ASK IRA: Could Magic provide a trade key to help unlock Heat 3-point shooting?

Q: OK, Ira, give us a trade. – Ethan.

A: As stressed in this space over the years, I’m not into the speculation, because we have no definitive way of knowing what the Heat think deep inside their personnel domain, let alone what other teams are thinking. But with a later start Friday, I did spend some time spitballing ahead of the game against the Magic. And there is an intriguing name on Orlando’s roster who currently has been shuffled out of the mix and has had moments previously against the Heat. I’m not saying Terrence Ross would be the be all, end all of the Heat’s 3-point issues. But he is on a manageable expiring contract. With the Magic still developing, there is something to be said about locking in a known quantity of a 3-point shooter. So Duncan Robinson (perhaps with some type of sweetener) for Ross? Such a move also could provide luxury-tax relief, allow the Heat to fill their vacant 15th roster spot, and even convert the two-way deal of Orlando Robinson. Anyway, just a thought, considering the Heat were linked to Ross at last year’s draft.

Q: I think Haywood Highsmith can get the job done as the starting power forward (probably unpopular opinion) because he plays great defense, he’s more switchable with bigs than Caleb, and he’s a knockdown shooter. – Swann.

A: First, I wouldn’t overstate the shooting, although Haywood Highsmith has made some expected 3-pointers this season. And, yes. he has taken a decided step forward with his play. But he’s not yet at a point of playing as a starter for a playoff team. Not yet. One reader mentioned a comparison with Keith Askins. And even that would be a welcomed presence. Friday, Caleb Martin certainly more than held his own, as a key component in the victory.

Q: Kyle Lowry is simply a failure in a Miami Heat uniform. There’s no sugarcoating it. There’s absolutely no reason he should be starting at this stage. – Dayo.

A: There are reasons, not the least of which is there is no clear-cut replacement starter, with all due respect to Gabe Vincent. The greater question is what comes after Kyle Lowry at point guard, And that, as mentioned in this space, includes consideration of whether the Heat move in that direction with Tyler Herro. But, yes, for the second consecutive game, Lowry did not play in the fourth quarter Friday night, this time against the Magic.