The Heat are willing to give impending free agent P.J. Tucker a guaranteed three-year deal but don’t want to invest their full mid-level exception on the veteran forward, Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel reports.
Using the full mid-level ($10.3MM) would push Miami into a hard cap situation, which would seriously curtail its ability to make other moves. The Heat instead plan to offer Tucker the maximum allowable three years using the Non-Bird exception. The contract would include a starting salary of $8.4MM and would be worth about $26.5MM in total.
Tucker is declining his $7.35MM option in order to enter unrestricted free agency. The Sixers have emerged as the frontrunners for Tucker, reportedly ready to offer him a three-year contract worth $27MM with incentives that could increase the value to $30MM.
If the non-taxpayer mid-level exception is used on Tucker, the Heat would only be able to offer restricted free agent Caleb Martin or any outside free agent their $4.1MM bi-annual exception or a minimum-salary deal, Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald notes.