The trade deadline is approaching and despite the Miami Heat having won 14-of-16 and climbing back into the playoff race, fans are consumed with what could happen in the next couple of days.
So here are three of our trade deadline questions we answer in this week’s mailbag.
If you weren’t able to submit a question this week, send your questions for future mailbags via Twitter to @Anthony_Chiang and @tomdangelo44.
From @DutchBeek: buy or sell?
Depends on your definition. If by ‘buy’ you mean going all in to make a playoff push this season, that won’t happen. Pat Riley and Andy Elisburg have a plan to rebuild this team and that includes creating flexibility this summer with as much cap space as possible. Right now the Heat would have around $40 million of space if they keep Goran Dragic.
But Miami has an interesting dilemma now that it is making a playoff run. I am sure the Heat do not want to decimate this team’s chances of making the playoffs by trading away expiring contracts like those of James Johnson and Dion Waiters just to add cap space. That would mean waiving the white flag on this season. So if the Heat are looking at making a deal that helps this team in the next two months it would only do so if it would help the rebuilding process and doesn’t jeopardize their future plans.
@DjEz_TopRanking: could the heat make a play for Ben McLemore?
McLemore is a young (24) player who has been stuck in Sacramento for the first four years of his career and not lived up to being the No. 7 pick of the 2013 draft out of Kansas. He is a 6-foot-5 shooting guard averaging 6.6 points and shooting .412 from the field. And after a career-best 12.1 average in 2014-15 his scoring has declined the last two years.
McLemore is making $4 million this season and his contract and would require a qualifying offer of $5.375 million next summer to make him a restricted free agent. The Heat would have to believe he’d be a piece for their rebuilding plans to add him to the roster. And considering the depth at guard with Josh Richardson, Tyler Johnson and Dragic, McLemore basically would be taking the place of Waiters, which right now is not an upgrade, no matter what the Kings would ask for in return.
@DjEz_TopRanking: could Miami consider a Sacramento type blow up?
By blowing it up you probably mean trading Hassan Whiteside and Dragic and starting over again? Not likely. … and for many reasons.
First, Miami is in the thick of the playoff race and the front office really believes it has several pieces here that can help this team become a major player in the East quickly. Additionally, Riley is 71 and he has no desire to push this process back any longer. He is looking at becoming a contender as soon as this summer, and possibly being in the title talk by the summer of 2018. Teams that blow it up typically are looking at a minimum of three years – and some much longer – to recover.