The Heat have three somewhat-competing objectives:
- Re-signing Dwyane Wade and Goran Dragic
- Limiting their luxury-tax bill this season
- Leaving enough cap room next summer to re-sign Hassan Whiteside
How can they accomplish that?
According to multiple league sources, the Heat are attempting to trade guard Mario Chalmers and big man Chris Andersen to help free up some salary
Andersen ($5 million) and Chalmers ($4.3 million) are entering the final year of their contracts. So, dealing those two would help only the first two objectives. Andersen and Chalmers would be off the books anyway when Whiteside hits free agency.
If Andersen and Chalmers are traded, that would make it easier to re-sign Wade and Dragic to big contracts. But those big contracts could contain only 7.5% pay decreases
If there were perfect trust, perhaps the Heat could agree to overpay Wade this year on a one-year deal. In exchange, he’d take less in 2016, when Miami needs the money for Whiteside.
Another difficulty: Dumping Andersen and Chalmers won’t be easy. Andersen turns 37 next month and has shown signs of decline. Chalmers is coming off the worst season of his career. The Heat would probably have to include a sweetener to unload either. Their No. 10 pick, Justise Winslow, is far too valuable for that, and they’ve already traded as many future first-rounders as they’re allowed to deal.
I think Miami wants to see Dragic, Wade, Luol Deng, Chris Bosh and Whiteside play together. Trading Chalmers and Andersen would help accomplish that. But how do the Heat unload those two?