ASK IRA: Are Heat looking at a case of here comes the Sun?

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Q: Would a Jae Crowder buyout work for all parties involved? – Nat.

A: Not as long as the Suns consider Jae Crowder an asset. This is not a case of having to get something in return immediately. Phoenix can play the long game, allow Jae to remain away from the team, and then act when a team comes up with something tangible in return. Jae still has enough to offer to make a contender better, including the Heat. The issue is that he seemingly wants a starting role and a major minutes role. The Heat are positioned to offer that. What they are not positioned with is matching salary-cap components. But, yes, after that long-winded explanation, if Jae Crowder were to get a Suns buyout, the Heat would be at the front of the list among those interested, with the interest mutual from Jae.

Q: So little value is placed on continuity, but it is the secret sauce of most championship teams. – David.

A: And there is something to be said for that from a Heat perspective. But the Heat also are not exactly in a place of continuity, considering they lost their starting power forward, without a clear replacement for P.J. Tucker. Also, with 40 percent of the Heat’s starting lineup still uncertain (the starting power forward, the third wing), this is not exactly a case of picking up where leaving off.

Q: Hello, Ira. In your opinion, does a starting lineup featuring Kyle Lowry, Tyler Herro, Jimmy Butler, Caleb Martin, and Bam Adebayo offer the right mix of offense and defense to compete for a top seed in the East? – Carlos, West Park.

A: Of those components, yes. What I’m not sure about is whether it offers enough floor spacing and 3-point shooting. That is why I could see Max Strus remaining in the opening mix. But I would say that the quintet you offered stands with the best odds, at the moment, of potential Heat opening-night starting fives.

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