Is it big or bust with Heat salary ballast? – The Mercury News
Q: What is more important: Trading Duncan Robinson now for a strong power forward like Jae Crowder, or keeping him as a trade piece for a big fish down the road? – Bob, Davie.
A: Which is why I downplayed Duncan Robinson (if the Suns even would want to take on such a long-term contract) in yesterday’s response to the question about Jae Crowder. If the Heat are going to make a big move that does not involve Bam Adebayo, Jimmy Butler or Kyle Lowry, then they have to hold on to Duncan’s contract as salary ballast. Similarly, the Heat are not in position to randomly deal away a first-round pick (or two) when it comes to a trade smaller than for a legitimate or potential star. So, yes, I agree – you wait. The question then becomes whether you hold on to Tyler Herro for a similarly significant move. If so, that means you have chosen not to sweat the small stuff at the moment.
Q: Ira, the Heat didn’t want to sign P.J. Tucker for $10 million a year for three years, however they may end up paying the same or more for Jae Crowder if they bring him back in a trade. Is Jae an upgrade over P.J.? – Carl, Kapaa, Hawaii.
A: This has more to do with the intricacies of the salary cap than valuations of the players. If the Heat were to bring in Jae Crowder at his $10.2 million for this season, they would not be hard capped, because it would be via trade. If the Heat signed P.J. Tucker for that same amount for 2022-23, they would have been hard capped, because it would have been a free-agent signing. It doesn’t matter if that makes sense, it’s just the rules. And I happen to believe Jae would be excellent as a P.J. replacement, if the cap-o-nomics could work.
Q: Ira, in looking at your recent list of eligible free agents,. there are several players that could help the Heat. Pat Riley, Andy Elisburg, please, please do not sign Udonis Haslem to the last spot. – Joel.
A: The open offer has already been extended. So this no longer is a Pat Riley or Andy Elisburg decision; it is a Udonis Haslem decision. And solely a Udonis Haslem decision.