The Miami Herald’s Heat mailbag is here to answer your pressing questions. If you weren’t able to ask this time, send your questions for future mailbags via Twitter (@Anthony_Chiang). You can also email them in to firstname.lastname@example.org.
@Jthefox101YT: Do you think the Heat can get Zach LaVine or Alex Caruso?
Anthony Chiang: Obviously, it all depends on the package the Heat would be sending out to potentially acquire these players.
But I will point this out: LaVine is due $40.1 million this season, $43 million next season, $46 million in 2025-26 and has a player option worth $49 million in 2026-27. LaVine has also dealt with knee issues in recent years, undergoing knee surgery last year.
On top of that, LaVine’s fit with the Heat is questionable. Assuming Tyler Herro, Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo are not in a potential trade package, where does LaVine fit in Miami’s offense around those three players? Yes, the Heat needs more offensive weapons, but LaVine would be another ball-dominant player who would take touches away from the Heat’s top three players.
As for Caruso, he fills a Heat need as a guard who is an excellent defender and can make threes. But if Caruso does become available, he’ll be in high demand and it may require a first-round pick or multiple first-round picks to acquire him. I’m not sure the Heat is ready to give up first-round picks for Caruso, as Miami appears to be saving its first-round picks to trade for an All-Star caliber player down the road.
Plus, the Heat is playing well right now. And once Herro returns from injury in a few weeks, players who were expected to be in the rotation for the Heat could be left out of the rotation because of the Heat’s depth. So it’s not like Miami is desperate to make a deal at the moment.
@Miamiprep: What is the best player comp for Heat rookie Jaime Jaquez Jr. besides Jimmy Butler? Gordon Hayward?
Those are the first two that come to mind for me, but that’s not to say that Jaquez will end up being as good as Butler or Hayward. It’s still very early in Jaquez’s NBA career and it would be a bit unfair to put those kind of expectations on him.
Jaquez is a relatively unique player in today’s NBA because he does most of his scoring from inside the three-point line off cuts and post-ups. He also can hold his own on the defensive end against most perimeter players.
It looks like the Heat again hit a home run in the draft by taking Jaquez at No. 18. The Heat also hit home runs when it selected Adebayo at No. 14 overall in 2017 and Herro at No. 13 in 2019.
@KellyLinters22: Even with all the injuries, we have yet to see much of any of the two-way players from the Heat this year. Last few years they were used quite a bit. Who do you expect out of the three current two-way players will end up getting some minutes in the weeks ahead?
Anthony: Considering the two-way contract player currently with the Heat’s G League affiliate is Jamal Cain and R.J. Hampton is dealing with a knee injury, the answer right now is Cole Swider because he’s the only one currently with the Heat and healthy. But that’s based out of need because the Heat needs three-point shooting depth with one of its top outside shooters (Herro) out for at least another week.
With that being said, Cain has logged the most minutes of the Heat’s three two-way contract players this season so far with 30 under his belt. In addition, Cain is the one with the most institutional Heat knowledge after also spending last season on a two-way deal with the Heat.