ASK IRA: Did Pistons-Blazers trade hand Heat a pair of losses?

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 of the sort, with Jerami Grant off to the Portland Trail Blazers for nothing more than cap space, a future first-round pick and some second-round window dressing. Yes, I believed Jerami would have been a quality fit in the Heat starting lineup alongside Jimmy Butler and Kyle Lowry. But with Detroit prioritizing cap space, the Heat lacked the resources to play the Pistons’ game. They had neither the type of trade exception the Blazers held for CJ McCollum, nor, obviously, the necessary cap space. And for all the speculation, this likely was not to the level of the Heat being willing to potentially part with Tyler Herro. Yes, the Heat could have used a veteran scoring wing, but Detroit obviously preferred the space to spend as they see fit going forward, rather than taking on the contract of Duncan Robinson, and those remaining four years. The deal also makes it far more likely, as if it wasn’t already, that Damian Lillard plays on with the Trail Blazers. So two down and free agency to go for the Heat.

Q: Hi, Ira. With it being reported that Bradley Beal will decline his player option and become an unrestricted free agent, in terms of salary cap limitations, how limited are the Heat and what possible moves can they make to accommodate Bradley’s contract? – Victor, Miramar.

A: All indications are the move comes in advance of Bradley Beal re-upping on a maximum deal with the Wizards. If Bradley had prioritized a trade, it would have left open far more options had he held off on such a decision. Not nearly the same optimism with this one as when Jimmy Butler worked his way out of Philadelphia with his sign-and-trade to the Heat in the 2019 offseason.

Q: If Tyler Herro does get traded and the Miami Heat do not receive a scoring wing in return, is there the possibility for a starting role for Victor Oladipo to give him every opportunity to get back to close to his All-Star days? – Christopher, Vancouver.

A: If Tyler Herro is dealt, it would be for a wing in return. Otherwise, you are creating one void to address another (perhaps in the power rotation). Victor Oladipo hardly has shown enough in his comeback to this point for any type of considerable commitment.