The Miami Herald Heat mailbag is here to answer your questions this offseason.
Michael: Do you think it can work sliding Bam Adebayo to power forward and starting Dewayne Dedmon at center? Have Bam play the bulk of the game at the five, but go big for a solid 15 minutes or so each game.
Anthony Chiang: Yes, theoretically it could work. But is this the best use of the Heat’s resources? It doesn’t seem like coach Erik Spoelstra believes so based on how little he has used those two-big combinations in the past, and his opinion matters most.
Last season, Bam Adebayo and Dewayne Dedmon played just 14 minutes together, and Adebayo and Omer Yurtseven logged just 18 minutes together.
The most effective frontcourt combinations for the Heat since Adebayo became the starting center have included power forwards who can space the floor with three-point shooting and are versatile enough to play in Spoelstra’s switch-heavy defensive scheme. P.J. Tucker and Jae Crowder are the two best examples who were able to fit that mold and complement Adebayo’s unique skill set.
Unfortunately for the Heat, Tucker left this offseason to sign with the Philadelphia 76ers in free agency, and Crowder is currently a member of the Phoenix Suns.
The Heat doesn’t seem to have that exact type of player on its roster at the moment following Tucker’s departure. Caleb Martin could be as close as it gets as a plus-defender who can guard multiple positions and also shot 41.3 percent from three-point range last season, but is undersized as a power forward at 6-5 and 205 pounds.
Behind Martin, the Heat has developmental forwards in Haywood Highsmith and Nikola Jovic. Highsmith is intriguing because he fits what the Heat is looking for in a power forward with his combination of three-point shooting and defensive versatility.
Jimmy Butler could also play as a small-ball power forward during stretches.
And maybe Adebayo and Yurtseven or Adebayo and Dedmon do log more minutes together this season out of necessity, as the Heat searches for answers in the frontcourt. But one of the big men will need to be able to space the floor with outside shooting to really make it a sustainable pairing that can be relied on.
Until Spoelstra shows he’s comfortable enough to play these two-big lineups for extended stretches, though, this is all just conjecture.
@AR1ST0TELIOS: If I recall, doesn’t Sean Marks have a special relationship with Pat Riley? Therefore, KD coming out with such an ultimatum about it’s either him or Marks and Steve Nash might have Pat look at KD in a whole new light and steer him away and looking elsewhere at other players?
Anthony: Nets general manager Sean Marks did spend two seasons playing for the Heat under Pat Riley. Maybe they do have a relationship dating to that time together. But I’m not sure that changes the fact that we’re talking about Kevin Durant here. One of the greatest players in NBA history.
Without cap space, the only way the Heat can realistically acquire a superstar at the moment is if he’s disgruntled and asks for a trade. The Durant situation isn’t pretty, but this is what a superstar requesting a trade looks like. None of this should scare the Heat away because, well, this is the only way Durant was going to become available with four years left on his contract.