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ASK IRA: Does NBA Finals matchup highlight a Heat pointless pursuit?

Q: You need offense in the playoffs. Dallas has two players who can score a lot of points. So does Boston. Miami has one. Maybe the Heat thought Terry Rozier would be that second player. – Stuart.

A: And maybe he still can. Terry Rozier wound up playing only 31 games for the Heat, and was sidelined for the biggest of those games by his neck issue. Assuming a full recovery, it will basically be a reset this coming season, considering he arrived highly deferential when it came to shooting and scoring. Now, that’s not to say that he will be the equivalent of a Jaylen Brown or Kyrie Irving, but his type of offense very much is part of what the Heat lacked. The difference for the Heat is that their current leading man, Jimmy Butler, does not have the same offensive relentlessness as a Jayson Tatum or Luka Donicic, and that at this stage of his career, that should not be expected. Basically, the Heat cannot expect to be able to emulate the winning styles of the Mavericks or Celtics. They simply have not been built that way.

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Q: When Jimmy Butler signed his current contract, the discussion was always how these last two years would age. Seems like both Jimmy and the Heat have received value. Now Jimmy appears to be squeezing every dollar available with his multitude of endorsements and now the max extension showdown. Had he played in the playoffs and with the effort he has most of his career during the season, this contract might be easier to watch happen. Right now, if a good offer materializes, it means that would be a prudent thing to accept. Send Jimmy to Hollywood – Jimmy, Columbus.

A: While it has gotten a bit over the top with this speculation regarding Jimmy Butler’s Heat future, I included this in the mailbag to address those who point to Jimmy’s endorsements and non-basketball interests as being detrimental to his playing career. The game’s best for years have been able to manage both, including into the latter stages of their careers. There is no reason Jimmy cannot be both Hollywood and Heat.

Q: Is the NBA going to investigate the Jimmy Butler trade-leak rumors going to the 76ers? Because that just smells like tampering, sounds like tampering and looks like tampering. – Rodney.

A: As long as Jimmy Butler doesn’t publicly demand a trade, and as long as a member of another team (outside of a player) doesn’t mention Jimmy by name, then it just means it’s another day of the NBA’s shadow influencing game that remains ongoing, and stirs welcomed interest in the game. Those who choose to be informed should be able to easily read between the lines, anyway. The irony is the Heat (Kyle Lowry) and 76ers (P.J. Tucker, James Harden) are among the teams who in recent years have been penalized by the NBA for personnel shenanigans.