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.
From Thomas, Boca Raton: I noticed the Heat’s advertisement at the new Brightline station in Miami has a picture of Bam and not Whiteside. Can we read into this?
The Heat have done a great job teaming up with Brightline and marketing the MiamiCentral station, which is blocks from AmericanAirlines Arena. The grand opening last month certainly had a Heat theme with Udonis Haslem making an appearance – Haslem also has a personal stake with his company opening an Einstein Bros. Bagel and Starbucks in the station – and the unveiling of the mural, which is an ad for season tickets and reads: “CUT THROUGH TRAFFIC, FINISH AT THE RIM.”
On the left, to illustrate “cut through traffic,” the picture is of Goran Dragic driving to the basket. On the right, to depict the “finish at rim” portion of the slogan is Bam Adebayo – and not Hassan Whiteside – soaring high above the rim for a dunk.
Are the Heat sending a message? Probably not. Could they just be covering themselves in case of a trade? Or perhaps it just happened to be the best picture to fit the narrative of the ad.
Everybody, including Whiteside, knows the Heat are not happy with their $98 million center and although nothing has been confirmed by the Heat all signs point to Miami actively looking to trade the 29-year-old center this offseason, which will not be easy considering his contract that has two years and $52.5 million remaining, declining production and immaturity. As for Bam, the Heat are very encouraged by what they saw in his rookie season and whether Whiteside is moved or not, the Heat see him as their center of the future.
From Chris, Fort Lauderdale: I know Riley said nobody is untouchable but would the Heat really trade Josh Richardson?
Pat Riley and the Miami Heat are open for business and yes, everybody on the roster is in play. But obviously, some have a far greater chance of being traded than others. Richardson, 24, is coming off his best season in which he started in all 81 games that he played and he starts a team-friendly deal – four years, $42 million – this upcoming season. Sure, Richardson could be moved but it would have to be a blockbuster and net the Heat an All-Star in return. Miami will not add Richardson, a valuable wing player who also is among the best defenders in the league, just as a sweetener to dump a large contract without receiving anything of significance in return.