The Heat would probably lack the depth needed to contend for a title if they ship out Mario Chalmers or Chris Andersen for luxury tax relief, writes Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel. Miami recently got a measure of tax relief by trading Shabazz Napier to the Magic, but rumors persist that Chalmers, Andersen or Josh McRoberts could be sent elsewhere before the season begins. Winderman argues that dealing Chalmers or Andersen for little in return would damage the Heat by leaving them without veteran backups at point guard or center.
There’s more tonight from Miami:
- The Heat should wait until at least midseason before making any more luxury tax moves, Winderman argues in the same piece. He contends the team needs a strong start after missing the playoffs last season, and that is more likely with all the veteran backups still around. Because the luxury tax is based on the season-ending roster, Miami could make a tax-relief deal or two during the season if it decides to pursue that strategy. He notes that owner Micky Arison is dedicated to keeping a “sustainable business model” as well as building a successful team.
- Gerald Green feels “blessed” to be in Miami, according to Joe Beguiristain of NBA.com. Green, who signed a one-year minimum deal with the Heat last month, is happy to be reuniting with Goran Dragic, who helped Green post career highs in scoring and 3-point shooting percentage during their year together in Phoenix. “I never had anybody to make me better like that,” Green said. “He [Dragic] attacks the teeth of the defense, he puts pressure on the defense and he just does a great job of drawing two [or] three defenders.”
- A series of trades has left the Heat low on draft picks over the next six years, writes Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. Miami has just three first-rounders and two second-rounders remaining in that span. That could change, although the odds seem remote, if Orlando has a top-five record next year or if Boston does in 2019.