In his Sunday column for The Miami Herald, Barry Jackson detailed a disagreement the Heat and Chris Bosh had over the idea of using blood thinners to allow him to return to the court as we outlined here. In addition to the report on Bosh though, Jackson provided the latest rumors and details on several other Heat-related topics, with a focus on the team’s free agents. Let’s dive in and round up the highlights…
- The Heat would prefer to lock up Hassan Whiteside for something a little below the max, selling him on the lack of income tax in Florida, his comfort level with the Heat, and the fact that his current team could offer him bigger raises than any other suitor. Still, as Jackson points out, another free agent center option like Al Horford would have a higher max salary than Whiteside, so Miami could easily justify going to the max to keep the club’s incumbent center.
- The Heat’s preference for Dwyane Wade‘s next deal would be to make it for just one year, to give the franchise flexibility in 2017. One Heat person estimates to Jackson that a one-year contract for Wade would be in the $15-20MM neighborhood.
- Miami would like to re-sign Joe Johnson, but he may not be as willing as he was earlier this year to accept a discount to play in South Beach. The Heat would likely dangle the $2.9MM room exception for Johnson.
- An Eastern Conference official expects Luol Deng to get a two-year deal that pays him at least $12MM annually. That price may be too steep for the Heat, even though they’d like to bring Deng back.
- Amar’e Stoudemire, Gerald Green, and Dorell Wright aren’t expected to return to the Heat, though that could change if Stoudemire and Green are willing to re-sign for the minimum.