Josh McRoberts

Five Candidates To Be Waived With Stretch Provision

NBA teams have about two more weeks to apply the stretch provision to the 2017/18 cap hits for players they waive. After August 31, teams will no longer be eligible to stretch salaries for the coming season, and the stretch provision will only apply to future seasons on a player’s contract.

The stretch provision is a CBA rule that allows teams to stretch a player’s remaining salary across additional seasons. For July and August, the rule dictates that a team can pay out the player’s salary over twice the number of years remaining on his contract, plus one. So a contract with three years left on it could be stretched out over seven years. After August 31, only the future years on the contract can be stretched in that manner.

In practical terms, here’s what that means for a player who is earning $6MM in each of the next two years ($12MM total):

Year Current contract Stretched by August 31 Stretched after August 31
2017/18 $6,000,000 $2,400,000 $6,000,000
2018/19 $6,000,000 $2,400,000 $2,000,000
2019/20 $2,400,000 $2,000,000
2020/21 $2,400,000 $2,000,000
2021/22 $2,400,000

In some cases, it can be advantageous to wait until September to waive a player and use the stretch provision. If a team isn’t close to the tax line and can’t clear additional cap room by stretching a player’s current-year salary, it may make more sense to be patient, since that extra immediate cap room wouldn’t be useful.

However, there are several teams around the NBA who may be motivated to waive and stretch players prior to that August 31 deadline. Here are five stretch provision candidates to keep an eye on during the next couple weeks:

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Heat Paid $5.1MM To Mavs In McRoberts Deal

The Heat took full advantage of the increased limits for cash used in trades last week, sending $5.1MM to the Mavericks in the deal that landed Josh McRoberts to Dallas, reports Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel.

In each NBA league year, teams are permitted to send up to a certain amount of cash in trades, and are permitted to receive no more than that amount as well. In 2016/17, that figure was $3.5MM, but it increased to $5.1MM in 2017/18. That means that the Heat have already used their limit for the current league year, and won’t be able to send out any additional cash in trades until July 2018. Miami could still receive up to $5.1MM in trades, however.

With the cash taken into account, the Mavericks come out ahead in the trade in more ways than one. McRoberts is earning $6,021,175 this year, and A.J. Hammons – who went from the Mavs to the Heat in the swap – is making $1,312,611, so the difference in their salaries is $4,708,564. Dallas received more than enough cash to make up that difference and received a future second-round pick from their troubles. Since they’re acting as an over-the-cap team, the Mavs didn’t sacrifice any cap room by taking on McRoberts, though they now won’t be eligible to receive any more cash in trades until next July.

Meanwhile, the deal is also a win from the Heat’s perspective, since the team had to use every last dollar of cap room to squeeze in new deals for Dion Waiters, James Johnson, and Kelly Olynyk. Cash paid in a trade doesn’t count toward the cap, so by dumping McRoberts’ salary and only taking back Hammons’ modest contract, the Heat were able to just barely create the space necessary for their signings. They also landed Hammons, a player Riley spoke highly of earlier today.

Heat Trade Josh McRoberts To Mavericks

The Heat and Mavericks have officially finalized a deal that sends veteran forward Josh McRoberts to Dallas, the Heat announced today in a press release. In addition to McRoberts, the Mavs will receive a 2023 second-round pick and cash considerations. Miami will acquire young center A.J. Hammons.

The move is a salary dump from the Heat’s perspective, and helps clear the way for the team to finalize its contract agreements with Dion Waiters, Kelly Olynyk, and James Johnson. All three players reached deals with Miami this week that will reportedly pay them between $12-15MM annually.

[RELATED: Heat’s summer contract agreements, via our free agent tracker]

McRoberts has been limited by injuries for the last two seasons, and may not have a future with the Mavericks, who could stretch the final year of his contract if they so choose. Last season, the 30-year-old averaged 4.9 PPG and 3.4 RPG in 22 games (14 starts) for the Heat.

The Heat have already traded their second-round picks in each of the next four years, meaning the earliest pick Miami could have offered would have been its 2022 selection. The club hangs onto that pick in the transaction, sending its 2023 second-rounder instead. Meanwhile, the amount of cash changing hands isn’t known, but the cap for the 2017/18 league year on cash paid or cash received is $5.1MM.

