Miami’s need to keep Dwyane Wade gives him an advantage in negotiations, writes Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. Jackson explains that if Luol Deng decides to opt in for $10.1MM next season and both Wade and Goran Dragic leave in free agency, the Heat would have less than $10MM available to replace them. If Deng opts in, Miami would have $56MM committed to 11 players, and possibly more if the team picks up Michael Beasley‘s player option for nearly $1.3MM. If Wade leaves and Dragic stays, Jackson notes, the Heat would be capped out and would have just a $5.5MM mid-level exception to offer free agents, which could attract someone like Danny Green or Mike Dunleavy. If Deng, Wade and Dragic leave, Miami would only have $20MM available to replace all three. Jackson speculates that the Heat could try to trade Josh McRoberts, who is due $5.5MM next season, or Chris Andersen, who will make $5MM, to free up cap room.
There’s more offseason news from South Beach:
- The Heat could be crossing their fingers on draft night and hoping the Hornets don’t take Kentucky’s Devin Booker, Jackson writes in the same story. Booker, considered among the best shooters in the draft, visited both Miami and Charlotte last week and would help fill the Heat’s need for a three-point marksman. The Hornets hold the No. 9 pick, one spot ahead of Miami.
- This week’s trade that sent Ersan Ilyasova from the Bucks to the Pistons for Caron Butler and Shawne Williams could impact the Heat, according to Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel. Miami was interested in signing Butler when he was bought out by Milwaukee in February of 2014, although that interest may have lessened now that he has turned 35. Also, the Pistons now have a lineup hole at small forward, which could make them competitors with Miami in the draft and free agency. With the No. 8 pick, Detroit is two spots ahead of the Heat.
- Mario Chalmers could be the player the Heat decide to move to clear cap space, Winderman writes in a separate story. If the Heat believe Shabazz Napier and either Zoran Dragic or Tyler Johnson can be sufficient backups to Dragic and Wade, that could make Chalmers expendable.