Eastern Notes: Heat, Anthony, Hinkie, Felicio

The Heat are at a disadvantage when it comes to signing waived players, writes Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. Miami has two open roster spots, but its payroll is just $213K below the luxury tax threshold, meaning the team would go back above the line if it adds a player before March 6th to 8th and keeps him for the remainder of the season. Miami can fill its roster and avoid the tax, but only if it signs one player during the second week of March and another at the end of the season. Players must be waived by March 1st to be eligible for the playoffs, but can join their new team any time before the regular season is complete.

The tax situation is why the Heat made no effort to sign David Lee or Steve Novak when they were waived, Jackson explains. They would have interest in Joe Johnson if he gets bought out by the Nets, but the Cavaliers are believed to be the front-runner if that happens.

There’s more news from the Eastern Conference:

  • There’s a lot of excitement in New York about the Knicksplanned signing of Jimmer Fredette, but Carmelo Anthony doesn’t share it, according to Frank Isola of The New York Daily News. “I haven’t seen Jimmy play in a long time,” Anthony said when asked about Fredette. “I’ve been hearing about what he’s doing down there in the D-League but I haven’t seen him play in action for a long time. I thought you were telling me we were about to sign someone.”
  • Despite the addition of Jerry Colangelo to the Sixers‘ front office, GM Sam Hinkie isn’t worried about his job, according to Rich Hofmann of PhillyVoice. “Our owners have been very clear with me that they’d like me to be the leader of this organization for a long time,” Hinkie said in an interview on CSN (Twitter link).
  • Cristiano Felicio, who stayed on the Bulls‘ roster despite coming into camp with a non-guaranteed contract, continues to surprise, writes K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune. Injuries have given the Brazilian big man an opportunity to play, and he responded Friday with eight points, three rebounds and three assists in 14 minutes. “Big Cris plays like that all the time in practice,” Taj Gibson said. “He just has to get better with (communicating). He’s real aggressive and strong. He has great hands around the basket.”
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