Heat Notes: Free Agency, Leonard, Okpala, Mooney

The Heat won’t be in the market for any of the remaining free agents unless they trade someone from their current roster, writes Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel. The hard cap that the team has been operating under since the Jimmy Butler sign-and-trade has put a severe limit on its flexibility. Miami is already uncomfortably close to its $138.9MM limit.

That means potential additions such as Jamal Crawford, J.R. Smith and Carmelo Anthony are off the table unless the Heat make another move to open space. They could release Kendrick Nunn, whose contract isn’t fully guaranteed, but Winderman considers that unlikely. If they decide to trade someone in exchange for a lesser salary, Winderman identifies Meyers Leonard, who will earn $11.3MM this season, as a possibility. He adds that they may try to move Goran Dragic by the deadline or save their next significant moves for next summer.

There’s more this morning from Miami:

  • Second-round pick KZ Okpala wouldn’t object to spending time in the G League if it’s necessary to get consistent playing time, relays Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. Jackson notes that a similar path worked for Josh Richardson, who played four games for Sioux Falls as a second-round pick in 2015. “I trust the staff and whatever they say is best,” Okpala said. “I believe in that and will go into it with a good foot forward.”
  • Free agent guard Matt Mooney, who agreed to sign an Exhibit 10 deal with the Grizzlies last week, received the same offer from the Heat, Jackson notes in the same story. It’s a similar situation to Rayjon Tucker, who recently joined the Bucks, as both players worked out for Miami and were interested in two-way contracts. However, the Heat have decided to let players in training camp compete for two-way deals.
  • Jackson rates the Heat’s potential interest in six players recently identified by former Hawks GM Wes Wilcox as among the most likely to be traded: Chris Paul, Kevin Love, Bradley Beal, Andrew Wiggins, Andre Iguodala and Devin Booker. Miami’s interest in Beal is well known, and he would be at the top of the list if he becomes available. The Heat had discussions about Paul, but won’t make a deal unless they get their two first-round picks back from Oklahoma City. Jackson doesn’t believe Miami would want Love because of his age, contract and injury history, while Iguodala fits better on an immediate contender. However, Jackson sees Booker and Wiggins as possible targets in the future if the Heat can’t land another star in free agency.
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9 thoughts on “Heat Notes: Free Agency, Leonard, Okpala, Mooney

  1. Bc1219

    I agree with all those guys to be traded besides devin booker. I think the suns may have a shot at the playoffs this year if they try hard enough and everyone stays healthy most of the season. I know it’s the west but… anything can happen!

    • harden-westbrook-mvps

      Phoenix has a good chance of finishing the season ahead of Memphis and OKC. If they’re lucky they might even do better than Minnesota and Sacramento. But the chances of them winning more games than those 4 teams plus others like Dallas, New Orleans, San Antonio, and Portland are microscopic.

  2. Skip, Tampa

    Disagree completely on Booker. Also would add Hayward to that list as well.
    When the Suns sign Rubio instead of going all in for Russell, then dished on both Booker and Russell it sent a clear message to Booker. The only reason he probably won’t make it to the Heat is trade assets. Other teams have more to offer. Don’t be surprised to see Booker demand a trade by February.

  3. fishy 9 dogs

    So Butler forced his way out of Minny because he doesn’t want to play with Wiggins, then the Heat would want to try to bring in Wiggins with Butler again? Hmmm

  4. Speaking of Love, who would be a better player for GS to have over the next (3) years. Love or Russell?

    1) Steph
    2) Klay
    3) Green
    4) Love
    5) WCS/Looney

    • Love is a guy you stay away from. He’s reached a point in his career where he makes way too much money. Second thing is he is always hurt. You can’t count on him though not his fault, to play a big-time role for your team. Thirdly he’ll get you 25, but with the game on the line he can’t get you 2.

    • Green can’t really play the three on offense. He’s not a slashing wing athletic outside shooting guy. He can guard any position on the floor but you want a shooter scorer who’s natural at that rather than a grinder like green who’s best suited to power forward.

      Thank goodness green has excellent passing and Vision skills so you can put him at the top of of the key with the ball in his hands and he’ll do great things. But he’s not a natural three.

      So you’re already paying big dollars for your 4-man… you don’t bring in love or another power forward. You’re committed to Green for the next few years at the 4.

    • If you trade away D’Angelo Russell, who’s your backup point guard? I know Russell starts but who handles the ball when Steph sits down? If they don’t have Russell?

  5. stevep-4

    So you are proposing that GSW convince CLE to trade Love for Russell, adding yet another young turk to an already overcrowded backcourt, and trade the one true star they have? I can see why GSW would do this, but not the Cavaliers.

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