Chris Andersen

Hornets Acquire Courtney Lee In Three-Teamer

Bruce Kluckhohn / USA TODAY Sports Images

Bruce Kluckhohn / USA TODAY Sports Images

6:45pm: Courtney Lee is headed to Charlotte as part of a three-team deal involving the Grizzlies, Heat and Hornets, all of whom have officially announced the trade that Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports originally reported. The Heat pick up Brian Roberts in the deal, while Lee is the only asset going to the Hornets, but the Grizzlies come away with two players and four second-round picks.

From Charlotte, the Grizzlies receive P.J. Hairston, Charlotte’s 2018 second-rounder and Brooklyn’s 2019 second-rounder, which the Hornets acquired this past summer. From Miami, Memphis gets Chris Andersen, Miami’s second-rounder for 2017, with top-40 protection, plus Boston’s 2019 second-rounder with top-55 protection that Miami acquired this past summer. USA Today’s Sam Amick and Chris Herrington of The Commercial Appeal reported the details of the picks changing hands (All Twitter links).

We are excited to be adding a quality veteran wing player to our roster in Courtney Lee,” Charlotte GM Rich Cho said in his team’s press release. “Courtney has proven to be a team defender, a consistent outside shooter and a solid scorer in our league for the past eight years.  Particularly in terms of experience, he adds depth to our roster in a position of need for us and we expect him to fit in to our system and contribute right away.”

The Memphis-bound Hairston had started on the wing for Charlotte in place of Kidd-Gilchrist while he dealt with an earlier shoulder injury that kept him out for the season’s first few months, so presumably Lee will slide into that spot alongside soon-to-be free agent Nicolas Batum. All four players involved are on expiring contracts, with Lee’s worth $5.675MM, Anderson making $5MM, Roberts getting close to $2.854MM and Hairston seeing more than $1.201MM. The Grizzlies won’t be able to re-sign Hairston to a deal with a starting salary of more than $1,253,160 for next season because the Hornets declined the team option they had for next year on his rookie scale contract.

Memphis, Charlotte and Miami are all dealing with significant health issues, too. Marc Gasol has a broken foot, while Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is out for the season with a torn labrum in his shoulder, and mystery surrounds the status of Chris Bosh as he deals with another blood clot. Miami is also missing Tyler Johnson until at least April, if not the rest of the season.

The Grizzlies had reportedly been testing the market for Lee, though they apparently rejected a proposal from the Timberwolves of Lee for Kevin Martin several weeks ago, before Gasol went down. Andersen had been a trade candidate for months, with the latest dispatch indicating that Miami was aggressively trying to trade him as repeat-offender tax penalties loom. The trade as reported lowers the Heat’s payroll by about $2.1MM, but Miami would still need to trim roughly another $3.4MM to sneak under the tax line.

Heat Interested In Casspi, Kings Like Tyler Johnson

The Heat have explored trading for Omri Casspi as they seek to upgrade their 3-point shooting, while the Kings are interested in Tyler Johnson, even though he’s out for at least two months and perhaps the rest of the season with a torn left rotator cuff, reports Ethan Skolnick of the Miami Herald. Miami has been aggressive in seeking to trade a player at the end of its bench, particularly Chris Andersen and Jarnell Stokes, in an effort to avoid tax penalties, fellow Herald scribe Barry Jackson hears, though the team acknowledges that offloading Stokes, who makes the minimum, is more likely than with Anderson and his $5MM salary, Jackson adds.

It’s unclear if the Heat and Kings have discussed proposals, though a Casspi-Johnson exchange would have to include more salary going from Miami to Sacramento, since Casspi’s salary of more than $2.836MM exceeds the minimum salary that Johnson has. Even the addition of Stokes’ minimum salary wouldn’t quite be enough to make a legal deal. Conversely, a trade that sends Andersen to the Kings for Casspi wouldn’t work because it would represent too much salary headed to Sacramento.

