Q: The Heat should receive that second-round pick, Just saying. – Kevin.
A: This was in reference to the NBA on Monday docking the 76ers a second-round pick for premature free-agency contact with P.J. Tucker in June. The reality is that the loss of Tucker had little to do with timing, and everything to do with salary structure. The Heat were not going into the hard cap for a 37-year-old power forward seeking a three-year deal. But considering Florida’s lack of state income tax, the Heat basically were offering the same financial package, once they agreed to also go the maximum three years. It is similar to the Heat being docked a second-round pick when the NBA said there was premature free-agency contact regarding Kyle Lowry. By then, the Raptors had agreed to move on from Kyle. Now, if you’re saying teams should get compensatory picks for losing free agents, as in other sports, that could be worth considering.
Q: OK, we’re not even 10 games in yet and there haven’t been any trades (yet). But I need to ask if there’s any chance Miami has a draft pick that could get them Victor Wembenyama if the season spirals out of control. I think he would fit nicely next to Bam Adebayo and he would definitely shore up the front court. – Eddie, South Bend, Ind.
A: Yes, the Heat hold a fully protected first-round pick for the June 2023 NBA draft. But really? Asking on Nov. 1? (But the Heat do not hold their own 2023 second-round pick, in case Wembenyama slips to the second round.)
Q: Ira, Pat Riley made a big mistake getting Kyle Lowry and giving him a big contract and trading good players away, based on his uneven play for a supposed great point guard. Would like your expert view. Thanks. – Richard, Delray Beach.
A: I’m not overly concerned about the players given up in the sign-and-trade. It would have been difficult to play Goran Dragic at his defensive level while also giving minutes to Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson (which was the plan at the time). As for Precious Achiuwa, it was just a week ago that Nick Nurse was questioning his motor, so who knows how that is going to play out? The biggest issue with Kyle Lowry is the percentage of the payroll he is eating into. And, no, he has not been playing to his price point this season. So, yes, if this is the Kyle Lowry the Heat get for the next two seasons, then, yes, reasonable concern. But, again, it’s Nov. 1, with months and months and months to follow.