Pat Riley speaks about why he believes Heat can improve this season
The weekly Miami Herald Heat mailbag is here to answer your questions.
Jason: John Wall to the Heat? Miami needs to do this.
Anthony Chiang: John Wall is the new name Heat fans want? Jimmy Butler is yesterday’s news after he was traded to the 76ers earlier this month. While Wall is talented and would definitely help what has been an underwhelming Heat offense, let’s explore why the Heat might be hesitant to trade for the five-time All-Star.
Trading for Wall means trading for an expensive long-term contract that will eat away at any salary cap space the Heat hopes to have in the 2020 or 2021 offseasons. Wall is due $38 million next season, $41 million in 2020-21, $44 million in 2021-22 and has a player option for $47 million in 2022-23. But that pricey deal could also benefit the Heat because it reduces Wall’s trade value. While Wall — whose salary is $19.2 million this season — is a dynamic player who is supposed to be in his prime at 28 years old, his contract is a deterrent for some teams. That could be the opening the Heat needs to convince the Wizards to trade him to a team within the same division and conference. Miami would likely try to convince Washington to take some of its own unappealing contracts in this scenario — something the Wizards might agree to because the Heat’s deals are shorter than Wall’s, which runs through the 2022-23 season.
Some will argue why preserve 2020 cap space just for the chance to land a big-name free agent in a class that’s not expected to be loaded with superstars? Some will argue Wall is the equivalent to a big free agent signing. Some will argue a trade (whether it’s for Wall or not) is what the Heat needs to shake up a roster that’s underachieved to start the season and currently has the organization above the luxury tax threshold.
In the end, the Heat will decide what the right course of action is moving forward. And the Wizards will decide whether they’ll actually trade Wall or stick with him through the adversity they are currently facing.
David: Why did Derrick Jones Jr. get more minutes than Bam Adebayo and Justise Winslow in the Heat’s loss to the Nets?
Anthony: Because the Heat’s rotation is always changing, and every game will be different. That means Jones is going to get more minutes than Adebayo and Winslow some nights. It also means Duncan Robinson is going to get more minutes than Kelly Olynyk every now and then (see Tuesday’s loss to the Nets). Then there will be games that Jones plays just five minutes, and Adebayo and Winslow play 25. Things are going to change from game to game, especially right now as Erik Spoelstra searches for a rotation and lineups that work.