The Heat have “put out Shabazz Napier feelers” as they seek to maximize their cap flexibility for the summer of 2016, Grantland’s Zach Lowe writes within a larger column on free agency. Mario Chalmers and Chris Andersen are available “for nothing,” Lowe adds, presumably meaning that the Heat continue to place a priority on clearing their salaries in an effort to avoid repeat-offender luxury tax penalties. Heat president Pat Riley denied a report last month that the team was shopping the pair, who are set to make a combined $9.3MM this coming season, but it sounds as if Miami is at least open to the idea of moving them if another team comes forward with an offer. Miami could simply decline its 2016/17 team option on Napier, worth about $1.35MM, but the team presumably wants to extract more value than that out of last year’s 24th overall pick. Lowe dishes plenty more in his latest must-read column, and we’ll pass along some of the highlights:
- David West turned down an extra $4MM or so from the Wizards and about an extra $2MM from the Warriors when he reportedly agreed to sign for the minimum salary with the Spurs, several league sources tell Lowe. That signals that Washington would have spent its $5.464MM non-taxpayer’s mid-level and Golden State would have used its $3.376MM taxpayer’s mid-level instead of committing part of it to Leandro Barbosa.
- The Nuggets tried before the draft to trade the lottery protected 2016 first-round pick it acquired from the Blazers in the Arron Afflalo trade in February, but no one bit, out of fear that the Blazers would lose LaMarcus Aldridge and miss the playoffs two years in a row, Lowe hears. If Portland doesn’t qualify for the postseason in 2016 or 2017, the first-rounder turns into two second-rounders, as RealGM notes.
- Aldridge’s interest in the Lakers was serious as free agency began, several sources told Lowe. He took two meetings with the team after the first one apparently didn’t focus enough on basketball for his liking.
- Suns owner Robert Sarver is impatient with his team’s playoff drought and has made it clear to the front office that he wants them to be aggressive in free agency, Lowe reports. That explains Phoenix’s pursuit of Aldridge, which had the Suns seemingly co-favorites with the Spurs at one point.
- The best information so far indicates that DeMar DeRozan and Chandler Parsons will opt out next summer, Lowe writes, though it’s early.
- George Karl loved coaching Kosta Koufos when they were together with the Nuggets, according to Lowe, so Sacramento’s agreement to sign the center leaves the Grantland columnist with the impression that Karl indeed has some degree of sway over Kings personnel.