Ask the IRA: Will Heat’s Victor Oladipo be reduced to a defensive specialist?

Question: Ira, unfortunately Victor Oladipo’s shot is off but he’s been great defensively. Let’s hope his offense comes back. – Juan, Miami Beach.

A: It’s looking more and more like Victor Oladipo is largely a one-way player with his defensive guile and ability to create steals. While he’s still relatively early in his recovery from preseason knee pain, the offense isn’t there yet. He went 1-for-7 from the field in Wednesday night’s win over the Lakers, which has dropped him to .364 from the field in his 10 games back, including .244 from 3-point range (10 of 41). The first step is simply not in place, allowing defenders to play tighter on the perimeter. And when Victor struggles to get to the rim, the control is lacking. Again, only 10 games have been played since last season’s playoffs, so the rust is still a reality. But counting on Victor to attack now could be misguided.

Q: Keeping Dewayne Dedmon at his price and trading Kyle Lowry, re-signing Victor Oladipo and Duncan Robinson are questionable. Hopefully they don’t give a player like Gabe Vincent a bad deal when the time comes. Reserve cap space. – James.

A: First, with Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro’s contract extensions (starting next season), and the Palace contracts of Jimmy Butler and Kyle Lowry next season, the cap space train has left the station. There’s no cap space to play with. So that means keeping players with the Heat’s Bird rights (or early Bird rights), like Gabe Vincent, Max Struth and Omar Utsen. The Heat can basically afford to pay them more than they can with their replacement players (unless there is some kind of massive trade that washes out one of the big contracts).

Q: Once Udonis Haslem’s jersey is retired, will there be an embarrassing situation, except for his jersey, there will be “Hall of Fame” on the bottom of the jersey? I’m assuming he won’t go in. – Pens.

A: There is nothing embarrassing about retiring a jersey. While Udonis Haslem has proven world-class as a teammate and community icon, the Hall of Famer will be limited to his other pursuits. But make no mistake, No. 40 will be sent to the rafters, and other tributes from the team will likely follow.