Regardless, Casspi is knocking down a career-high 42.2% of his 3-point looks this season, the first on his two-year, $5.8MM contract, so he’d no doubt help a Miami team that’s 26th in 3-pointers made. Johnson was one of the Heat’s most accurate long-range shooters before going out with injury, nailing 38.6% of his attempts. He’s a native of Mountain View, California, and he went to Fresno State, both of which are close to Sacramento. Johnson, who turns 24 in May, is set to become a restricted free agent at season’s end, but he’s subject to the Gilbert Arenas Provision, which would make it more difficult for a team to poach him in free agency.

The Heat have reportedly been trying to trade Andersen off and on for months but evidently haven’t found a trading partner. Stokes has only totaled 14 minutes at the NBA level compared to nearly 500 in the D-League since coming over from the Grizzlies in the Mario Chalmers trade. Miami is approximately $5.5MM above the $84.74MM luxury tax threshold and faces repeat-offender tax penalties if it can’t duck under the line by the last day of the regular season, though next week’s trade deadline represents the team’s last realistic opportunity to do so.

Eastern Notes: Dudley, Joseph, Dellavedova

Jared Dudley has been with a new team each of the last three seasons and the combo forward believes that he needs continuity to be the best player he can be, Joel Brigham of Basketball Insiders relays. “I’m a rhythm player,” Dudley told Brigham. “My game revolves around system, team, unselfishness. Obviously I’ve had to be healthy, though, and continue to adjust to playing a new position at power forward this year and last year. I had a great situation in Milwaukee, but I had to go between being a starter and a bench player back and forth.” Dudley, an unrestricted free agent at season’s end, noted that he is happy being a member of the Wizards, but did acknowledge the uncertainty that the future brings for veteran players, Brigham adds. “I’ve now come to the realization that you’ve got to rent instead of buying a home,” Dudley continued. “I don’t know where I’ll be 15 years from now. I don’t know what my job is going to be, but I’ve got time, and I’m happy where I am for now.

Dudley could be on the move once again as the Cavs are reportedly interested in his services. Here’s more from the East:

  • If the Heat look to make a deal in advance of the trade deadline, the expiring contract of Chris Andersen could be used to help the team pull off a deal, Bobby Marks of The Vertical on Yahoo Sports writes in his deadline primer for Miami. The Vertical scribe also notes that the franchise could save itself approximately $2.3MM in luxury tax penalties by dealing away rookie Jarnell Stokes, who has spent the bulk of the season in the D-League. Dana Gauruder of Hoops Rumors examined Andersen as a trade candidate before the season.
  • The Raptors‘ luxury tax situation will likely prevent the team from making any significant moves prior to next week’s trade deadline, Josh Lewenberg of opines. To obtain an impact player, Toronto would likely have to part with either Cory Joseph or Patrick Patterson, both of whom have been solid contributors this season, to make a deal work under the luxury tax threshold, Lewenberg writes. The TSN scribe argues that it wouldn’t improve the team enough to make it worthwhile to part with either player in a trade during the season.
  • Injured Cavaliers point guard Matthew Dellavedova is unlikely to return to action until after the All-Star break, Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal relays. The long layoff may be a boon to the point guard, who is dealing with a hamstring injury, Lloyd notes. “I would like that,” coach Tyronn Lue said regarding Dellavedova having extra time to heal. “I’m not sure Delly would like that. That’s the smartest thing to do, just come back, get seven or eight days off, and then come back fresh. He should be healthy by then. That’s the smartest thing to do.

Heat Rumors: Whiteside, Dragic, Andersen, Bosh

The Heat are unlikely to offer center Hassan Whiteside a full max deal when he hits free agency this summer, according to Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel. Responding to a reader’s question about Whiteside’s struggles when matched up against legitimate centers, Winderman says he believes the Heat have a figure in mind that they that they will not exceed to keep Whiteside in Miami. If the 26-year-old gets a better offer from someone else, he will likely move on. Whiteside is currently earning a little more than $981K in the final year of his deal with the Heat.

