ASK IRA: Will Heat be immune to contract selloffs like John Collins, Jordan Poole?

Q: Ira, the Jazz got John Collins for nothing and the Warriors traded Jordan Poole for nothing. Are the Heat going to do the same next with Tyer Herro? – Theo.

A: While Tyler Herro and Jordan Poole hold similar contracts, the value to the teams are different. The Warriors had concerns about re-signing Draymond Green, still have the contract of Andrew Wiggins, and of course the contracts of Stephen Curry and  Klay Thompson, with Thompson eligible for an extension this summer. Poole was no higher than fifth on their hierarchy. Tyler Herro is the third best player on the Heat. As for the comparisons to John Collins, I’d go with how one scout put it, when he referred to Collins’ statistics as empty calories. That’s what the Heat still need to determine with Tyler, is the value of his contribution as a starter. Last season was a trial run in that regard, with no opportunity to continue to take stock in the playoffs.

Q: Ira, how were the Utah Jazz able to trade Rudy Gay at $6.1 million and a second-round pick to Atlanta for John Collins, at a current salary of $23.5 million? I always thought that salaries had to match or at least come close in any NBA trades. – Greg, Jacksonville.

A: Not when you have cap space. The Jazz were able to take John Collins’ contract into their $47.2 million of cap space. Utah was one of only seven teams able to do so with cap space.

Q: Ira, with all of Victor Oladipo’s injuries, could the Heat get away with putting him on injured reserve for the year? It is doubtful he can contribute much this season. How would that impact the cap? – Rich, Plantation.

A: Not how it works in the NBA. The full amount of Victor Oladipio’s 2023-24 contract will count against the Heat’s salary cap and luxury tax even if he can’t make it back from his playoff knee injury. Yes, the Heat could apply for a salary-cap exception if it is deemed Vic would miss the entire upcoming season, but in their tax situation would have little such ability to utilize such an exception.