Mailbag: What are chances Heat sign Hayward & Ibaka; Would you rather James Johnson or Waiters?



Miami forward James Johnson shoots over Philadelphia's Richaun Holmes in the Heat's victory Wednesday. (Pedro Portal/Miami Herald/TNS)
Miami forward James Johnson shoots over Philadelphia’s Richaun Holmes in the Heat’s victory Wednesday. (Pedro Portal/Miami Herald/TNS)

MIAMI – The Heat are expected to enter the offseason with at least $40 million in cap space.

And although this is not a stellar year for free agents, the Heat will be busy looking to upgrade their roster, which brings us to one of our questions for 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 @JasonMOrtiz: what are the chances the Heat can get both Gordon Hayward and (Serge) Ibaka in free agency?

The first issue would if they can afford both considering Hayward is going to get a max contract. But even if they could, the chances are pretty good that Toronto and Ibaka spoke around the time Ibaka was acquired from Orlando and the Raptors received as close to an assurance as possible that he will return. Of course, it go horribly wrong and Ibaka could want out but so far he seems to be fitting in pretty well with the Raptors.

As for Hayward, the seven-year veteran will receive a max contract starting at $31 million. He’s having a breakout year but is Miami willing to use what could be more than 75 percent of their cap space on a player who is solid offensively though not among the elite and average defensively? Additionally, Hayward played for Brad Stevens in college and a reunion with Stevens in Boston may be a stronger possibility.

I would say there is a better chance they get neither than both. As for signing one of the two; I believe Ibaka returns to Toronto and it will come down to if Miami believes Hayward is worth the money and if they do, can they convince him to come to Miami and not go to Boston.

From Anthony in Miami: If you can only pick one to keep this summer, who would you re-sign – Dion or James?

    Both players are having breakout years with Waiters solidly entrenched as the starting shooting guard and averaging 15.9 points (more than 20 in the last six weeks) and James Johnson working himself into Sixth Man of the Year conversation with his versatile play that has him averaging 12.1 points, 4.9 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.1 block.

So, this is difficult to answer because both could be valuable pieces moving forward. Waiters is going to command more money on the open market considering he will be one of the top two or three shooting guards available. That likely will mean a minimum of $15 million a year and maybe closer to $20 million. James will come cheaper but at 30, he is five years older than Waiters. Because of that, and especially if you can get Johnson for around $10 million a year, I would go with Johnson. But that is a tough one to answer and a lot will depend on the other options available to the Heat.

From @nowhitechalk : What did you make of CB’s “staying ready” comments?

Chris Bosh is never going to close the door. Nobody really knows how his health is except those in his inner circle. We heard all last summer how he was cleared by an independent doctor and ready to play and then he failed the Heat’s physical.

I believe this is Bosh just keeping open all of his options. He will not be returning this season, that is certain. Training camp is a long way away and nobody knows what will happen between now and September. Could he return next fall? Sure. But there also is a very good chance he never plays again.

[Miami Heat sets the standard when it comes to balanced scoring]

[Heat guard Dion Waiters questionable for Orlando game because of ankle soreness]

[Okaro White doing whatever it takes for Miami Heat]

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