There’s more from South Beach:

  • Miami may have thought twice about last season’s Goran Dragic trade if the front office had foreseen his current level of production, Winderman writes in the same piece. Dragic is averaging 12.3 points and 5.0 assists through 36 games while forming an uneasy backcourt partnership with Dwyane Wade. The columnist says no one from the Heat will admit it, but there has to be some disappointment with Dragic considering the team surrendered possibly two lottery picks to acquire him and then gave him a near-maximum contract. Winderman also wonders whether Dragic’s talents will ever be fully maximized in Miami’s current system.
  • Despite playing just 33 minutes this season, veteran center Chris Andersen has not asked for a trade, writes Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. Andersen has talked to coach Erik Spoelstra several times about his place on the team and said “we’re both understanding of what my role is … I will embrace it … I am a highly competitive warrior.” Jackson says the Heat would like to move Andersen’s $5MM contract to provide luxury tax relief, but have been unable to find another team interested in a deal.
  • Chris Bosh is proving to be worthy of his maximum contract, but the Heat are wasting one of the best stretches of his six years in Miami, according to Ethan J. Skolnick of The Miami Herald. Over the past 12 games, Bosh has averaged 23.8 points and 7.2 rebounds while shooting 51% from the floor and 44.1% from 3-point range. Despite his production, Miami posted just a 7-5 record in those games.

Heat Rumors: Andersen, Johnson, Deng

While Miami may have dreams of landing Kevin Durant or another marquee free agent, the team will likely have to use all of its resources just to keep the current roster intact, Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel argues. Winderman believes Hassan Whiteside, who has been playing at an All-Star level so far this season, could command an annual salary of over $20MM. The team will also have to worry about a new contract for Dwyane Wade and possibly a new contract for Luol Deng, who will be a free agent at season’s end.

Here’s more from South Beach:

  • The Heat would still like to move Chris Andersen to reduce their tax bill, but the team isn’t optimistic about finding a trade partner, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald passes along.
  • The emergence of Tyler Johnson played a key role in Miami trading Mario Chalmers and the team has faith that the 23-year-old can handle an added role, Ethan J. Skolnick of the Miami Herald writes. “He has emerged,” Dwyane Wade said. “We’ve all seen it. When we got into this season, we all looked at each other and said, this guy’s made a big jump. He’s going to be important to us.”
  • While there may be value in moving Deng before the trade deadline, keeping the veteran is the right move due to key role he plays on the team, Winderman opines in a separate piece.

Grizzlies Acquire Mario Chalmers

Courtesy of USA Today Sports Images

Courtesy of USA Today Sports Images

5:10pm: The trade is official, the Heat and Grizzlies have announced, though no mention was made of a second-rounder changing hands in the deal. “This is a tough day for myself and the organization in trading Mario Chalmers and James Ennis,” said Heat president Pat Riley. “Mario was a part of two championships with us and Ennis is a solid young player, but it is part of the business and it was a move necessary to make because of our crowded backcourt. We feel that it is in the best interest of Mario and we want him to be successful and be a part of a good team. We wish them nothing but the best. We would also like to welcome Beno Udrih, an accomplished veteran and someone that has playoff and championship experience, and the addition of Jarnell Stokes, a young player that we would like to develop.

4:04pm: The Heat don’t see either Udrih or Stokes as long-term pieces, but they’d still execute the two-team trade with the Grizzlies if they can’t find a third team, Stein writes. The ESPN scribe also invokes Andersen’s name, suggesting that he remains available.

2:57pm: The Heat are looking for a third team willing to take Udrih, Stokes or both, and that’s keeping the deal with the Grizzlies from becoming official, reports Marc Stein of (Twitter links). Miami has the option of simply pulling off the two-teamer with Memphis, but the Heat would prefer to include a third team, Stein adds.

