The Heat have added to their growing stable of training-camp talent, signing undrafted VCU guard Briante Weber to a non-guaranteed deal, according to a report by Yahoo’s Shams Charania:
Weber played four years at VCU, and DraftExpress ranked him the No. 33 senior in the country. It’s unlikely he makes the roster, but it can’t hurt to have some point guard competition in camp, especially if the Heat are hoping to unload Mario Chalmers at some point.
It was a formality that they’d do this eventually after the year he had, but the Heat have fully guaranteed Hassan Whiteside’s salary for next season. Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders reports that, although Miami had until December 1 to make a decision, they’ve taken that uncertainty off the table several weeks before training camp.
Whiteside is an interesting case from a salary-cap standpoint. In the short term, he’s maybe the best value in the entire league: a legitimate starting-caliber center, dominant at times, making less than $1 million ($981,348 to be exact). But next summer, he’ll be an unrestricted free agent, and the Heat won’t ave his full Bird rights, which means they will have to dip into their cap space if they want to re-sign him, and if Whiteside has anything close to the out-of-nowhere success of last season, he’s going to be in line for a massive raise, maybe even a max deal. That’s cap space that the Heat will need if they hope to chase Kevin Durant next summer, which all indications are that they will. Shedding some salary during the season (if they can find a taker for Mario Chalmers, Chris Andersen and maybe even Josh McRoberts) would be smart. It will be fascinating to see how Whiteside’s situation plays out next summer, but for now, the Heat have an incredible bargain on their hands.
The point guard rotation in Miami is clear-cut: Goran Dragic starts, Mario Chalmers comes off the bench, then second-year player Tyler Johnson will mop up any remaining minutes.
But as we noted before, Chalmers has been and remains available via trade. He’s been on the trade block since about when Don Johnson became the face of Miami police.
If a Chalmers trade happens, is Johnson ready to step up? That’s one of the big questions as the Heat head into training camp next month, reports Barry Jackson at the Miami Herald.
And with Tyler Johnson also cleared to return from his broken jaw sustained in Summer League (he has been working out in Delray Beach), the Heat is back to full strength a month before training camp. The Heat, incidentally, wants to take a long look at Johnson and Josh Richardson in training camp before deciding whether to make a renewed attempt to trade Chalmers.
If they can stay healthy, with Chris Bosh and Dragic running the show, the Heat very well could be a top-four team in the East. On paper they have a lot of talent, we just need to see how it all blends. Then, if they are on that kind of trajectory, would they want to trade Chalmers? Only if they have someone who can step in and take those minutes on without much of a drop-off.
Just something to watch as the Heat start to move toward the season. Because you can be sure Chalmers’ name will come up in trade rumors. Guaranteed.