Q: Ira, why the dead weight? Nothing against Dru Smith, but the Heat have five or six guys who can’t make an NBA roster? – Anthony.
A: Exactly. Once Udonis Haslem announced his return for a 20th season, the Heat were out of salary space when it came to staying below the luxury-tax threshold. So rather than offer false hope to an NBA journeyman or veteran, they added four would go be forwarded to their G League roster, with Dru Smith now likely again headed back in that direction, along with rookies Orlando Robinson, Jamaree Bouya and Jamal Cain. Save perhaps for the two players who are on two-way deals (Marcus Garett and Darius Days), the Heat 14-player standard roster has been set for weeks and will remain that way unless there is a trade: Haslem, Bam Adebayo, Jimmy Butler, Dewayne Dedmon, Tyler Herro, Haywood Highsmith, Nikola Jovic, Kyle Lowry, Caleb Martin, Victor Oladipo, Max Strus, Duncan Robinson, Gabe Vincent and Omer Yurtseven.
Q: Celtics ownership has given Brad Stevens the green light to go deep into the tax because they believe that they have a true contender. Will Micky Arrson be amenable to going into the luxury tax to contend for a NBA championship with our current nucleus? – Carlos, West Park.
A: At the moment, I would say no, considering how all signs point to the Heat avoiding filling their 15th and final roster spot, in order to stay just below the tax line. Should they? That all comes down to the player putting them over the tax line. If they can make a significant upgrade at power forward, then it should be considered. The longer-term concern is that if Tyler Herro is extended, you are talking significant deals going forward for Tyler, Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, Kyle Lowry and, to a degree, Duncan Robinson. So delaying the clock on the repeater tax also could be a strategy.
Q: Ira. I read your top 5 Heat point guards of all time, which gave me the idea that perhaps you might want to consider ranking the Top 5 worst Heat draft choices, so Harold Miner, with his awkward, off-balance jump shot, could get the recognition he so richly deserves. Bill, Palm Beach Gardens. – Bill, Palm Beach Gardens.
A: Nah, let’s celebrate the good times as the Heat turn 35 this season. And while Baby Jordan didn’t exactly meet expectations, Harold Miner’s mere presence gave the Heat a jolt at a time they needed one. And when considering the worst Heat first-rounders, I’m not sure there is a close second to Martin Mürsepp.