Josh Richardson

Report: Heat want to take long look at young guards before trading Mario Chalmers

17 Comments

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.

Heat sign Josh Richardson

4 Comments

Miami traded Shabazz Napier to the Magic and Zoran Dragic to the Celtics not only because the Heat wanted to reduce their luxury-tax bill, but because they wanted to clear roster spots.

One had clearly been reserved for Miami’s second-round pick, Josh Richardson.

Shams Charania of RealGM:

Josh Richardson — the 40th overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft — has agreed to terms on a three-year, $2.5 million contract with the Miami Heat, league sources told RealGM.

Richardson’s deal is fully guaranteed for the first season and partially guaranteed the second year, sources said.

Richardson’s minimum salary over a three-year contract would be $2,414,475. Perhaps, he’s getting a little more than that. More likely, this report just contains generous rounding.

Even if Richardson is on a minimum contract, capped-out Miami had to use the taxpayer mid-level exception to sign him. The minimum-salary exception can be used on contracts just up to two years. This deal will give the Heat Richardson’s full Bird Rights if he completes it. Plus, Miami can make Richardson’s a restricted free agent in three years.

If Richardson got the minimum, the Heat would have $2,850,907 of the MLE remaining. The Heat could use that to add another veteran. They already have the regular-season limit of 15 players and are surely reluctant to increase their tax bill, but Tyler Johnson (partially guaranteed) and James Ennis (unguaranteed) could be waived. Mario Chalmers and Chris Andersen are also on the block.

Richardson’s defense is ahead of his offense. The shooting guard out of Tennessee passes well for his position and has improved his shooting stroke. His plus athleticism makes it easier to bet on his development.

The Heat clearly found it important to keep him around.

Heat trade Zoran Dragic, second-rounder to Celtics

11 Comments

First, the Morris twins.

Now, Goran Dragic and Zoran Dragic.

It’s not a good summer for NBA-teammate brothers sticking together.

Dan Le Batard of ESPN:

Brian Windhorst of ESPN:

Ira Winderman of the South Florida SunSentinel:

The Heat are trying to trim their roster and luxury-tax bill – already trading Shabazz Napier and trying to dump Mario Chalmers and Chris Andersen.

But I thought Zoran was relatively safe. The Heat acquired him with Goran in the trade with the Suns, making the brothers seem like a package deal. Plus, Goran did the Heat a solid by agreeing to less than a max salary this summer. After giving up two first-round picks for him, I can’t imagine Miami would have let him leave in free agency just months later – even if it meant paying a max deal.

Alas, Zoran is out, making it easier for the Heat to keep their second-round pick, Josh Richardson. The shooting guard out of Tennessee is a solid defender, good athlete, improved shooter and decent playmaker. He must round into form, but there are a lot of skills to like.

The Celtics might not even keep Zoran. Boston now has 17 players with guaranteed contracts, and Zoran ranks pretty low on the value list. But eating his $1,706,250 salary is no big deal for the Celtics. Unlike Miami, they don’t have to pay a luxury tax on that money. Most importantly to them, they get a draft pick for their troubles.