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Wednesday, August 10, 2022

There’s still plenty of heat to gain after the NBA free-agency lull on July 4th

There was a time when the Miami Heat was in scramble mode over the 4th of July weekend.

This was, in particular, the case in 2016, when Kevin Durant announced on July 4 that the Heat had halted free-agency talks with Dwayne Wade, leaving the Oklahoma City Thunder, Pat Riley and Mickey Arison. was sending packing to make his pitch. To move on since the trip in the Hampton, New York.

Then there’s the holiday weekend like this year, featuring the Heat and most of the league’s cricket, as Durant debates destinations again, requesting trade from the Brooklyn Nets.

Since the opening day of NBA free agency Thursday, when the Heat lost PJ Tucker to the Philadelphia 76ers and re-signed Victor Oladipo and Dwayne Deadman, the holding pattern has remained steady.

But that doesn’t mean the work isn’t done yet, even as the team moves to the big NBA summer league in Las Vegas after the conclusion of the California Classic summer-league in San Francisco on Tuesday.

As for heat, several elements are at play and need to be addressed:

Caleb Martin: The Heat have a $2.1 million qualifying offer that makes Martin a restricted free agent and allows them to match outside offers to an energetic forward.

However, there are limits.

Because the Heat exceed salary limits and do not have bird rights over Martin, they cannot match outside offers above the $10.5 million mid-level exception as a 2022-23 starting point for the contract.

Even so, the summer $6.5 million taxpayer is unlikely to go above the mid-tier exception, as any starting salary above that figure would trigger a hard salary cap. In addition, Martin would be barred from adding an outside free agent, possibly above the minimum, from extending such a $6.5 million salary.

Martin’s twin brother, Cody Martin, who had similar figures to Caleb last season, recently signed a four-year, $32 million contract to be with the Charlotte Hornets.

Markif Morris: With Tucker lost to the 76ers, Morris could potentially return to another veteran-minimum contract.

But after missing 58 games due to whiplash following a November 8 scuffle with Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic, the veteran forward who turned 33 in September never regained the mid-range game he started. What made him so dominant at the start of the season.

Morris finished with only three minutes playing in the Heat’s 18 playoff games.

Udonis Haslem: Haslem, 42, is the Heat’s other remaining free agent from the 2021–22 roster, having played only 82 minutes during the regular season, none in the playoffs.

The Heat recently sent an employee of the team to Haslem’s holiday home in Orlando to invite them for a 20th season with the team. He has been under the NBA minimum pay scale for each of the last five years.

Mid-level exception: As noted with Martin, the Heat, who are working above the $123.7 million 2022-23 NBA salary cap but below the $150.3 million luxury-tax line, completed $10.5 million on a free agent (or free agent). Can use middle-level exception. ) or a $6.5 million mid-level taxpayer.

Using anything above $6.5 million from mid-level starts with a hard cap of $157 million.

One of the reasons the Heat lost Tucker to the 76ers was the decision not to move to the hard-capped position.

Bi-annual exceptions: This is the exception of $4.1 million that can be used on one or more free agents, but cannot be used in consecutive years.

Like the full mid-tier exception, the use of bi-annuals puts a team in a difficult position.

Heat has that available bi-annually, but will likely only use it if they use the full $10.5 million mid-tier, and accept operations under a hard cap.

Roster Limit: Teams can carry up to 15 players under standard contracts during the regular season, as well as two players under two-way contracts, with those two players limited to 50 regular-season appearances.

The Heat currently has 12 players under standard contract: Bam Adebayo, Jimmy Butler, Deadman, Haywood Highsmith, Tyler Herro, Nikola Jovic, Kyle Lowry, Oladipo, Duncan Robinson, Max Strauss, Gabe Vincent and Omar Yurtseven.

This leaves three additional roster spots in the game.

Javonte Smart and Mychal Mulder are currently under a 2022-23 two-way contract for the Heat.


World Nation News Desk
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