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Heat is on Miami to perform

Mike Bresnahan covers the Lakers for The Times and ties up loose ends on the day of his self-designated “Lakers game of the week.” The Lakers play Miami tonight.

With all due respect to the beautiful people in Miami, of which there are plenty -- and let me reiterate plenty -- I hate to be the one to break up the party.

But put down your cosmopolitans for a few moments of South Beach sobriety. This might be the last time Dwyane Wade visits the Lakers while wearing a Miami Heat jersey.

I know, I know, the Heat will try to find him some playmates in free agency next summer. For now, though, all they’ve come up with the past couple of years is . . . Jermaine O’Neal?

If it doesn’t get better soon -- viz., making it beyond the first round of the playoffs -- Wade can opt out of his contract in July and allow himself to be scoped out by the prying eyes of GMs around the league.

That’ll end the partying down there for a while. Well, at least for a day or two.

Q&A of the day

Q: Is my thinking correct that, due to the NBA luxury tax, if the Lakers waived Sasha Vujacic and paid out 100% of the remaining salary of his contract, the team would still save the amount of money equal to the settlement?

-- Nick Si, Los Angeles

A: Wow, you people are really trying to get this guy out of town. I guess nobody’s impressed that he’s dating Maria Sharapova. Then again, he’s averaging only 2.1 points a game, dead last on the Lakers.

I hate to say no to Mr. Si, but there’s no way the Lakers waive Vujacic. They would have to pay the rest of his $5-million salary this season and his $5.5-million salary next season, plus an additional $10.5 million in luxury taxes over the next two seasons.

The trade route probably won’t work either. His contract will be hard to move amid our lurching economy.

Yep. “Sashapova” is here to stay.

Final thought

Think it’s a soft part of the Lakers’ schedule or what?

If Miami is the top opponent of the week, things must be slow. Sigh.

But I’ll take the Lakers tonight. Who would pick against them right now?

mike.bresnahan@latimes.com

twitter.com/Mike_Bresnahan


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