Heat, Mavs Nearing Josh McRoberts Trade

7:54pm: The Mavericks will use a trade exception to absorb McRoberts’ salary, tweets Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News. Dallas has a $6.6MM+ TPE that would fit McRoberts’ $6MM+ salary. The use of that exception signals that the Mavs intend to function as an over-the-cap team for now.

Meanwhile, Charania’s full report on the proposed deal also notes that the Mavs will receive cash from the Heat.

7:12pm: The Heat are working to trade Josh McRoberts to the Mavericks as they look to clear salary, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.com tweets. Shams Charania of The Vertical reports (Twitter links) that Dallas will send A.J. Hammons to Miami in exchange for the power forward.

The Mavericks will also receive a future second-round pick from Miami, Charania adds. The Heat have already traded their second-round picks in each of the next four seasons, meaning the earliest pick Miami could offer would be the 2022 selection.

By removing McRoberts’ salary, which is approximately $6.02MM for the 2017/18 campaign, the Heat should be able to fit in the already agreed upon deals for Dion Waiters and Kelly Olynyk as well as a new contract for James Johnson, something that the team is still working on. Moving the Duke product should also allow the team to keep Wayne Ellington on the roster.

The Heat also have interest in bringing back Luke Babbitt, and figure to keep his cap hold on their books so that they can retain his Bird rights.

Heat Notes: Leaf, Collins, Reed, Aldridge

The Heat will be looking for size with the 14th pick, especially if Luke Kennard and Donovan Mitchell are both off the board, according to Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. T.J. Leaf, who proved to be an effective outside shooter at UCLA, is a possibility, along with Gonzaga’s Zach Collins, who can also hit from 3-point range. Miami would like to find a stretch four to team with Hassan Whiteside, a traditional low-post center.

If Collins is off the board, Jackson says the Heat will look at Jarrett Allen of Texas and Justin Patton of Creighton. Both are 6’11” and are targeted for the back of the lottery or possibly later. A minor injury prevented Allen from working out for Miami, but he held an interview Sunday and reportedly impressed team officials. Patton did participate in a workout for the Heat on Sunday.

Jackson offers more insight into Miami’s strategy for tonight and beyond:

  • Drafting a backup center would protect the Heat in case Willie Reed leaves in free agency. The front office fears that Reed will get an offer significantly higher than the team is willing to pay.
  • Leaf could be a replacement for either Luke Babbitt or James Johnson, two forwards who are both headed for free agency.
  • Another big man to consider is John Collins of Wake Forest, who impressed the Heat in a workout last week. Miami will also look at Duke’s Harry Giles, but might be scared off by his history of knee problems. Giles canceled a workout in Miami and never rescheduled.
  • If the Heat decide to trade down, they will focus on UCLA center Ike Anigbogu and Kentucky power forward Bam Adebayo.
  • Miami is a possible destination if LaMarcus Aldridge wants out of San Antonio. The Spurs are seeking a top 10 draft pick and would like to cut salary to make a run at Chris Paul. Jackson says Miami could offer a competitive package of the 14th pick, Wayne Ellington, whose $6.27MM contract won’t be guaranteed until July 12th, Justise Winslow and Josh McRoberts.

Southeast Notes: Howard, McRoberts, NBA Draft Workouts

Dwight Howard‘s lack of versatility on offense cost him playing time  with the Hawks last season and the eight-time All-Star wants to remedy that this offseason. Speaking on ESPN’s The Jump, Howard revealed that he is working to expand his three-point shooting in preparation for the 2017/18 season (via Andrew Joseph of USA Today’s For The Win).

“So, I have this guy in Atlanta that I’ve been working with, and I’ve been working on my threes,” Howard said. “Really trying to add some range to my game, which is gonna be weird for people to see, I guess. They’re used to seeing me in the paint, battling. But in order for me to play longer, I have to expand my game.”

Howard, 31, has never been a prolific shooter in the NBA; his main draw has been scoring in the paint and overpowering opposition in the low post. For his career, Howard has made just five of his 56 three-point attempts (8.9%). Howard’s last trey came during the 2014/15 season.

As Joseph writes, players such as Paul Millsap and Al Horford developed three-pointers in Atlanta. If Howard is looking for a blueprint, Nets center Brook Lopez is a good example; he shot 3-for-31 from long range the first eight seasons of his career before going 134-for-387 (34.6%) from deep during the 2016/17 campaign. Either way, an aging Howard — who the Hawks signed to a three-year, $70MM last season — will need to evolve to maximize his usefulness to a younger Hawks team.

