Q: Ira, with the resumption of play, I am most interested in seeing the development of Tyler Herro. It's almost like season two for him. I don't agree with the comparisons that are made with him and Kendrick Nunn or Duncan Robinson. I compare those players to Glen Rice; they are good players that can put in buckets in the first three periods to keep you in the game. Herro can do that also, but has the potential of being "the man" in the fourth period, like Dwyane Wade was. That is the true whale that every team is searching for and few really have -- and champions must have. -- John, Fort Lauderdale.
A: OK, a lot to unwrap here. First, I'm not sure I'm buying the notion that with the extra time to study film that this essentially will be somewhat like the second season for the NBA's 2019-20 rookies, with time to mentally and physically recover from the rookie wall. Unlike typical years, there was no second bite at the summer-league apple, nor time to continue to work year-round on specific skill-set upgrades. If anything, an argument could be made that it is nothing more than an abbreviated, disjointed rookie season. As for your minimalist take on Glen Rice -- if any of the players you mentioned can become the next Glen Rice, then the Heat has struck gold. But to circle back to your main thrust, yes, I agree that Tyler Herro well may have the "it" factor when it comes to playing as a closer. He certainly is fearless and also is willing to play as more than a shooter, going into attack mode when needed. The issue, as it somewhat was for Glen Rice, is whether Tyler can be trusted enough on the defensive end to play as a closer. That's an element that made Dwyane Wade so effective as a closing scorer, that he also could play as a closing defender.
Q: What do you see happening with the front office when Pat Riley does retire? -- Tony, Norfolk, Neb.
A: I see Andy Elisburg remaining the backbone of the front office, with his ability to multitask when it comes to the cap, personnel and team logistics. Now, if you're asking who could emerge as the face of the front office, that's another issue. It was interesting that the Heat selected Adam Simon to represent the team in the Disney bubble. That somewhat mutes the notion of Shane Battier emerging sooner rather than later in a lead role. It is possible that Nick Arison takes a more visible, active role. Or it could be that when Pat Riley moves on that the team seeks a similar charismatic leader, just as it did in 1995 with Riley, looking beyond the confines of 601 Biscayne.
Q: It appears with the way this season and next will shake out, it's best to stay put. Sign a few short-contract guys. The goal is to upgrade. Victor Oladipo needs to show he's fully healthy before giving up money or assets to him. -- Tiffany.
A: So perhaps that is the reason that Victor Oladipo might play at the Disney resumption, after all, to both show the Pacers that he is worthy of an extension this offseason, as well as to show potential trade suitors that he is worthy of both their short-term interest and long-term investment. The Oladipo story certainly is an evolving one, one that ultimate could come down to wanting to also be paid for this season.
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