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ASK IRA: Could Heat eventually attract a max free agent at a less-than-max discount?

Q: Hey Ira, count me among those thrilled with Bam Adebayo’s max signing. A bird in the . . . (you know the rest). Pat Riley was never going to let this get close to bad press, similar to the mistake on Dwyane Wade a few years ago.

If a max free agent wants to be in Miami next year, Riley will get it done. -- David, Venice, Fla.


A: But there is another element to your final thought that does not get enough consideration: If a max free agent wants to get to Miami next summer, he can lower his price.

Just about every calculation involving free agency with elite players seems to start with the maximum salary, and then the requisite math from there. But plenty of players have taken less at times to get where they want, especially with the type of short-term contract that allow them to maximize their overall salary on the NBA’s seniority scale. That could especially be true for teams without state income taxes.


So before growing convinced that certain numbers don’t work, keep in mind that players always have the option of making them work if they want to get to a preferred, desired destination.

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A: Because from the players to the coaching staff, they continue to insist that Udonis Haslem’s presence in the locker room has a tangible impact.

I could even make the argument that the Heat would have benefited by bringing Solomon Hill back rather than committing a roster spot to Udonis. But those closest to the situation insist there is a palpable impact with Haslem as a roster presence.

Q: Nobody has mentioned what has happened to Kyle Alexander. Last I heard, he was still on the Heat roster. Did I miss something? -- Norm, Dupont, Wash.

A: He was not tendered a two-way qualifying offer, and at the moment he is a free agent, not on the Heat camp roster.

That certainly could still change, with two roster spots remaining for camp. But the competition could lead Kyle Alexander to look elsewhere.

The remains the possibility of a return to the Heat’s G League affiliate, although plans for the development league remain uncertain.