Q: Who do you think of the Miami Heat is making the biggest improvement this summer/next season: Omer Yurtseven, Tyler Herro, Caleb Martin, Bam Adebayo or another player? -Stuart.
A: That’s an interesting question. So maybe it’s best to take each one on a case-by-case basis. I’m not sure Tyler Herro, for example, needs to improve. What he needs is to get back to the form he showed for most of last season and in the 2020 bubble. So it would be more of a case of regaining some confidence that has seemingly waned (may -be due to an injury in the last playoffs). As for Bam Adebayo, it could also be more about trust than an upgrade. What he needs is to play as aggressively in attack as he does in defence. So the question is whether he has that in him. As for Caleb Martin, if he is to truly function as a PJ Tucker backup, he needs to return to the consistency previously shown with his 3-point shot. So, I guess out of the four you mentioned, it’s probably Omer Yurtseven who must be showing a growth chart. The defense needs to improve. And that could come down to whether he has the required agility in the Heat system. If you’re allowed to deviate from the menu you’ve provided, the biggest ultimate upgrade required for a step up from the current roster might be Kyle Lowry’s Conditioned Upgrade. And that is the case for any older player, especially one who plays such a vital role.
Q: Ira, in nearly every published analysis of free agency winners and losers, the Heat rest comfortably in the “loser” category, with the loss of PJ Tucker, the potential loss of Tyler Herro and the lack of meaning additions to compensate for subtractions. Hard to argue with that conclusion, is it? – Bill, Palm Beach Gardens.
A: And if the NBA season started on July 10, I would totally agree. But as has been reiterated in this space since free agency began, it’s not about who wins the first week of free agency, or even the first month. So maybe file the ballots until the end of the offseason? As for Tyler Herro, he remains under full control of the Heat for the upcoming season, even if it is not extended. And if it’s not extended, the Heat would have the right to match any offer next summer. So of all the Heat’s 2022-23 roster concerns, I wouldn’t have Tyler on that roster.
Q: The big man who really intrigues me is not Nikola Jovic, but Orlando Robinson. He seems to be in better control of his game. He seems calm and doesn’t rush things. He is consistent on the free throw line. He bounces back and attacks the rim but where is the perimeter play? – Rodney.
A: It’s something Orlando Robinson started to favor in his senior season at Fresno State, successfully shifting his game last season to the 3-point line. But he said that wasn’t something the Heat targeted during the summer league. To some degree that sounds like how Hassan Whiteside, Bam Adebayo, Dewayne Dedmon, heck, even Udonis Haslem, have talked about working on their 3-point plays in practice over the past few years, but as far as the playing time is not something the Heat have chosen to explore. The reality is that unless it’s a facet that’s part of a game routine, it’s not something that grabs opposing attention and creates spacing.