The Heat have explored trading for Omri Casspi as they seek to upgrade their 3-point shooting, while the Kings are interested in Tyler Johnson, even though he’s out for at least two months and perhaps the rest of the season with a torn left rotator cuff, reports Ethan Skolnick of the Miami Herald. Miami has been aggressive in seeking to trade a player at the end of its bench, particularly Chris Andersen and Jarnell Stokes, in an effort to avoid tax penalties, fellow Herald scribe Barry Jackson hears, though the team acknowledges that offloading Stokes, who makes the minimum, is more likely than with Anderson and his $5MM salary, Jackson adds.
It’s unclear if the Heat and Kings have discussed proposals, though a Casspi-Johnson exchange would have to include more salary going from Miami to Sacramento, since Casspi’s salary of more than $2.836MM exceeds the minimum salary that Johnson has. Even the addition of Stokes’ minimum salary wouldn’t quite be enough to make a legal deal. Conversely, a trade that sends Andersen to the Kings for Casspi wouldn’t work because it would represent too much salary headed to Sacramento.
Regardless, Casspi is knocking down a career-high 42.2% of his 3-point looks this season, the first on his two-year, $5.8MM contract, so he’d no doubt help a Miami team that’s 26th in 3-pointers made. Johnson was one of the Heat’s most accurate long-range shooters before going out with injury, nailing 38.6% of his attempts. He’s a native of Mountain View, California, and he went to Fresno State, both of which are close to Sacramento. Johnson, who turns 24 in May, is set to become a restricted free agent at season’s end, but he’s subject to the Gilbert Arenas Provision, which would make it more difficult for a team to poach him in free agency.
The Heat have reportedly been trying to trade Andersen off and on for months but evidently haven’t found a trading partner. Stokes has only totaled 14 minutes at the NBA level compared to nearly 500 in the D-League since coming over from the Grizzlies in the Mario Chalmers trade. Miami is approximately $5.5MM above the $84.74MM luxury tax threshold and faces repeat-offender tax penalties if it can’t duck under the line by the last day of the regular season, though next week’s trade deadline represents the team’s last realistic opportunity to do so.