Heat Eye Jordan Crawford, Jason Thompson, Others

The Heat have Jordan Crawford and Jason Thompson on a list of players they will consider next month when they’re eligible to sign someone for the rest of the season without crossing the luxury tax threshold, reports Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. Jackson also mentions Tony Wroten and Dorell Wright, whom the Heat have checked in on, as Jackson wrote last month. The list includes D-Leaguers and others likely to be available as well, Jackson adds.

Miami is down to 10 healthy players following the loss of Beno Udrih to season-ending foot surgery. Fellow backup point guard Tyler Johnson is already out at least two months with an injured shoulder and uncertainty surrounds Chris Bosh, who’s again dealing with a blood-clot problem. The Heat have two open roster spots, but they can’t add anyone to more than a 10-day contract before March 6th without leaping back into tax territory, which they escaped at the trade deadline. Any 10-day deal would push that date farther back into March.  Heat GM Andy Elisburg said Miami had no strict mandate to escape the luxury tax before the deadline, but team president Pat Riley, speaking to Couper Moorhead for the Heat’s website, stressed that avoiding the tax, and the repeat-offender penalties the Heat would have been subject to, was a high priority.

Crawford, outside of a preseason stint with the Bulls this past fall, hasn’t played in the NBA since 2013/14, when he started 35 games at point guard for the Celtics. He averaged an eye-popping 43.1 points in 37.9 minutes per game against relatively weak competition in China this year. The 27-year-old has mostly played at shooting guard during his NBA career, but he’d make more sense for the Heat than would Thompson, a power forward. The 29-year-old Thompson, who’s also drawing overseas interest, is scheduled to clear waivers today in the wake of his release from the Warriors. He started 63 games for the Kings in 2014/15 but averaged only 6.4 minutes per game across 28 appearances for Golden State this season.

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