ASK IRA: Is the glare of the Suns’ success leaving Heat feeling burned?

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·2 min read
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Q: Hindsight is 20/20, but I’m pretty sure the Heat could have had Chris Paul and Jae Crowder on the roster this season to go with Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler if the Heat had wanted to. Sometimes waiting for the whale you miss out on something good. — Andrew, Coral Gables.

A: Look this all came down to the same thing: Weighing the risks of holding cap space for even the possibility of adding Giannis Antetokounmpo before he signed his extension. And, yes, in hindsight, you could play the should’ve, would’ve, could’ve game. But what if Giannis didn’t re-up with the Bucks and the Heat had spent away all of their 2021 offseason cap space? As it is, if the Bucks crash and burn in the second round, does Giannis become the latest star to sign and then seek a new vista? Beyond that, who saw this Chris Paul emerging to this level? As for Jae Crowder, yes, if the Heat knew that they were going to re-up with Bam Adebayo and therefore bowed out of the max-space race, then seemingly something more might have been done as an accommodation. Again, it all comes down to timing, and the timing of it all proved lousy for the Heat in November. Now, there is little reason to look back. What’s done is done.

Q: With Justise Winslow and Derrick Jones Jr. out of the rotation in first-round defeats, the decision to let them go looks right. — Ron, Margate.

A: And then there is the flip side. At least the Heat got something out of the Justise Winslow trade, with Jae Crowder and Andre Iguodala contributing to last season’s run to the NBA Finals (as well as the offloading of Dion Waiters and James Johnson), while it is possible, if not likely, that the Grizzlies bypass Justise’s 2021-22 team option. As for Derrick Jones Jr., he never quite found his place as a rotation player with either the Heat or the Trail Blazers.

Q: Victor Oladipo is what we need. — Tyler.

A: Look, even Victor Oladipo at his healthiest might not have been enough to overcome the Bucks in the first round, but you would at least have had an option for those minutes when Tyler Herro and the Heat’s other wing scorers so struggled. And yet, from the way Pat Riley barely touched on Victor in his postseason comments, you have to wonder if those mere four games might be all the Heat get.