3:50pm: The Heat have confirmed in a press release that they’ve re-signed White and waived Williams.
10:44am: Okaro White‘s second 10-day contract with the Heat expired on Sunday night, but the team won’t waste any time in bringing him back into the fold, opening up a roster spot to do so. According to Shams Charania of The Vertical (via Twitter), the Heat will waive veteran forward Derrick Williams and will sign White to a two-year contract.
Miami had been carrying 16 players on its roster, having been afforded a hardship exemption by the NBA due to four separate major injuries. Justise Winslow and Chris Bosh are expected to miss the rest of the season, while Josh McRoberts and Josh Richardson had also been sidelined for weeks. However, with Richardson set to return to the lineup, the team needed to pare its roster down to 15 players, and didn’t want to lose White.
A former FSU standout, White was in camp with the Heat in the fall, but didn’t crack the club’s regular season roster at the time. After playing well for Miami’s D-League affiliate (18.4 PPG, 8.7 RPG in 23 contests), White was called up to the NBA squad again, and has looked good in nine games for the Heat, averaging 4.1 PPG and 2.6 RPG in 16.4 MPG. The team is 9-0 in those games.
As for Williams, the Heat reportedly tried to find a trade partner to accommodate a deal for the former No. 2 overall pick, but came up empty-handed. Williams, who signed a one-year deal with Miami last summer, has appeared in 25 games this season, making 11 starts. He has averaged 5.9 PPG and 2.9 RPG in those contests, with a career-low .394 FG%, and has fallen out of the rotation in recent weeks, despite the team’s injury woes.
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Because they used their room exception on Dion Waiters during the offseason and are now over the cap, the Heat’s options for signing White are limited. The team has a disabled player exception worth just under $1.3MM available, but it can only be used for a one-year deal, and White will sign a two-year pact. That means he’ll receive a minimum salary, which works out to about $210K for the rest of this season, and $1.32MM for next season, per Bobby Marks of The Vertical (Twitter link). White’s 2017/18 salary won’t be fully guaranteed.
Meanwhile, Williams’ $4.598MM salary will continue to count against the Heat’s cap unless he’s claimed off waivers by another team. His contract could be appealing to a team below the salary floor, since it would move that club nearly $4.6MM closer to the floor, despite the fact that his remaining salary is significantly lower than that.