Q: Jabari Parker is a wing, scorer and young — what Miami needs. Also, he has low value and an expiring deal (which covers for his injury). Why not? — Michael.
A: First, in today’s NBA he is not viewed as a wing but more as a power forward, which hardly is pressing Heat need, especially with what has been invested in James Johnson, plus the presence of Bam Adebayo and Kelly Olynyk That said, yes, there is plenty to be said about reclamation projects and the results over the years with the Heat. The contract, though, is an issue. Not only does Jabari earn $20 million this season, but there is a team option for next season. So if you don’t pick up the option, then you either are letting him go and would have to spend away 2020 cap space to bid to retain him in free agency on a longer-term contract. Conversely, you could retain him at that $20 million (since the Heat are lacking 2019 cap space), but that would be yet another eight-figure contract, as Justise Winslow’s extension goes into effect. Now, if you were to trade him for Tyler Johnson, then you would be swapping out similar money. But there is little incentive for the Bulls to take on that extra season of salary (assuming Tyler does not bypass his player option) , when they could otherwise decline the 2019-20 team option on Parker.
Q: Do you see any potential market for James Johnson, and are the Heat willing to move him to create minutes, barring any major injuries, before the deadline? — Gabriel, Lakeland.
A: I still believe the Heat preference would be to make it work with James, if only to validate that four-year, $60 million contract. That said, if 2020 cap space could be cleared, then such a move would have to be considered. I had thought the Rockets could be a possible suitor because of their loss of defensive-minded wings and willingness to take on salary, but they seemed to have righted themselves without having to take on the two addition years at $30 million that James has on his deal after this season.
Q: Wayne Ellington for Michael Beasley? Hmm. — Scott, North Miami.
A: Never change, Heat nation.
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