The Heat are back.
And a new season means plenty of changes around the league. On Saturday, the Oklahoma City Thunder made a second blockbuster deal of the offseason, this time acquiring Carmelo Anthony from the Knicks. Could the Heat have gotten involved? We answer that and more in our latest mailbag. If you weren’t able to ask a question, send them in for future mailbags via Twitter to @Anthony_Chiang and @tomdangelo44.
From ChrisHypeTrain: OKC didn’t give up much for Carmelo Anthony or even Paul George. Why didn’t the Heat go after either player?
In July, the Thunder acquired George for Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis. On Saturday they parted with Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott and a 2018 second-round pick for Anthony. And although it doesn’t seem like much, it would have been difficult for the Heat to get involved with either player.
Remember, Miami is limited when it come to trades, at least for the next few months. Any free agent that signed this summer is not allowed to be traded until Dec. 15 at the earliest which took James Johnson, Dion Waiters and Kelly Olynyk among others off the board.
Pat Riley then had to weight putting together a package of two or three of his primary players for George, who likely would have been a one-year rental considering his desire to play with the Lakers (George will be a free agent next summer) or 33-year-old Anthony whose style would not have fit into what the Heat preach and is owed more than $54 million the next two seasons.
The Heat probably are looking to move Tyler Johnson, who after making $5.8 million this year is on the books for $18.8 million and $19.6 million the next two years. But teams like the Pacers and Knicks do not want that contract cutting into their cap, either, so it would have been difficult trading Tyler. The Heat were not looking to move Hassan Whiteside or Goran Dragic for players who would have been such a short-term fix.
The Heat made the right move by moving on from both players.
From @ifotomedia: Do you think Olynyk can make a big difference for the Heat?
The Heat certainly think so, jumping on Kelly Olynyk and signing him for $50 million over the next four years after losing out on Gordon Hayward.
Olynyk should be a solid addition. First, the Heat love the way he competes, seeing it three or four times a year while he was with the Celtics. But he’s also a versatile player, one who is 7-foot and has averaged more than eight rebounds per 36 minutes in his career and also made 254 threes in four years. Olynyk is athletic and although he’s never been known for his defense the Heat believe he will be just fine defending stretch fours and centers.
Here is what coach Erik Spoelstra had to say this summer about Olynyk.
“He’s a very skilled big that can do a lot of different things. He fits well into our positionless style of basketball because he can play with basically any combination of players. I think what he does highlights a lot of the strengths of guys that we currently have.”