Here are additional notes from the Southeast division:

  • Josh McRoberts could be a viable option as the Heat’s backup center, Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel writes in his latest Ask Ira. McRoberts exercised his option to remain with the Heat for 2017/18, but the team could use the stretch provision to utilize the roster spot on else. Since joining the Heat during the 2014 offseason, McRoberts has appeared in 81 out of a possible 246 games.
  • Keith Langlois of Pistons.com reports that Kentucky’s Bam Adebayo next scheduled visit is with the Heat (via Twitter).
  • The Hornets announced their scheduled pre-draft workout attendees for tomorrow. The list includes Arizona guard Kadeem Allen, Wake Forest forward Austin Arians, Notre Dame forward V.J. Beachem, Davidson guard Jack Gibbs and big men Przemek Karnowski (Gonzaga) and Mangok Mathiang (Louisville).

Josh McRoberts Picks Up Player Option For 2017/18

Oft-injured Heat big man Josh McRoberts has picked up his player option worth $6MM for next season, according to Zach Lowe of ESPN (link via Twitter).

McRoberts, 30, missed most of the 2016/17 campaign due to a stress fracture in his left foot. McRoberts was limited to just 22 games (14 starts) where the 6’10” center posted totals of 4.9 PPG, 3.4 PPG, and 2.3 APG. Injuries have plagued McRoberts for his entire stint in South Beach, as the 10-year NBA veteran appeared in just 81 out of a possible 246 games since signing a a three-year deal with the Heat during the 2014 offseason.

Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel spoke to McRoberts’ agent Mike Conley to discuss the decision to exercise the player option this early.

He already knew he was opting in,” Conley said. “It’s always been a matter of him being healthy, and he’s healthy now.”

This gives Miami a potential frontcourt option for next season, given that Chris Bosh and the team reportedly agreed to an amicable split earlier today. While Bosh’s issues with blood clots — which resulted in him using blood thinners — makes him an unlikely NBA comeback, the Heat are better off with a healthy McRoberts than without.

The Heat own the 14th overall pick in this year’s NBA Draft and could conceivably draft a big man and utilize the “stretch provision” to waive McRoberts and pay a $2MM annual cap hit over the next three seasons, as Winderman noted. In that case, Miami would have an additional $4MM in cap space this offseason.

Over his career, spanning six teams, McRoberts owns a career totals of 5.4 PPG and 3.9 RPG.

Southeast Notes: Morris, Heat, Draft, Batiste

Wizards forward Markieff Morris is suffering through a severe left ankle injury, but says there’s no chance it will prevent him from playing in Monday’s Game 7 against the Celtics, relays J. Michael of CSNMidAtlantic. Morris was able to play 39 minutes in Game 6, putting up 16 points and 11 rebounds in a thrilling 92-91 victory. He has been fighting through the pain ever since landing on Al Horford‘s foot on a jump shot in Game 1 and hasn’t practiced since the injury. “I don’t shoot at all. I just go back to treatment every day,” Morris said. “It’s not swollen as much, but the pain is still there. It’s the worst injury I’ve ever had.”

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • The Heat should consider trading down in the draft if they don’t get lucky in Tuesday’s lottery, writes Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel. After barely missing the playoffs on a tie-breaker, Miami has the worst odds of any lottery team. The Heat have just a 0.5% chance to land the No. 1 pick and only a slightly better shot at slots two and three. While options such as Justin Jackson, Ivan Rabb, John Collins or T.J. Leaf might be tempting at No. 14, Winderman believes Miami would be better off trying to rebuild its draft future. The Heat owe their first-round picks in 2018 and 2021 to Phoenix and don’t have a second-round pick until 2022.
  • The Heat have some important contract dates in the next few weeks, Winderman notes in the same piece. Josh McRoberts, Dion Waiters and Willie Reed all have a June 29th deadline to decide whether to opt out for next season. Josh Richardson‘s $1,471,382 salary for 2017/18 becomes fully guaranteed a day later, as does Okaro White‘s $1,312,611 figure on July 1st. Winderman expects McRoberts to opt in for $6MM, Waiters and Reed to both opt out and the team to guarantee Richardson’s salary while getting White to defer his guarantee date.
  • The Hornets added Mike Batiste to their coaching staff this week, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical. An opening was created when Patrick Ewing gave up his role as associate head coach to take over at Georgetown. Stephen Silas was promoted to lead assistant, and Batiste will become a regular assistant. Batiste played for the Grizzlies in 2002/03, but spent most of his career in Europe.

