However, there’s an important caveat: Miami would need to trade for Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard first. As Stein writes, the Heat would likely have a hole on the wing if they can pull off a Lillard deal, and Oubre could help fill that void.
Oubre, 27, is the highest-ranked player left on our list of 2023’s top-50 free agents, coming in at No. 27. He averaged 20.3 points, 5.2 rebounds and 1.4 steals on .431/.319/.760 shooting in 48 games (32.3 minutes) for Charlotte last season.
Unless they can shed a significant amount of salary, the Heat will be limited to a minimum-salary offer for Oubre, which would be just shy of $2.9MM for a player with his amount of experience (he just finished his eighth NBA season). That’s a significant pay cut — Oubre has earned $12MM or more in each of the past four seasons.
Miami isn’t expected to have access to the taxpayer mid-level exception (a maximum of $10.25MM over two years) due to its proximity to the second tax apron, and it used its bi-annual exception last season to sign Kevin Love. As the name implies, the bi-annual exception can’t be used in consecutive years.
Still, the fact that Oubre remains unsigned likely means there hasn’t been much of a market for him above the veteran’s minimum to this point — otherwise, he presumably would have landed with a team already. The Cavaliers and Mavericks are rumored to have shown some level of interest in the former first-round pick, but obviously nothing has come to fruition.