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ASK IRA: Are Heat overestimating the importance of P.J. Tucker to their success?

Q: Is Erik Spoelstra’s system so precise that it can’t work without P.J. Tucker? Bam Adebayo I can understand, but Tuck? – Carl.

A: I would put it this way: The defensive system that the Heat ran last season was precisely what suited P.J. Tucker’s skill set. So, yes, in that system, P.J. was essential. But Erik Spoelstra long has adjusted his system to his players, whether it was convincing Dwyane Wade to play off the ball, or adjusting defensively with Hassan Whiteside in drop coverage. Quality coaches adjust to their roster. Erik Spoelstra assuredly can do the same. So if not P.J. in free agency, then on to the next option and the next system.

Q: Is there any reason why the Heat are not interested in John Collins? His value seems low at this point. – Jeffrey.

A: Who says they’re not? There is a whole NBA ecosystem that exists out there beyond the rumor mill. It’s all about price point and having the desired return assets, as well as how much a team values a particular player. For the right price (both in terms of a player’s salary and the assets needed to acquire), any player could be considered. And all the names are up on the board in Pat Riley’s office. All of them.

Q: Ira, there was a reason Duncan Robinson received the contract that he received. He definitely had a disappointing season, but if he cannot be packaged in a deal, it may not be the worst thing to happen. Who’s to say that he won’t have a bounce back year next season. – Joel.

A: Certainly could. But the contract also provides the Heat with a mid-tier salary to eventually utilize in a trade. The Heat could similarly make an offer in free agency to Victor Oladipo with his Bird Rights in order to have a smaller salary to potentially put into a deal.

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