12:27pm: The Grizzlies and Heat are have agreed to a deal that will send Mario Chalmers and James Ennis to Memphis for Beno Udrih, Jarnell Stokes and a second-round pick, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports (Twitter links). Wojnarowski’s full story indicates Miami is receiving a second-round pick from Memphis, too, but it makes no mention of, who was in Wojnarowski’s Twitter report, which didn’t include the second-rounder. In any case, the teams are preparing for a trade call with the league office today, Wojnarowski notes. Marc Stein of first reported a week ago that the sides had talked about a potential trade involving Chalmers, and a few days later Stein wrote about growing concern within the Grizzlies organization amid a slow start. Memphis, at 3-4, next plays Wednesday at home against the Warriors.

The move is a cost-cutter for the Heat, who give up the $4.3MM salary of Chalmers in exchange for Udrih and his pay of $2.17MM, which is only a little more than half of what Chalmers makes. Stokes and Ennis are have identical one-year veteran’s minimum salaries, though Stokes has a full guarantee while Ennis has a partial guarantee of only about $254K, since he and the Heat reworked the terms of his contract before the start of the regular season. Memphis will likely use part of its $967,500 trade exception left over from the offseason Jon Leuer deal to absorb the $845,059 that Stokes makes and offset the unbalanced exchange of salaries, notes Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (on Twitter).

Miami is set to remove about $6MM from its potential luxury tax bill with the trade, according to Wojnarowski, though the tax isn’t calculated until the final day of the regular season. The Heat would still be in line to pay repeat-offender tax penalties in the wake of today’s deal, and many of the same offseason rumors that raised the idea of a Chalmers trade also made mention of Chris Andersen, who could be the next to go, as Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel speculates (Twitter link).

Memphis hasn’t been pleased with the play of its bench and hopes that Chalmers will be an upgrade behind starting point guard Mike Conley, league sources told Wojnarowski. Ronald Tillery of The Commercial Appeal had heard from some people, ostensibly around the Grizzlies, who quietly expressed disappointment with what they perceived to be Udrih’s lack of conditioning, athleticism and defense, and the team wasn’t ready to turn the backup job over to third-stringer Russ Smith, Tillery also wrote.

A desire to avoid the tax plus confidence in Tyler Johnson and Gerald Green helped prompt the Heat to make the move, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald (Twitter link), though Green remains away from the team following his hospitalization last week. Green is out of the hospital and is reportedly expected to return to the team soon, however. In any case, the acquisition of Udrih gives the team an experienced backup at the point as it attempts to regain its status among the Eastern Conference elite, even with the concerns about Udrih from Memphis. Of course, no guarantee exists that the team won’t flip Udrih to further its efforts to dodge the tax, tweets Ethan Skolnick of the Miami Herald.

Chalmers first became a trade candidate in June, when Ramona Shelburne and Brian Windhorst of reported that the Heat were shopping him and Andersen to try to clear room for a new deal with Dwyane Wade. Team president Pat Riley denied that, ESPN’s Zach Lowe heard in July that Chalmers and Andersen could be had “for nothing” in return, which speaks to the idea that the Heat wanted their salaries off the books. Miami had apparently backed away, at least temporarily, from the idea of a Chalmers trade by late August, but at that point they wouldn’t rule out a deal as soon as October, as Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reported.

The Grizzlies have to renounce cap holds for unsigned free agents from years past who didn’t return to the NBA, notes former Nets executive Bobby Marks (All Twitter links). The cap holds they’re renouncing are the ones for Gilbert Arenas, Leon Powe, Stephen Hunter and Marcus D. Williams, according to Chris Herrington of The Commercial Appeal (Twitter link). That’s because those cap holds technically put the Grizzlies over the tax line, which would mean they could only take in 125% plus $100K of what they sent out — not enough to accommodate this deal, as Marks explains. Renouncing the cap holds would up that limit to 150% plus $100K, which allows the trade to take place, Marks notes.

