MIAMI — It’s time for another Heat mailbag.
@HFanatic34: Could you see us getting Tyreke Evans and a pick from the Grizzlies?
Anthony Chiang: Tyreke Evans would definitely help the Heat as a skilled wing who can play both guard positions and even some small forward. On Tuesday, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski pointed to Boston, Denver and Philadelphia as the front-runners for Evans, with Miami “staying engaged” with Memphis. Why aren’t the Heat a front-runner? Because they don’t have as much to offer the Grizzlies. Memphis is reportedly looking for a first-round pick in exchange for Evans. After trading a bunch of draft picks for Goran Dragic in 2015, the Heat aren’t allowed to trade a first-round selection before 2023, according to league rules. Miami doesn’t even own a second-round pick until 2022.
So what can the Heat offer the Grizzlies? Well, Miami has one expiring contract that could interest Memphis. The Heat could dangle Wayne Ellington’s expiring deal in front of the Grizzlies, but Miami is still hoping to find a way to keep Ellington this offseason. The Heat could also offer 21-year-old Justise Winslow and his team-friendly rookie contract. Check the trade machine and a deal that includes the Heat sending Ellington and Winslow to the Grizzlies for Evans and James Ennis (on an affordable expiring contract) works. But the question is, would you be willing to give up Ellington and Winslow for a player who is likely to be just a rental for the final few months of the season? Evans is on an expiring contract and he’s due for a big raise from his current $3.3 million salary. The Heat wouldn’t even have Evans’ Bird rights this offseason. Not so sure this deal makes sense for the Heat for this reason. Plus, in the end, how much better would this trade make the Heat? Adding Evans at the expense of Ellington and Winslow isn’t a huge improvement.
@Dominican_RAMBO: Would a Hassan and Bam pairing be a long-term look?
Anthony Chiang: Let’s start with some background on this question. Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said after Tuesday’s practice that he might be forced to play big men Hassan Whiteside and Bam Adebayo together more often moving forward to get both of them minutes. Is this a long-term look? Not sure about that. If Adebayo develops a reliable outside shot and perimeter game, this frontcourt tandem could be sustainable. But as of now, it seems limited offensively. In the 36 minutes Whiteside and Adebayo have played together this season, Miami has posted an underwhelming 93.1 offensive rating. This look is already a force defensively, though. The Heat have posted an impressive 93.3 defensive rating with this duo on the court. We need a larger sample size to know the real answer to this question, and it looks like we’re going to get that over the final few months of the season.