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Wednesday, August 10, 2022

PJ Tucker hits the market; Jalen Brunson, James Harden add free-agency twists to the Heat

Wednesday’s 5 p.m. deadline passed without action by Miami Heat Power forward PJ Tucker, making him an unrestricted free agent.

In what was expected of a move, Tucker formally bypassed the $7 million player option in the second year of the contract he negotiated to join the Heat in August.

A route for the Philadelphia 76ers to their rumored destination gained more clarity Wednesday, with 76ers guard James Harden exiting the final year of his contract.

With Harden a free agent, the 76ers are now able to sign a renegotiated deal with the All-Star guard that will free up enough space under the NBA hard-cap to give Tucker a full $10.5 million mid-level exception, A number appears heat is not ready to match.

Also on Wednesday, longtime Heat trade target Bradley Beal pulled out of the final year of his Washington Wizards contract. The hope, however, is that Biel will move forward with a maximum level deal to stay in Washington.

starting turn

Yahoo Sports reported Wednesday that the Heat are among the teams that will be in spectators at Thursday’s NBA free agency debut alongside Dallas Mavericks guard Jalen Brunson.

The New York Knicks, who are clearing the salary-cap space, are considered a frontrunner for Brunson, whose father has been added to coach by the team.

The Heat receiving Brunson would require a sign-and-trade transaction, which would seem to make such a move a long shot in light of the Heat’s preference not to get into a difficult position.

It’s not unusual for the heat to mingle with free agents as a means of getting familiar with keeping an eye on future moves.

With Brunson taking meetings beyond the Knicks, it turns potential league oversight into a pre-arranged deal between New York and Brunson.

Next Step

It was expected that The Heat were allowed to take care of their remaining element of off-season bookkeeping on Wednesday night, with the stroke of midnight guaranteeing the 2022-23 salaries of Max Strauss, Gabe Vincent and Omar Yurtseven .

Guaranteed procedural steps require no action by the team or players. The only action needed was if the Heat were going to allow any of the three to become free agents.

The trio are working under two-year contracts, which was on Wednesday as the deadline to guarantee their salaries for the next season.

Guaranteed, Strauss and Vincent earn $1.8 million next season, Yurtseven $1.7 million.

Strauss emerged as the Heat’s starting shooting guard last season, with Vincent a rotation player who moved into the lineup at the start of the playoffs when veteran point guard Kyle Lowry was sidelined by a hamstring strain. Yurtseven had its breakout moments mid-season when center starting Bam Adebayo was sidelined by thumb surgery. All three are expected to fight for the rotation spot next season.

With all three of them guaranteed, the Heat will have eight players under guaranteed contracts for the coming season: Adebayo, Lowry, Jimmy Butler, Tyler Herro, Duncan Robinson, Strauss, Vincent and Yurtseven. Furthermore, the predetermined rookie pay of first-round draft pick Nikola Jovic is only a formality.

Teams can take on a maximum of 20 players during the off-season, which is required by the regular-season opener to trim a maximum of 15 plus two players under a two-way contract.

the beginning of summer

The Heat’s summer-league roster gathered in San Francisco on Wednesday for a team meeting under the leadership of summer coach Malik Allen.

Two days of practice will be followed by practice against an alike team of draft picks, rookies, youth players and free agents from the Los Angeles Lakers ahead of the summer league opener of the California Classic at the Chase Center on Saturday.

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World Nation News Desk
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