Q: The challenge for next year will be to find more offensive production from the starting backcourt. You ca n’t keep asking Jimmy Butler to play out of his skull his. – Ray, Deerfield Beach.
A: A reasonable point, at least when it comes to going against elite, playoff-level defenses like the Celtics. If Kyle Lowry’s big-time scoring era is over. The rub is that the Heat had ample options this season, when considering Lowry, Tyler Herro, Victor Oladipo and even the shooting of Max Strus. But there simply wasn’t consistency there at the finish. It is why a player such as Donovan Mitchell stands as so appealing, and perhaps why it might be worth cycling back to the option of Bradley Beal. Yes, the Celtics’ defense in the series was top tier, but sometimes that means top-tier scoring options to compete. One more either needs to evolve or be acquired.
Q: Please share your opinion on Duncan Robinson’s future role (or non-role) with the Heat. I really admire him and the way he has handled adversity as well as all of the negative press. – Sid, Boynton Beach.
A: First, this does not come from a position of “negative press,” but I believe the Heat will at least attempt to move Duncan Robinson this season, not out of any sense of failure, but rather from the perspective of the salary cap and luxury tax. When Robinson was extended his five-year, $90 million (including incentives) contract last summer, it was as a starting wing. Then Max Strus happened. So, now, the thought has to be that Strus might next have to be the one taken care of. While Duncan’s price tag might seem steep, it is not severe if he cast in a starting role elsewhere. To me the biggest question is whether the Heat would have to or need to throw in their No. 27 first-round pick in order to deal Duncan. It will be one of the more intriguing elements of the offseason.
Q: Ira, looking at next year, do you think there is any chance of playing Bam Adebayo and Omer Yurtseven together? When Yurt had a chance when Bam was hurt he really played well, and with Bam’s athletic talent (and if he can keep working on his mid-range and developing a decent three) the size of the two of them could be a challenge for other teams. –Joel, Fort Lauderdale.
A: But you are asking for a lot there. First, Omer Yurtseven has to show the agility to play the type of defense mandated by the Heat. That remains a significant challenge with his limited agility his. Then you are assuming Bam Adebayo can develop a 3-point game, an element we have not seen in true competition. Plus, if Bam then can be defended by power forwards, does he lose his quickness advantage his? It’s about more than just how the two would work together, it’s about how the Heat would operate with the two playing together. In the limited sample size, the spacing has been awful with both on the floor, especially with a limited-range shooter such as Jimmy Butler. As it was, the Heat went smaller, instead of bigger, by the end of their postseason.