ASK IRA: Would ‘off limits’ be a bit extreme for Heat’s Jaquez, Jovic on NBA trade market?

Q: So Jaime Jaquez Jr. makes first-team All-Rookie. Does this and his first season body of work make him untouchable? – Bob, Davie.

A: Actually, it could be the opposite, potentially heightening trade interest. For years, the Heat have lacked much in the way of trade assets, particularly with so many of their future draft picks encumbered. Now they have pieces such as Jaime Jaquez Jr. and Nikola Jovic that might entice as much as draft capital. Plus, they also have tradeable salaries, including the one they acquired by dealing out Kyle Lowry’s expiring contract for Terry Rozier’s salary. In fact, an argument could be made that Pat Riley never has been better positioned than this moment when it comes to assets at a variety of attractive price points. So what we need to know, more than anything else, is whether the Heat value Jaquez and Jovic more as roster assets or trade assets, knowing that any team will publicly insist it is the former (until such players are dealt).

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Q: It is too soon to give up on Nikola Jovic and Jaime Jaquez Jr.? By give up, I mean using them as filler in a trade. – Steve, Dandridge, Tenn.

A: First, based on the two being playoff starters, they wouldn’t be “filler.” They would be assets. And the reality is that the way the Heat have sold out much of their future, including the potentially unprotected first-round pick for Terry Rozier, plus another potentially unprotected first-rounder to the Thunder, they basically have said they are living in the moment. So, yes, dealing such young talent such as Jovic and/or Jaquez would be part of that living in that moment if that’s what was required for a potential trade for Donovan Mitchell or another of that ilk.

Q: Wow, to see Bam Adebayo as the only Heat player getting votes for the All-Defensive teams shows how much he is being asked to do and has to do. – Michael.

A: It also shows how Jimmy Butler was not eligible because of his lack of games played. But the Heat defense is sort or like the Heat’s offense – very few who stand as elite. It is part of the reason why a talent infusion is needed. But, yes, Bam Adebayo’s singular defensive excellence also becomes all the more telling when considering that he was the only Heat player anywhere on the list of those receiving votes for All-Defensive.