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Q: I’ve been saying it since Bam Adebayo’s rookie year: It shouldn’t take five years to run plays for Bam. This offense doesn’t allow big men to thrive offensively beside the “energy” baskets, rolls, offensive rebounds, push shots. That’s why Precious Achuiwa attempted one three here, but goes to Toronto and Nick Nurse encourages it.

So did Mike Brown in the Olympics. Here, the big man plays their “role” and never attacks a mismatch. – Swann.

A: Based on how the playoffs ended, and based on how Bam Adebayo reacted to the way the playoffs ended, I believe that will be part of his pre-camp summit with Erik Spoelstra. For years, Erik Spoelstra has sought ways to maximize Bam’s defensive game, with Bam proving compliant. It now will be interesting to see if Spoelstra is amenable to Bam’s desires on the other end. But also keep in mind that this is an offense that also has to feed Jimmy Butler, Tyler Herro and the team’s 3-point shooters. So, more than likely, this will again be a team where the scoring load and scoring averages prove balanced.

Q: Ira, why is there such a big deal of going into the luxury tax? Look at Golden State, the Warriors are not afraid to spend and look where they are. I’m sure it’s still profitable for Micky Arison to pay the tax and we get a better team. What do you think? – Karl, Kapaa, Hawaii.

A: But that’s not what the Heat’s primary issue has been this offseason. It’s been avoiding the hard cap in order to potentially upgrade the roster . . . and then pay into the luxury tax when the roster is maximized. This yet could be a tax team this coming season. And with a major personnel move, it likely will be. For now, flexibility trumps the tax.

Q: As honestly as you can answer, what exactly does Udonis Haslem do as literally a 25- to 30-minute-per-year player that he couldn’t do as an assistant coach? Is there any way that roster spot couldn’t be put to far better use? – Michael, Parkland.

A: Basically, it puts him in the locker room, as a co-worker for teammates to lean on. I’m not sure any outsider could appreciate the difference. But all you hear are teammates swearing by his presence. It’s one of those I-guess-you-have-to-be-there type things when it comes to the unique chemistry of a locker room and a bench.


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Miami Heat Serious Suitors for Disgruntled Suns Forward: Report

Getty Jae Crowder #99 of the Phoenix Suns.

With a lineup currently beset by injuries, the Miami Heat could use all of the reinforcements they could possibly get its hands on. Though at this rate, the return of Jimmy Butler to the rotation would be as welcome as any blockbuster trade.

But that doesn’t mean Miami isn’t exploring all of its options in the trade market. According to Sam Amico of Hoops Wire, the Heat are actively pursuing a trade for Suns forward Jae Crowder.

“The Heat remain interested in Suns forward Jae Crowder and should still be considered a ‘serious’ suitor, sources told Hoops Wire. Miami has been considering multi-team trades as a way to acquire Crowder, sources added.”

Crowder has yet to appear in a game for the Suns this season, preferring instead to hold out until his request for a trade out of the desert is met. If Miami is interested in acquiring Crowder, they’ll have some stiff competition.

The Dallas Mavericks ‘Have Talked About’ Adding Crowder

Over his career, Crowder has played for no fewer than six teams (including the Heat). And according to Heavy Sports’ Sean Deveney, Crowder could be headed for a reunion with one of them. Deveney spoke with one Western Conference executive who said the Dallas Mavericks are exploring a move for the disgruntled player.

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“[The Mavericks] have talked about Jae Crowder, bringing him back. That is the kind of player they’re looking at but there is not much there that Phoenix would want—the Suns want someone who is going to help them now. Dallas doesn’t have that unless they were to make it a bigger deal.”

The Bucks and Suns have engaged in trade conversations for Jae Crowder, per @ShamsCharania

The Heat and Hawks reportedly remain interested as well

— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) October 24, 2022

Throw in the Golden State Warriors, Milwaukee Bucks, and Atlanta Hawks onto the heap of teams interested in trading for Crowder, originally reported by Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report.

“Buzz permeated NBA circles over the past week that the Phoenix Suns are close to finding a deal for veteran Jae Crowder, who has been working out away from the team all season, staying in shape for an eventual trade. The Suns have several suitors, including the Milwaukee Bucks, Atlanta Hawks and Golden State Warriors. One executive told B/R that the final result could be a multi-team trade with three, four or even five NBA franchises.”

There’s one general throughline with each of these rumors: teams seeking out Crowder are exploring every option available, including multi-team deals.

Mapping Out a Three-Team Trade for Crowder

According to Pincus, the Houston Rockets might make an ideal third team to loop into a potential Crowder deal. The Rockets are still lightyears away from contending, but boast a nice young core of Jalen Green, Jabari Smith, Jr., and Alperen Sengun. That leaves veteran Eric Gordon as the odd man out as a result of his age (33) and win-now mentality. If the Suns added Gordon, it might placate losing another win-oriented veteran in Crowder.

The only kicker? Pincus nailed it: “The Rockets would want real value back, be it quality young prospects and/or draft considerations.” Do the Heat have that sort of player? The Warriors have a trio of youngsters to re-route to Houston. The Hawks could sell on John Collins or De’Andre Hunter.

The Heat, on the other hand, owns the league’s second-oldest roster (behind only the Bucks, who also hope to land Crowder’s signature). It’s hard to imagine the team parting with rookie Nikola Jovic after his solid play of late, but he might be the only thing of value the Heat can send Houston’s (or another similar trade facilitator’s) way.

The Cleveland Cavaliers are expected to show interest in Jae Crowder, per The Athletic

The Celtics, Grizzlies, Heat and Mavericks could also show interest

— NBACentral (@TheNBACentral) September 28, 2022

If the Heat thinks Crowder represents a better chance to win now over the young Jovic, then don’t expect them to think twice about throwing him in a potential deal. But Miami might need to see more from its veterans before pulling the trigger on such a big move.

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