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ASK IRA: Should Heat wait for NBA trade inflation to abate?

Q: Ira, the Kevin Durant saga is over the top. He’s 34, past his prime, and exactly how many championships has he won without Stephen Curry/ Klay Thompson/Draymond Green? Zero. How many NBA Finals has he made without Russell Westbrook/James Harden/Serge Ibaka? Zero again. Giving away a young All-Star and multiple first round picks for a player that is past his prime and never really made those around him better is way too high a price. – Phil, Boca Raton.

A: First, let’s not do this. Let’s not, amid the risk of coming up short, devalue the prize. Kevin Durant is among the very best players in today’s game, among the best of all time. So, yes, you pursue and you pursue hard. But if you don’t land him, you also don’t walk away saying the chase wasn’t worth it. Put it this way: If you heard Kevin Durant was available and your team didn’t make its best offer, how would you feel about your team? But that also doesn’t mean your team didn’t/doesn’t have enough to compete without such a blockbuster.

Q: I can see Ben Simmons averaging double digit assists and providing elite defense in a Erik Spoelstra position-less system. – David, Venice.

A: This has been raised as a talking point because for the Nets to take in Bam Adebayo in any possible trade for Kevin Durant, Ben Simmons would have to be dealt by the Heat. And, yes, Erik Spoelstra’s position-less defensive system would seem tailor made for Ben. But so many questions remain with Ben, including actually getting on, and staying on, the court. Plus a Simmons-Jimmy Butler reunion could be a hoot.

Q: For me, Bam Adebayo is only untouchable on this roster, due to the fact the Heat would have no defenders at the four and five – Alt.

A: First, if you get a Kevin Durant, you have a defender at power forward. And it’s not as if Bam Adebayo was shutting down the game’s biggest centers. As with Bam, if he were to be moved in a deal, then Erik Spoelstra would adjust a system to his new personnel. That’s what the best coaches do. You can be wed to a player; you can’t be wed purely to a system. Bam is unique, thus the unique defensive approach these past few seasons.

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