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Saturday, July 2, 2022

ASK THE IRA: Did the Pistons-Blazers trade a couple of losses with the Heat?

Q: Ira, the Heat could have paid nothing for Jerami Grant and let him slip away. Imagine him with Jimmy Butler and Kyle Lowry. – Andy.

A: Well, there’s no need to imagine anything like that when Jerami Grant moved to the Portland Trail Blazers just for a cap spot, a future first-round pick, and second-round showing off. Yes, I figured Jerami would be a great fit for the Heat’s starting lineup, along with Jimmy Butler and Kyle Lowry. But with Detroit’s prioritization of cap space, the Heat lacked the resources to play the Pistons’ game. They didn’t have trade exceptions like the Blazers had for CJ McCollum, nor, obviously, the required ceiling space. And despite all the speculation, it probably wasn’t at the level where the Heat were ready to potentially break up with Tyler Herro. Yes, the Heat could have used the veteran scoring wing, but Detroit clearly preferred to use the space as they saw fit going forward rather than taking on Duncan Robinson and the remaining four years. The deal also raises the likelihood that Damian Lillard will continue to play with the Trail Blazers. So two down and a free agent to go for the Heat.

Question: Hello, Ira. With Bradley Beal reportedly ditching his player option and becoming an unrestricted free agent, in terms of salary cap restrictions, how limited are the Heat and what possible steps can they take to honor Bradley’s contract? Victor, Miramar.

A: All indications are that this move was made before Bradley Beal repeated the offer for the maximum deal with the Wizards. If Bradley had prioritized the deal, it would have left many more options open if he had delayed such a decision. It’s not the same optimism as in the 2019 offseason when Jimmy Butler made his way out of Philadelphia by signing with the Heat.

Q: If Tyler Herro does get traded and the Miami Heat don’t get a goal wing in return, does Victor Oladipo have a starting role that will give him every opportunity to return to his All-Star days? – Christopher, Vancouver.

A: If Tyler Herro is turned in, he will receive a wing in return. Otherwise, you are creating one void to eliminate another (perhaps in a power rotation). Victor Oladipo has hardly shown enough in his return to this point for any serious commitment.

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