Heat Notes: Spoelstra, Johnson, Winslow

Heat players recently cleaned out their lockers, having failed to make the playoffs, and many of them will have an opportunity to go elsewhere this summer. James Johnson, Udonis Haslem, and Luke Babbitt will be free agents. Willie Reed, Josh McRoberts, and Dion Waiters all hold player options and Wayne Ellington could join the free agent market if the franchise declines his $6.27MM team option.

Coach Erik Spoelstra wants his players to feel comfortable returning to Miami, as Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel writes. “This is clean-up day, not clean-out day,” the coach said.

Spoelstra added that his goal is to move forward with the team’s current group and compete for a championship. “Our organization is not going to change. We’re hard-wired to play and compete for championships,” he said. “Hopefully this is dot-dot-dot continued and we can build on this.”

Here’s more from Miami:

  • The Heat are thrilled with Hassan Whiteside‘s growth this season, as Winderman relays in the same piece. “I think his growth has been staggering,” Spoelstra said of the big man. “You can define it how you want. He can become one of the greats.” Whiteside signed a four-year, $98.4MM contract with Miami last offseason.
  • Johnson may consider taking a discount to stay with the Heat if it means keeping this year’s group together, Winderman passes along (Twitter links). “I’m home. That’s what it feels like. I love it here,” Johnson said of Miami.
  • Justise Winslow is recovering from shoulder surgery and is “way ahead of schedule,” according to Spoelstra, as Winderman relays via Twitter.
  • Prior to the injury, the Heat strongly believed Winslow would become a quality starter due to the work he put in last summer to improve his shooting, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald writes. Winslow admits that being sidelined hindered his ability to get comfortable with his new shooting mechanics, but added that he’ll continue to work on that part of his game.
  • Spoelstra feels Winslow would have helped Miami this season because of his efficient play, as Jackson passes along in the same piece. “He can generate threes for you offensively because he puts a lot of pressure in the paint, off the dribble, in transition. He’s an aggressive, bruising, physical type of player and he sees the floor. That helps create your three-point game,” the coach said.
  • In his latest mailbag, Winderman explains why it’ll be hard for the Heat to add a major free agent, such as Paul Millsap, and bring back the core of this year’s squad. The team can feasibly carve out approximately $37MM in cap space this summer and that may not be enough for Miami to add a max player in addition to own free agents.

Eastern Notes: Pistons, Wizards, Henson, McRoberts

Pistons center Boban Marjanovic and rookie power forward Henry Ellenson will get a long look during the last four games of the season, Aaron McMann of MLive.com reports. Marjanovic, who signed a three-year, $21MM contract as a free agent last summer, has played sparingly behind Andre Drummond and Aron Baynes. Marjanovic could have a bigger role next season if Baynes opts out of the final year of his contract. Ellenson, the team’s first-round selection last June, has spent most of the season with the team’s D-League affiliate in Grand Rapids, Mich.  “We will still play our main guys, but we’ll get Henry and Boban in there every night,” coach Stan Van Gundy told the team’s beat reporters.

In other developments around the Eastern Conference:

  • Power forward Jason Smith has proven to be a bargain pickup for the Wizards, according to J. Michael of CSNMidAtlantic.com. Smith, who played for the Magic last season, signed a three-year, $15MM deal as a free agent last summer. He’s averaging 5.6 PPG but is shooting 49.2% from 3-point range and 53.1% overall despite getting dropped from the rotation on occasion, Michael continues. His screening has also been a valuable asset, Michael adds.
  • Bucks big man John Henson will lose $250K in bonus incentives because of his current thumb injury, Bobby Marks of The Vertical tweets.  Henson needed to play in 60 games to collect the bonus. Henson signed a four-year extension in October 2015 that kicked in at the start of this season. The contract is worth between $44MM and $48MM, depending upon if Henson reaches certain incentives.
  • Heat forward Josh McRoberts participated in his first contact practice on Tuesday since he was sidelined in late December with a stress fracture in his left foot, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports. Coach Erik Spoelstra is still uncertain if McRoberts will return this season, Jackson adds. McRoberts holds a $6MM option on his contract for next season.
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