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ASK IRA: Is Heat’s Bam Adebayo still in chase mode for All-Star selection?


Q: Bam Adebayo is an All-Star, for sure. And let’s put him in the early MVP talk. – Douglas.

A: Might be (actually are) jumping the gun on the MVP talk, considering what we’ve seen from Nikola Jokic and Luka Doncic. But All-Star certainly appears within the realm for Bam Adebayo. But keep in mind that the All-Star process does not delineate centers from forwards. So among Eastern Conference frontcourt players, Joel Embiid, Kevin Durant, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jayson Tatum are running ahead of Bam at the moment in terms of productivity and the standings. But with a minimum of six front-court players to be named from the Eastern Conference, it certainly does appear there for the taking for Bam.

Q: Perhaps it’s time to concede that the Heat grossly overpaid for Kyle Lowry and move him to the second unit. He is wildly inconsistent and, in many games, offers little offensively. His major skill can’t be the hit-ahead pass. Move Gabe Vincent to the starting unit and let Lowry dish to Max Strus and Duncan Robinson. It might make the second unit better and give a little more speed to the first unit. Thoughts? – Rick, Cooper City.

A: Put it this way, Kyle Lowry has started the last 666 games that he has appeared in. So once you make such a change, you run the real risk of losing him, if not because of his attitude, than merely human nature. So I’m not sure we’re anywhere near that point. Plus, Gabe Vincent is still working his way back from knee pain, so the resulting uptick in his minutes might not be optimal, either. This is not a situation where you have a backup point guard on Kyle’s heels when it comes to earned playing time. Beyond that, Gabe has formed a quality partnership with Victor Oladipo, particularly in the team’s zone defense. As for Kyle’s contract, the Heat have shown with sitting Duncan Robinson at times that salary is not at the heart of their decisions.

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Q: Is there any reason to not convert Orlando Robinson to a standard contract? – Wago.

A: Yes, because it would take the Heat into the luxury tax and potentially trigger the even more punitive repeater tax in a coming season. Last season, the Heat were able to offload KZ Okpala’s contract in order to convert the two-way contract of Caleb Martin. The Heat might have to look for a similar escape hatch to retain Orlando Robinson.

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