The Heat have the flexibility to sign Gordon Hayward and create room for another top-level free agent, according to Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel. A report Friday said the Jazz consider Miami a legitimate threat to sign the free agent forward, who is coming off the best season of his career. In response to a reader’s question, Winderman notes that the Heat can give $30MM to Hayward and open up another $23MM or so by trading Tyler Johnson, Josh McRoberts and Justise Winslow. However, he cautions that the team tried to find a taker for McRoberts’ contract last summer, and that was before he missed more than half a season with injuries. If Miami were able to pull off such a scenario, it would be in the range for players such as Serge Ibaka, Paul Millsap or the combination of Zach Randolph and a re-signed Dion Waiters.
There’s more this morning out of the Southeast Division:
- The Hornets have limited resources to work with as they try to improve on this year’s 36-46 record, writes Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer. With six players who have salaries topping $12MM, Charlotte is already over the salary cap for next season, leaving GM Rich Cho with little to offer prospective free agents. The team will have its mid-level exception [worth about $8.4MM] and its bi-annual exception [about $3.3MM], but neither will be enough to add a difference maker. The Hornets own both of their picks at 11 and 41, but the team’s draft record has been mixed in recent years. Trade assets are limited, with only Kemba Walker able to bring a significant return. Bonnell cites depth, defense and closing out games as areas in which Charlotte needs to improve.
- Duke’s Amile Jefferson is among six players who will work out for the Hornets today, Bonnell relays in a separate story. He will be joined by Antonio Blakeney of LSU; Torian Graham of Arizona State; Kyle Kuzma of Utah; Derrick Walton of Michigan; and Nigel Williams-Goss of Gonzaga. Several more workouts are planned for next week.
- Kuzma held a second pre-draft workout for the Hawks on Thursday, tweets Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal Constitution. Joining him at that session were Dwayne Bacon of Florida State, Nigel Hayes of Wisconsin and Nik Slavica of Croatia.