Time for another Miami Heat mailbag
If you were not able to ask a question this time, send them along for future mailbags via Twitter to @tomdangelo44 and @Anthony_Chiang. You can also e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don, Fort Lauderdale: If the Raptors blow it up could the Heat jump in and trade for some of their players?
Many believed the Raptors should have blown up their roster a year ago but they gambled, handed out several long-term contracts, and brought back most of their players (sound familiar?). Now, after president Masai Ujiri said, “we need a culture reset here” a year ago, where does he go from here after being swept in the conference semifinals for the second consecutive year by the Cavaliers? And this time as the No. 1 seed?
If you think the Heat are in salary cap hell, take a look at the Raptors who have three players eating up $80.4 million next season: point guard Kyle Lowry, $31.0 million; shooting guard DeMar DeRozan, $27.7 million; power forward Serge Ibaka, $21.7 million. Add center Jonas Valanciunas’ $16.5 million option and that puts the Raptors just $4 million shy of the projected $101 million salary cap.
If Toronto is looking for that “culture reset” it’ll probably start in the backcourt. DeRozan and Lowry are coming off All-Star seasons before once again wilting in the postseason. Lowry was an All-Star for the fourth consecutive season although his scoring dipped more than six points to 16.2 per game and he’s 32. DeRozan is four years younger and averaged 23.0 points per game.
DeRozan would bring the biggest return but he’s the player the Raptors may want to attempt to rebuild around. Toronto could look at one of the other teams looking to unload their All-Star point guard, like the Wizards (John Wall) or the Hornets (Kemba Walker), in a Lowry deal. Those options are more attractive than pursing Goran Dragic, who also recently turned 32. But if Toronto is looking for more young players perhaps they would be willing to expand the deal.
Of course, the Heat may not want to stop there, but the question is who else would they want? (Please, not Ibaka). The Raptors have some nice young players, some of whom like Pascal Siakam and OG Anunoby they’ll want to hold onto. But in the Heat followers quest to trade Hassan Whiteside would the Raptors think about moving Valanciunas and making this a much larger deal?
Why not? But remember, any deal with a team like Toronto or even Washington or Milwaukee reeks of two desperate teams just hoping to push their problem onto another team.
Which leads us to another possible trade question …
@vfraumeni3: Any chance if Whiteside is moved that the spurs would take him? A move involving Hassan and Dion and a future 1st for (Kawhi Leonard) and (Patty Mills) could work well i think
So, Hassan Whiteside and Dion Waiters for Kawhi Leonard and Patty Mills? Pat Riley would drive to San Antonio in August with no air conditioning and the windows stuck in the up position if that’s what it took to get that deal done.
Whiteside will not end up a Spur unless the teams agree on a blockbuster. In fact, I’d put the chances of Leonard being to Miami next season better than Whiteside wearing a San Antonio uniform. But that would take the Spurs being rejected by several other teams before having serious talks with the Heat regarding a Leonard deal.