Miami could have interest in free agent Carlos Boozer if the Heat deal one of their big men for luxury tax relief, writes Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel. The Heat cut their tax bill with last week’s trade that sent Shabazz Napier to the Magic, but Chris Andersen and Josh McRoberts remain candidates to be moved to slash the potential payment even further. If that happens, Miami may pursue Boozer on a veteran’s minimum salary to be a replacement, although Winderman isn’t sure how much the veteran free agent has left to offer. Boozer, 34, averaged 11.8 points and 6.8 rebounds in 71 games with the Lakers last season.
There’s more this morning from South Florida:
- Another team may pounce on James Ennis if he doesn’t make the Heat’s 15-man roster, Winderman speculates in the same piece. The 25-year-old guard got into 62 games with Miami last season, averaging 5.0 points in 17 minutes of playing time. Even with Napier and Zoran Dragic (traded to the Celtics) gone, Ennis faces a crowded backcourt situation. Winderman contends the Heat should carry the maximum of 15 players on their roster to keep as much talent as possible on hand.
- The Heat have done a good job of taking of advantage of the league rule that lets teams retain the D-League rights to as many as four players cut in training camp, Winderman notes in a separate story. That applies only to players who clear waivers and have agreed to play in the D-League. Last season, Miami offered partial guarantees to Tyler Johnson, Khem Birch and Larry Drew II to get them into camp and establish an affiliation. They later added Andre Dawkins to the list. Players who end up in the D-League in this manner can be signed by other NBA teams during the season, as Drew (Sixers) and Dawkins (Celtics) were last year.
- Napier was the first player involved in a trade between the Heat and Magic during their 28-year rivalry, Winderman points out in the same story. The teams’ only previous deal sent coach Stan Van Gundy from Miami to Orlando in 2007 for a second-round pick.