Which team do you think is getting the better end of this deal? Leave a comment to let us know.

Heat Notes: Whiteside, Andersen, D-League

Center Hassan Whiteside, poised to hit free agency in the summer, is the biggest weapon for the Heat when opponents utilize smaller lineups against them, according to Ethan J. Skolnick of the Miami Herald. Whiteside had 25 points and 15 rebounds when Miami staged a second-half rally  on Sunday against the Rockets, who tried to play small ball against them, Skolnick continues. “That’s the thing with Hassan, he’s a conventional center but he’s a mobile center,” point guard Mario Chalmers told the team’s beat reporters. “He’s able to move, get blocks, get out on the perimeter if he wants to. So [small-ball] plays into our hands a little bit.” Veteran shooting guard Dwyane Wade concurs that the Heat can handle the small-ball strategies by unleashing Whiteside, Skolnick adds. “I’m sure there will be moments where they’re gonna get us on it, and it’s gonna affect us, but we can’t take him off the floor,” Wade said to Skolnick. “He means so much to our defense.”

In other news regarding the Heat:

  • Backup center and trade candidate Chris Andersen did not play in the first three games but Spoelstra anticipates that he’ll soon get opportunities, Winderman adds in the same piece. “We’re not going to, on every night, suit up every center. That’s not an indictment on anybody,” Spoelstra said. “That’s not a storyline at all, it really isn’t. He practiced [Monday] and he’ll be ready, and when his number’s called, he’ll produce, as we have full confidence in that.”
  • All but one of the six players the Heat released during the preseason have joined their D-League affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce, tweets Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. Greg Whittington, Keith Benson, Briante Weber, Corey Hawkins and Tre Kelley are all on the Skyforce’s training camp roster. The only released player not to join the Skyforce is veteran point guard John Lucas III.  Miami claimed the D-League rights to Whittington, Benson, Weber and Hawkins through the affiliate player rule, while the Heat already had the D-League rights to Kelley.

Trade Candidate: Chris Andersen

The question regarding veteran big man Chris Andersen is not whether the Heat believe he has anything left in the tank. It’s whether any other team feels that way, or is at least willing to take on his salary to acquire another rotation player off the Heat roster.

Sep 28, 2015; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat forward Chris Andersen (11) poses during photo day at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Courtesy of USA Today Sports Images

Miami tried to dump salary during the offseason in order to keep its core group intact. The Heat would like to make the 37-year-old Andersen part of that purge in order to improve their bottom line. They are over the luxury tax threshold and a repeat taxpayer. They have $91.1MM in salary guarantees for the upcoming season, including the remaining $5MM on Andersen’s contract.

They were able to move shooting guard Zoran Dragic to the Celtics and point guard Shabazz Napier to the Magic in July to gain some relief, though they had to throw in some cash in both deals to sweeten the pot. The Heat have actively shopped Andersen and point guard Mario Chalmers — who is owed $4.3MM in the final year of his deal — according to Grantland’s Zach Lowe. Miami is basically willing to give both of them away, according to Lowe, but obviously haven’t found any takers. Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald recently reported that there was a soft market for the player nicknamed “Birdman.”

It’s not surprising, given that he’s 37 years old and in the twilight of his career. But according to advanced metrics, Birdman still has value. He had an above-average player efficiency rating of 16.12 last season on ESPN’s Hollinger rankings, when he averaged 5.3 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.0 blocks in 60 games. In fact, Andersen has posted an above average PER (with 15.0 being the baseline) in seven consecutive seasons.

This is mainly due to Andersen’s defensive prowess, even at his advanced age. He has posted a positive Defensive Box Plus/Minus rating every season of his career, according to He has a career plus 2.8 Defensive Box rating and that was still at 2.3 last season, when the injury-riddled Heat needed him to start 20 games.

