Mailbag: Would Zach Edey make sense for the Heat at No. 15? And answering other questions

The Miami Herald’s Heat mailbag is here to answer your questions. If you weren’t able to ask this time, send your questions for future mailbags via X (@Anthony_Chiang). You can also email them in to

DaRon: Could you talk about Zach Edey? I’ve been begging this franchise for a center to put next to Bam Adebayo, but I wanted to get your opinion on him. ... Do you think Erik Spoelstra and the organization would be in for a slight shift away from small ball for a style like Denver’s? Having a 7-foot-4, 290-pound guy matters. We don’t have the personnel to be like Golden State — teams like Golden State can’t be just duplicated. But I do think we can finally compete with Denver if we add a guy like this.

Anthony Chiang: I understand the desire to add more size to the Heat’s roster. Look at the four teams in the conference finals this season — the Boston Celtics regularly have two 7-footers in their rotation in Kristaps Porzingis and Luke Kornet, the Minnesota Timberwolves start two 7-footers in Rudy Gobert and Karl-Anthony Towns, the Indiana Pacers’ defense is anchored by 6-foot-11 shot-blocking center Myles Turner, and the Dallas Mavericks’ rotation includes the 7-foot-1 Dereck Lively II and the 6-foot-10 Daniel Gafford.

But the Heat’s situation is different from most teams around the league because Bam Adebayo is so unique. History shows Adebayo’s ideal frontcourt partner is a switchable and quality defender who can space the floor on the other end of the court with three-point shooting. Just look at the success the Heat had with players such as P.J. Tucker and Jae Crowder starting alongside Adebayo.

Would a 6-foot-11 version of Tucker or Crowder be an even better fit next to Adebayo? Of course, but there aren’t many of those players out there.

As for college basketball star Zach Edey, I’m not sure he’s the best fit if the Heat is looking for Adebayo’s next frontcourt partner. Adebayo started taking threes consistently in the final weeks of the regular season, but projecting him to become a high-volume three-point threat in the near future is probably a lot to ask. And Edey took just two three-pointers during his four college seasons at Purdue. So I don’t know if a frontcourt of Adebayo and Edey is the right combination in today’s NBA.

If the Heat uses the No. 15 pick to draft Edey with the intention of making him its backup center, that’s different. That might work. While there are questions about how Edey’s game will translate to the NBA, he certainly measured well at the combine at 7-foot-4 without shoes and a 7-foot-11 wingspan. But then the question becomes: Should the Heat use its first-round pick to draft a backup center who’s probably only going to play the 13 minutes each game that Adebayo is on the bench?

@MrEd315: In your estimation, what needs to be addressed and fixed with the Heat in the offseason?

Anthony: Well, the Heat’s offense needs to be better after finishing the last two regular seasons as a bottom-10 unit in the NBA. So adding another offensive weapon, whether it’s a star or more of a complementary player, would help. But in reality, the biggest Heat story this offseason will be Jimmy Butler’s potential extension. How will the Heat handle Butler’s request for a max extension? The answer to that question could determine what the rest of the Heat’s offseason looks like.

@KellyLinters22: What are your thoughts regarding all the players with player options (Josh Richardson, Thomas Bryant, Kevin Love and Caleb Martin)? Do you see any of them opting out besides Martin, or do you feel strongly all of them opt in? And if they do, will they become trade eligible during the summer?

Anthony: The expectation from the outside is that Martin won’t exercise the $7.1 million player option in his contract, opting to instead become a free agent because he will likely get more money and guaranteed years in free agency.

As for the others, it remains to be seen what Richardson, Bryant and Love will do prior to the June 29 deadline to decide on their player options with the Heat for next season. But if they do opt in to return to the Heat, they will immediately become trade eligible.