Heat Waive Rodney McGruder

The Heat have waived swingman Rodney McGruder, per Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium, in a financially motivated attempt to skirt the luxury tax.

The Heat lost to the Raptors earlier today, putting a large hit on the club’s playoff chances. Wins by the Pistons and the Nets, both playing now, would officially eliminate Miami. Therefore, the Heat were left with a decision — keep McGruder, hope to make the playoffs against long odds, and try to re-sign him this summer, or waive him for potential financial gain. The team chose the latter.

As noted by Bobby Marks of ESPN, the Heat will avoid the luxury tax if McGruder’s $1.54MM minimum-salary contract is claimed by another team. However, any team interested in picking up McGruder would not have the 27-year-old available for the playoffs, so the only incentive to claim him would be to obtain his Early Bird rights and the right to match any offers for him in free agency. McGruder will be a restricted free agent this summer with a qualifying offer of a little more than $3.6MM.

As such, it will be interesting to see whether another franchise claims McGruder and helps out Miami. On the one hand, McGruder is still relatively young and on a cheap contract. Moreover, he will be a restricted free agent this summer, which is always a tantalizing asset for any club. But, he can’t help now, in the playoffs, which is currently the primary focus of many teams. For what it’s worth, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports that the Heat believe McGruder will be claimed.

McGruder started 45 games for the Heat this season, averaging 7.7 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.7 assists. He appeared in 161 games for the Heat over three seasons and led the Heat’s G-League affiliate to a championship back in 2016.

newest oldest

17 thoughts on “Heat Waive Rodney McGruder

  1. PapiElf

    This is smart. Rodney has done really nothing for the Heat except for 2016 which was his rookie year.

      • hiflew

        That depends if they had any desire to match an offer for him. If they had no desire to do that then losing the RFA restriction on him doesn’t hurt them.

  2. x%sure

    Is McGruder a PG?– No. But that’s where Miami mostly played him. Turns out, Dion Waiters is a better PG, and his contract is guaranteed.
    McGruder was a riser until this year, playing at his position 2/3.
    Is he run down & over, or misused? Another team will find out.

  3. Jason Lancaster

    I don’t understand why people are bagging on mcgruder. His SNL skits are hilarious.

    Also, Mcgruder could be Raja Bell in the right situation.

    • kenneth cole

      You’re comparing arguably the greatest 3 and D player in suns history to some random role player the heat got because he impressed in summer league… njce dude. Mcgruder is nothing to raja bell that’s pretty disrespectful

      • Jason Lancaster

        Sorry I hurt your feelings.

        Still, the fact is that McGruder is excellent on defense, and is basically a second year player (didn’t play last season). Bell wasn’t too awesome offensively in his 2nd year either, but he brought the defense.

        McGruder looked good for a few stretches this year. His shooting is getting better too. IN THE RIGHT SITUATION, he could be Bell with a little luck.

      • x%sure

        You are overrating Bell, a bit player. Career PER of 11, never more than 14 when 15 is average, only 8 for his first three years. Minus numbers all over. Was never asked to play the point. No titles, 7 teams. He was durable but never enough.

        The Suns upgraded their “best 3 and D in Suns history” for Jason Richardson after three years of declining playoff success. Wonder what Macgruder could do with a Nash running the point & a Stoudamire collapsing defenses.

      • victorg

        @ Kenneth me thinks you should stick to making watches and colognes.
        Greatest 3 and D in suns history goes something like this.
        Thunder Dan Majerle
        PJ Mother Tucker
        Shawn The Matrix Marion
        Raja Kirsten bell

        • Jtsanders84

          That’s totally not fair to Raja, he’s at least nicknamed, Raja Kristen Bell and not her less talented cousin, Kirsten!

          That was some hard stanning for a guy who was a pest, admirably filling a role that several other NBA players then and now could have filled.

  4. stretch123

    Guy amounted to much more than any Heat fan imagined. He could be a solid 9th-10th man on a contender. Plays above average defense and shoots decently from beyond the ark.

    • Jtsanders84

      Totally agree, Heat games are local to me, so I see more Heat than anyone else. But, as a Knicks fan, pleasant surprise from a younger player doesn’t necessarily translate into anything other than nice story. He hardly moves any needle, but can be a nice fit for a bunch of teams at the end of the bench. Not quite sure though how he helps the Heat moving forward.

      I’d be more upset about Miami’s circumstantial predicament that necessitates waiving a player in order to save money. They are so expertly coached that it can often belie their roster construction.

      I’m more upset than any team would refuse to pay the luxury tax, when I pay a darn luxury fee to see them live and given the financial health of the league.

      Also upsetting, is the salary cap hell this team has besieged, that a useful player is of little use to them because they are so redundant in some areas and barren in others.

      • Jason Lancaster

        Ya, but you said it yourself – you’re a Knicks fan. Knicks are turrible at player development. They’ve wasted a lot of picks over the years, and at some point it’s not the luck of the draft…it’s that they’re bad at developing talent.

        Miami, on the other hand, has a coaching staff that is outstanding at extracting maximum value from everyone on the roster.

        While it could very well be that McGruder is nothing more than a scrub, I’d hate to give up on a guy that’s basically only had 2 years in the league, and who is already an above-average defender. In another year or two he could be a solid shooter, and that would make him a nice 3-and-D player for just about any team in the league.

        Miami is gambling *someone* will pick him up for a reason…

Leave a Reply