the timeline discussion with Jimmy Butler and Adebayo is that you have the other one to balance it. Jumping fully into the Butler age range just doesn’t seem remotely close to a smart idea.

Now, to answer your question, a team with Butler and Damian Lillard leading the way is a good way to start, but if you call beneficial becoming the Portland Trail Blazers of the East, then possibly. But frankly, that team will be having the same exact discussion the current team is having: how can we get that final piece?

Except in the Lillard-Butler world, you don’t have the option to go into a younger mode. This is clearly all of a fantasy discussion when talking about sending Adebayo out of Miami, especially when the team wouldn’t be seeing tremendous growth on what’s coming in.

If Duncan Robinson was able to become a reliable on-ball threat, it definitely changes the things that Adebayo and Butler are able to do offensively, but that just doesn’t seem likely.

Minor improvements will most likely be made over time for his ball-handling duties to increase, but the current focus for him this off-season has to be the second level of the half-court. He’s surprisingly efficient when he gets to the rim, while defenses know if he is chased off the perimeter, the mid-range pull-up isn’t an option.

But it should be.

Even a little bit of a mid-range game changes the things they can do in the offense, and all that includes is 1-2 dribbles. I don’t ever really see him becoming a true facilitator, but I do think he can be at least average once the true expansion occurs down the line.

I definitely agree that type of play-style should be integrated into the scheme regularly, but more importantly, it should be focused on with certain players.

The interesting part about it is that they focus so much on preventing it, but don’t harp on it themselves. For example, when the Heat miss a shot, the two guards are supposed to immediately sprint back to fill up the open court. It’s easy to scheme against, but harder to scheme for.

When I mentioned before that the focus should be for certain players, a guy on the top of that list is Bam Adebayo. When he decides to attack in transition, it always leads to good things, either with his pure ball-handling and speed or a nice looking DHO fake for an open lane.

The issue is that he always seems to be searching for a bull-dozing Butler when running the floor. He basically needs to obtain the Goran Dragic mentality, since he’s one of those guys that locks in on the basket when trotting down the floor at full speed.

In all, I think it’s more individual tweaks than scheme tweaks, but it should definitely be seen more on a versatile unit like Miami.

Unless those two close friends would really love to play together again, it would probably be hard to do. Both will be looking for similar money that the Heat would not be able to give. But in this sense, should the Heat even be willing to give it on a pay cut?

As stated in that question, three non-shooters would be a tough thing to see in today’s game. Andre Iguodala became the scapegoat at a lot of points this past season, but in reality, it was just the inability to play him next to two guys that can’t truly space the floor.

Demar DeRozen is no Andre Iguodala, but my point still stands. The only way I see the Heat doing this is if they’re very confident that Bam Adebayo expands his game to the perimeter at some point this season. Other than that, it just feels very complicated from every perspective of this addition.

If we’re talking about things that may not sound very realistic, I think they should sign Kyle Lowry for that point guard presence and Jimmy Butler pleasing, then flip Tyler Herro and other assets for a guy like CJ McCollum. Some cheap fillers to plug into the front-court will be needed, and you are good to go.

The issue is that the McCollum move may not be very likely, even though I believe he will be moved no matter what happens with the Lillard situation in Portland.

As I’ve listed many times, I have point guard and half-court scorer above front-court pairing in my priorities. As I mentioned earlier, the amount of veterans four’s that are out there make this even easier to focus on the main two things.

Grabbing either Lowry or Conley, then flipping assets for an all-around scorer feels to be the thing the Miami Heat’s front office would be eyeing.

And for my final bold statement, I believe they end up grabbing an undrafted player following this year’s draft who end up becoming a bottom of the rotation player for next season’s Heat team.


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