5:19pm: The Heat traded Brian Roberts and Miami’s unprotected 2021 second-round pick to the Trail Blazers for cash, the teams announced. The move takes the Heat beneath the luxury tax threshold, according to Wojnarowski (on Twitter), and averts the repeat-offender tax penalties the team had been facing,
Miami progressively shed salary throughout the season, dealing Shabazz Napier, Zoran Dragic, Mario Chalmers, James Ennis, Chris Andersen and finally Jarnell Stokes and Roberts in separate deadline-day deals to avoid becoming the first NBA team hit with the repeater tax, which starts at a rate of $2.50 for every dollar spent. The tax isn’t calculated until the final day of the regular season, and the Heat are only about $1MM shy of the $84.74MM threshold, so they could still add enough salary to again cross it. That’s an unlikely proposition given their months-long efforts, however.
The Heat gain a trade exception worth Roberts’ $2,854,940 salary. It’s the second time the point guard has been traded this week, as he went from the Hornets to the Heat in Tuesday’s three-team Courtney Lee trade. The contract for the 30-year-old Roberts expires at season’s end, and he’ll surely hope for more opportunity to showcase himself for free agency than he saw in Charlotte. His 4.8 points, 1.3 assists and 11.1 minutes per game are all career lows for the fourth-year veteran. Blazers GM Neil Olshey hinted in the team’s press release that Roberts will get a chance to contribute in Portland.
“Brian is an experienced player and a quality person,” Olshey said. “He has a skill set we value and fills a positional need as we head into a critical time in the season.”
Roberts went into Portland’s open roster spot and the team’s ample cap space. Miami’s deadline moves, including the Stokes trade, leave the Heat with the regular-season minimum of 13 players.
Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical on Yahoo Sports first reported the trade (Twitter link). Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel identified the second-round pick going to Portland as a 2021 selection (link to Twitter). RealGM confirms the pick is Miami’s own and carries no protection.