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ASK IRA: Should Heat be keeping an eye on Harrison Barnes and the Kings’ evolving rotation?

Q: A guy like Harrison Barnes would make the Heat better than last year. – Juan, Miami Beach.

A: And this again comes down to when, or if, you move on to Plan B (or even Plan C). The Heat have one prime salary chip to put into play in a trade, the contract of Duncan Robinson, and also are limited in draft capital they would be able to send out. So once you make any move of heft, it could be your last significant move until the players you signed in the offseason (Victor Oladipo, Dewayne Dedmon or Caleb Martin) become trade eligible at midseason. Yes, Harrison Barnes would be an upgrade, but not to the levels of some others who either are on the market or could potentially come on the market. Again, it all is liar’s poker, holding off until the right move comes, but also not waiting too long and being shut out on the market.

Q: OK, let’s just re-sign Markieff Morris and go into training camp and the first quarter of the season and see what we got. I like our team, will miss P.J. Tucker, but understand why we didn’t offer a three-year guarantee at the mid-level for a 37-year-old physical player. I think we have a very competitive team with a nice combination of vets and young hungry players. Let’s see how they mesh. – Cheryl, Fort Lauderdale.

A: But if the Heat re-sign Udonis Haslem there will not be a roster spot or space under the luxury tax for Markieff Morris. And I’m not sure Markieff is the type of player the Heat would go into the tax for. So instead of having Markieff, you effectively could be reduced to a 12-man roster, considering Udonis does not play and Nikola Jovic is a considerable ways from being a contributor. Further, you are realistically talking 11 usable per game, with the unlikelihood of Omer Yurtseven and Dewayne Dedmon playing in the same game.

Q: I would like nothing better than for a slimmed down Kyle Lowry to show up this summer and put it in Pat Riley’s face. – Terry.

A: And I’m sure that Pat Riley would appreciate nothing more, as well. But for Kyle Lowry it isn’t about July or even August. It’s about reporting to camp as his best self. There still is time. But don’t kid yourself, Pat Riley’s words about conditioning assuredly resonated with Kyle.


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