Dealing players for draft picks could be a simple solution for meeting Dwyane Wade‘s salary demands, writes Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel. Wade has one year left on his contract at $16.1MM, but he can opt out and is seeking a maximum deal of an estimated $23.5MM. Winderman writes that the Heat could give Wade what he wants and move salary elsewhere to keep their payroll in the same area. He mentions Mario Chalmers [due $4.3MM next season], Chris Andersen [$5MM], Josh McRoberts [$5.5MM] and Udonis Haslem [$2.85MM] as potential trade candidates.
There’s more this morning from South Beach:
- Wisconsin’s Frank Kaminsky has the skills and maturity that appeal to Heat president Pat Riley, Winderman writes in a separate story. Miami already has Chris Bosh at power forward, backed up by McRoberts and Haslem, but Kaminsky is the type of player who could fit the system, especially if one of the veterans is traded. Winderman has Kaminsky ranked as the second-best power forward in the draft, behind Kristaps Porzingis of Latvia.
- Two opt-in decisions this week make it more important than ever for the Heat to keep Wade, according to Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. The Pelicans’ Eric Gordon and the Hornets’ Gerald Henderson both chose to delay free agency and stay with their current teams, meaning there are two fewer options for the Heat if Wade decides to leave Miami. Jackson lists the top potentially available shooting guards as Wesley Matthews, Danny Green, Arron Afflalo and Monta Ellis. Afflalo hasn’t made a decision on opting out, but Miami is interested in him, Jackson writes, and he cites Dirk Nowitzki as predicting Ellis will opt out. But even if the Heat were to lose Wade, they would not have the cap space to sign any of those four, leaving a sign-and-trade as their best option.
- Miami’s reported offer to Goran Dragic could put him back in play for the Lakers, speculates Ben Rosales of SB Nation. The Heat are expected to make Dragic a five-year offer in the neighborhood of $80MM, which would be far less than the maximum of more than $100MM. Both figures are estimated until the end of the moratorium next month. The Lakers, Rosales notes, have expressed a willingness to give Dragic a full max deal, which for them would be four years at an estimated $85MM.