It’s probably a “pipedream” for the Heat to consider joining the Kevin Durant free agency sweepstakes next summer, writes Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel. Miami is looking at about $85MM in guaranteed salary for the 2016/17 season, assuming Hassan Whiteside justifies a near-max contact and Dwyane Wade returns at a rate near his current salary. With Chris Bosh making nearly $24MM and Goran Dragic slotted at about $16MM, Winderman estimates Josh McRoberts (if the Heat can’t trade him), Justise Winslow and a few bench players will add about $10MM more. Wade will represent a figure of about $20MM if he continues at his year-to-year rate. The Heat won’t have full Bird Rights on Whiteside, so they will have to work with cap space to re-sign him. With the cap expected to be around $89MM, those deals will leave little room for a run at Durant unless something drastic changes.
There’s more this morning from Miami:
- The Heat’s relationship with team president Pat Riley can be described as “all-or-nothing,” Winderman writes in the same story. Even though Riley turned 70 this year, the columnist believes the franchise is counting on having him around for several more seasons. When Riley leaves, Winderman foresees a “re-start,” with another big name being brought in to run the team.
- Miami wants to see how Tyler Johnson and Josh Richardson perform in training camp before deciding whether to trade Mario Chalmers, writes Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. There have been rumors for months that the Heat would like to unload Chalmers’ $4.3MM salary to get relief from the luxury tax. Johnson, who was recently cleared to play after suffering a broken jaw during summer league, will make $845,059 this coming season. Richardson, the 40th pick in this year’s draft, recently signed a three-year deal at the minimum each year and only the first season guaranteed.
- Bosh and McRoberts both looked good in recent workouts with Heat teammates as they battle back from injuries that cut short their 2014/15 season, Jackson writes in the same piece. Bosh was limited to 44 games because of blood clots on his lungs, and McRoberts appeared in just 17 due to knee surgery. That leaves the Heat with no current injury concerns a month before the start of camp.