That still won’t guarantee him a rotation spot if the Heat fail to trade him during training camp. There’s plenty of competition at the center and power forward spots, especially with the free agent addition of Amar’e Stoudemire, who was signed to a one-year, $1.5MM contract in July. Hassan Whiteside is the starter at center and another veteran, Udonis Haslem, is still on the roster.

Add in starting power forward Chris Bosh, who’s back after his major health scare last season, along with Josh McRoberts and Stoudemire, and there’s not many minutes left for Birdman. Throw in the trend to use smaller lineups, which will often encourage coach Erik Spoelstra to use Bosh or Stoudemire at center, and Andersen’s role shrinks even further.

The good news for Miami is that it has time to move Andersen’s contract. The Heat have until the final day of the regular season to avert paying repeat-offender tax penalties by shedding salary.

Playoff contenders that lose a center or power forward to injury during the course of camp or the season could come calling for Birdman, knowing he can provide a steady veteran presence and solid post defense. For the time being, though, he’s an insurance policy the Heat cannot afford in the long run.

Heat Notes: Dragic, Andersen, Chalmers, Wade

Some of the teams with interest in Goran Dragic retreated from the idea of trading for him at the deadline because they felt the Heat had him essentially wrapped up for a long-term deal, sources from across the league tell Grantland’s Zach Lowe. Still, no one registered a tampering complaint, and a Heat spokesperson said to Lowe that there was no prearranged deal for when he hit free agency in the summer. The Lakers seemed to hang around as a threat, but the Heat appeared to have the inside track to re-sign Dragic right from the time he got to Miami. The All-Star combo guard indeed re-signed on a five-year deal worth slightly more than $85MM last month.

The Heat’s latest move became public this morning, with Miami reportedly having agreed to a camp deal with former Georgetown small forward Greg Whittington. See more from South Beach here:

Latest On Potential Heat Trades, Mario Chalmers

The Heat expect to keep Mario Chalmers until at least the start of training camp, and owner Micky Arison has made no demand that the team shed salary, reports Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. The prospect of trading for Jamal Crawford, an idea the Heat reportedly raised in talks with the Clippers nearly two months ago, “can’t be ruled out,” but Miami is satisfied with its depth on the perimeter, Jackson writes. The Heat are still willing to trade Chris Andersen, but the market for him has been soft, Jackson hears from a higher-up who’s been in contact with the Heat, and no evidence suggests the Clippers are interested in him as part of a swap involving Crawford, Jackson adds.

The Heat would still prefer to offload salary and haven’t ruled out trading Chalmers, set to make a guaranteed $4.3MM in the final season of his contract this year, as soon as October, according to Jackson. The point guard hasn’t given indications that he’s expecting to be traded, and team president Pat Riley denied reports around draft time indicating that the team was shopping Chalmers and Andersen. Grantland’s Zach Lowe nonetheless heard a couple of weeks later that Chalmers and Andersen were available “for nothing.” Andersen didn’t seem concerned about the rumors when he made a public appearance earlier this week, as Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel chronicles.

An opposing GM told Jackson in mid-July that Chalmers and Shabazz Napier were the players the Heat were shopping the most aggressively, and Miami dealt Napier to the Magic later that month for no salary in return. That, plus the swap that sent Zoran Dragic to the Celtics with no other salary involved, helped Miami lower its payroll, though the Heat still have about $90.4MM in guaranteed salary, which puts them about $5.66MM above the $84.74MM luxury tax threshold. The Heat would have to pay repeat-offender tax penalties if they’re still above the tax line on the final day of the regular season. Miami only has 12 players on fully guaranteed deals, and if they keep Hassan Whiteside on his partially guaranteed contract but get rid of everyone else, they’d have a tax bill of roughly $16.3MM. Jackson estimates the tax bill at around $23MM, though that appears to include some of the non-guaranteed contracts.

Do you think the Heat will move below the luxury tax line this season? If so, how do you think they’ll manage to do it? Leave a comment to tell us.