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.
There are rarely NBA trades in late August or September, and the ones that do happen can best be described as a minor shuffling of contracts.
Which means Heat fans should expect to see Chris Andersen and Mario Chalmers in uniform when the Heat open training camp next month. Both have long been part of trade rumors, and both have yet to be moved as there isn’t much of a market.
Expect that to continue as Heat training camp opens, reports Barry Jackson at the Miami Herald.
Though there is no absolute edict from owner Micky Arison to trim payroll (and that’s beyond Miami’s control to a large extent anyway), we’re told the Heat still would prefer to lower its looming tax bill, which would be around $23 million if Miami closes the upcoming season with this current roster.
Miami remains willing to dealing Chris Andersen (due $5 million) but hasn’t found much of a market for him, according to an NBA official who has been in contact with the Heat… The Heat expects to bring Mario Chalmers to training camp (as opposed to trading him first) but hasn’t ruled out trading him in October or beyond if it can find a taker, something it hasn’t been able to do to this point.
I wonder how big a mandate lowering the tax bill actually will be. Lowering those payments has been a concern for Arison in the past (it was one thing that ticked LeBron James off) and it should be more so now. Miami faces the repeater tax this season, which would mean for every dollar over the tax line ($84.7 million) they would pay $2.50 instead of $1.50. (That’s just for the first $5 million over the line, the penalties get harsher from there.) If the Heat don’t think they have a good shot to knock Cleveland off the top of the mountain, why pay that extra cash?
Chalmers has been on the trade block since roughly Grover Cleveland’s presidency and at some point another team will need a point guard and will take him on. Probably.
Andersen couldn’t care less if the Heat are shopping him. Still, with bigs always in demand around the league, the Heat will be patient and expect teams will come calling to take on the Birdman’s $5 million deal.
There have been no shortage of – somewhat self-fueled – trade rumors involving Jamal Crawford this summer.
The Cavaliers and Knicks are reportedly interested in the Clippers guard.
Add one more team to the list.
Frank Isola of the New York Daily News:
Miami is another team that is also interested in Crawford.
The Heat lack dynamic playmakers off the bench, and staggering the minutes of Dwyane Wade and Goran Dragic is one solution. So is hoping Mario Chalmers bounces back from a down season.
Another: Trading for Crawford.
However, it’s tough to see a logical deal.
Miami has a couple players with similar salaries to Crawford – Chalmers and Chris Andersen – that it probably wouldn’t mind trading. Andersen would particularly fit with the Clippers, who could use another backup center besides Cole Aldrich.
But how would the Heat sweeten the pot? They can’t trade a first-round pick and have no unprotected second-rounder before 2021. Unless the Clippers really like Tyler Johnson or James Ennis, it’s hard to see Miami making this worth the Clippers’ while.
Still, with Lance Stephenson, Pablo Prigioni and Austin Rivers, Crawford is a little more expendable. The Clippers would be more balanced with Andersen rather than Crawford (and save in luxury-tax payments). Is that enough to warrant the talent downgrade? I don’t think so, but it’s at least worth a conversation.