Shabazz Napier, who is reportedly being dealt to the Magic, was the Heat’s best player during summer league, according to Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel. Summer provided the first chance for Napier to really showcase his skills after his rookie campaign was interrupted by a series of injuries, including a sports hernia that ended his season early. While Miami officials were publicly praising Napier’s performance during the summer, they were looking to trade him to provide relief from the luxury tax. He will make about $1.3MM next season, with a team option for 2016/17. Napier was the third-string point guard in Miami, and Winderman expects him to fill that same role in Orlando, being slotted behind Elfrid Payton and C.J. Watson. The columnist also examines Miami’s remaining roster and the salary status of each player.
There’s more news from Miami:
- The next important deadline for the Heat will come Saturday, tweets Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. James Ennis and Tyler Johnson will have half their salaries for next season guaranteed if they are still on the roster August 1st (See the Hoops Rumors Schedule of Contract Guarantees). Both are scheduled to make $845K. Jackson also notes that luxury tax obligations are based on team payroll at the end of the season (Twitter link). The Heat will have plenty of time to move more salary if they can’t find another deal right away.
- Former Nets executive Bobby Marks tweets that today’s trade helps Miami in two ways: by trimming the team’s tax obligation and opening a roster spot. He believes there is a good chance Johnson becomes the third-string point guard.
- The Heat have rebuilt quickly after losing LeBron James and have the pieces in place to be a contender in the East, contends Tim Cato of SB Nation. He argues that an improved bench and a full season from Goran Dragic will make the Heat dramatically better, especially if Hassan Whiteside proves he can handle being a full-time NBA center.