2019 NBA Offseason Salary Cap Digest: Miami Heat

While the Heat weren’t considered a championship contender entering the 2018/19 season, they were viewed as a solid playoff team with the opportunity to increase their ceiling by making a trade for Jimmy Butler. Despite a steady stream of trade rumors in the fall, Butler was ultimately sent to Philadelphia instead of Miami, and the Heat’s star-less roster struggled to perform consistently during Dwyane Wade‘s farewell tour. With Wade calling it a career, the Heat are entering a new era in 2019/20 after missing the postseason this spring.

Here’s where things currently stand for the Heat financially, as we continue our Offseason Salary Cap Digest series for 2019:

Guaranteed Salary

Player Options

Team Options

  • None

Non-Guaranteed Salary

Restricted Free Agents

  • None

Unrestricted Free Agents / Other Cap Holds

Projected Salary Cap: $109,000,000
Projected Tax Line: $132,000,000

Offseason Cap Outlook

  • Realistic cap room projection: $0
  • Although Whiteside and Dragic have said they’re still undecided on their respective player options, it’s hard to imagine either player opting out. Assuming those options are exercised, that would push the Heat’s team salary over $132MM for just eight players and a first-round pick. Even if the club can shed some salary, staying out of the tax will be a challenge and creating cap room is extremely unlikely.

Cap Exceptions Available

  • Trade exception: $6,270,000 (expires 2/6/20)
  • Taxpayer mid-level exception: $5,711,000 7


  1. Anderson’s salary becomes fully guaranteed after July 10.
  2. Robinson’s salary guarantee increases to $1MM after July 15.
  3. Maten’s salary guarantee increases to $150K after August 1.
  4. Jones’ salary becomes fully guaranteed after August 1.
  5. Nunn’s salary becomes partially guaranteed to $50K after July 1 and to $150K after August 1.
  6. Babbitt’s and Mickey’s cap holds remain on the Heat’s books because they haven’t been renounced after going unsigned in 2018/19. They can’t be used in a sign-and-trade deal.
  7. This is a projected value. If the Heat reduce salary and stay out of tax territory, they could instead have access to the full mid-level exception ($9,246,000) and the bi-annual exception ($3,619,000).

Note: Minimum-salary and rookie-scale cap holds are estimates based on salary cap projections and could increase or decrease depending on where the cap lands.

Salary information from Basketball Insiders and RealGM was used in the creation of this post. Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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9 thoughts on “2019 NBA Offseason Salary Cap Digest: Miami Heat

  1. halofanatic

    Well written and very informative!

    I hate to state the obvious but the Miami Heat‘s roster is bloated with unfavorable contracts. It’s going to take striking gold in the draft to replicate their team from the 2017/2018 season. It’ll be a long and uphill battle.

  2. DynamiteAdams

    Looking at this I’m expecting a draft day trade to shed salary. At the very least they need to waive Anderson if they can’t trade him.

    • D$!LLKU$H-og

      They can waive and stretch Anderson and the cap hit for three years would be 5.2mm, saving 10.4mm. that would put them over the cap but under the luxury tax at approximately $122.3mm. With Derrick Jones they’re at $124mm with 8 players (inc. 13th pick). They could then use the MLE and stay just under the luxury tax.

  3. x%sure

    Pat Riley assumes his job is to be Pat Riley. It would work if he left room on the roster for him to recruit & steal away players but he doesn’t so he can’t. His coaching talent was always in getting away with uncalled fouls but he can’t influence the CBA as easily as the refs.
    Those darn beancounters always get you in the end…

    It is nice he is willing to interact with media but from a distance the pressers seem to contain some sadness/regret so their value is less of a positive.

  4. hiflew

    What the Heat need more than anything is a #1 guy to go with their roster full of role players. It would make a lot of sense for them to try and find a player that could be that guy, but is maybe overpaid and/or not wanted on his current team.

    My first thought would be Andrew Wiggins. I don’t think Wiggins is ever going to blossom in Minnesota. He might not in Miami either, but his upside is a lot higher than say a combo of James Johnson and Dion Waiters. I’m not saying that is exactly what it would take to get Wiggins, but just a for example.

    My next thought would be John Wall. Although that would be a big gamble since you have no idea how he would be after the injury. But if you packaged 3 of your eight figure salaries, you could probably get him. And with him out next year, you could have a nice rookie to pair with him in 2020-21.

    • x%sure

      Agree. Riley gets directly pressed on these kinds of ideas in his pressers and he kind of agrees too… the word used was about getting a “transcendent” player… but he has to commit to staying on the line with the jerk or wienie running the other team, whoever that is, and hammer something out that he won’t like but has to do.

      At this point tradable assets (i.e., McGruder) are bleeding away without benefit to the Heat.
      I have a feeling Dragic will opt out if a promising team makes a decent offer.

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