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ASK IRA: Is there a path for Kyrie Irving to the Heat?

Q: Since it is rumored that the talks between Kyrie Irving and the Nets are at an impasse, could the Heat structure a deal to send Kyle Lowry and others to Brooklyn to bring Kyrie to Miami? – Carlton, South Miami.

A: Could they? Yes, they have the salary means required for such a trade. Arguably, they even might have some of the things the Nets could want. Lowry’s salary not only would fit, but also could provide the Nets with stability at point guard alongside Kevin Durant and Ben Simmons. But Lowry also signed with the Heat at the urging of Jimmy Butler, so there is a Butler element in play (although years back, Butler spoke of the intrigue of playing alongside Kyrie Irving). Still, there have been times when the Heat previously were interested in Kyrie, but plenty also has transpired with Kyrie in the interim. For now, it appears this is all merely the posturing that comes ahead of both free agency and the extension window. So, no, I would not read too much into the possibility of Kyrie to the Heat.

Q: Due to the Heat’s projected salary issues and P.J. Tucker’s willingness to leave the champion Bucks last summer, do you expect the Heat to re-sign him? If not what options are out there, since the Heat probably do not have anyone on their roster that does what he does. – Joel.

A: Again, this very much is a time for posturing, including P.J.Tucker’s ability to opt out and seek more from the Heat. P.J. is somewhat limited with the Heat by his lack of Bird Rights, but still could seek a three-year, $27 million deal. So the question becomes would the Heat go that far out with a 37-year-old power forward? As for options, there always is big-big with Omer Yurtseven alongside Bam Adebayo. Or small-small, with Caleb Martin potentially alongside Bam. Personally, I’m also somewhat intrigued by T.J. Warren in free agency, or maybe another run at Thaddeus Young. But, yes, it is a very thin free-agent pool at the position.

Q: I believe this will end up like the Jae Crowder scenario two years ago. – Tuddle.

A: And it could be, with P.J. Tucker already showing that he is willing to play as a hired gun. But when it came to Jae Crowder leaving the Heat in the 2020 offseason after helping them make the NBA Finals, the divide in what the Heat were willing to offer and what Jae got from the Suns was far more significant than what P.J. Tucker likely would get elsewhere beyond the Heat means/limitations.


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