ASK IRA: Is Jamal Crawford a feasible target for the Heat?

Q: If the Heat were to trade for Jamal Crawford, I would much rather it be Birdman. Josh McRoberts is too valuable. -- Adolpho.

A: I would agree with that assessment, but am not sure that is something the Clippers would necessarily bite on. That's not to say Chris Andersen doesn't have value, especially defensively and on the boards for the Heat, it's just that the addition of Crawford would ease the strain on Justise Winslow, Tyler Johnson or Josh Richardson having to produce immediately. Of course, such a move not only would keep the Heat at the same point against the luxury tax, but likely all but assure a season in the repeater tax. (What it wouldn't do is impact the cap going forward, with Crawford entering the final year of his contract.) When it comes down to Birdman and McRoberts, it basically comes down to which player you believe best complements Hassan Whiteside, Chris Bosh and Amare Stoudemire (with Udonis Haslem then sliding into the role of Birdman or McRoberts, at least from a depth perspective). For example, would you be comfortable with Bosh starting alongside Stoudemire on nights that Whiteside might not be available?

Q: Every time the Cavaliers want someone then Miami wants the same player. Pat Riley is still mad about LeBron James. -- Trish.

A: Or perhaps it is because while both teams can feature quality starting lineups, proven depth remains an issue with both teams, particularly with J.R. Smith unsigned by the Cavaliers. Both teams could use a dynamic scorer on the second unit, the Cavaliers for when LeBron James or Kyrie Irving is out, the Heat for when Dwyane Wade or Goran Dragic is out. While the acquisitions of Lance Stephenson and Paul Pierce have made Jamal Crawford somewhat redundant for the Clippers, I'm still not sure the Clippers would be willing to just give him away.

Q: We should wait for any moves until January comes and see if we need depth on the wing. Hopefully Justise Winslow steps up. -- Ki.

A: And there is something to be said about that approach, as well, that by not adding another veteran scorer, it presents early-season opportunities for Winslow, Josh Richardson or even Tyler Johnson to show if they can suffice as productive (and lower-cost) options in reserve on the wing.