The Miami Heat have an absolutely stacked starting lineup going into the 2021-22 NBA season, but there’s a huge concern when it comes to depth, as the team doesn’t have a legit backup for point guard Kyle Lowry.
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ESPN reported that the Rockets and Wall have “agreed to work together in an attempt to find a trade destination for the veteran point guard,” however, the five-time All-Star’s two-year $91.7 million contract, which includes a $47.4 million option for 2022-23, is not just impossible for the Heat to pick up, but for any NBA team in 2021.
“A John Wall buyout would be the dream scenario for Miami,” Swartz wrote. While The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported on September 14, that “there are no buyout plans” at this time,” it may be a different story come October.
If a buyout with Wall doesn’t come to fruition, Swartz suggests Miami shifts their focus to Jeff Teague, 33, who’s a free agent after spending last season with the Boston Celtics and the Milwaukee Bucks. The former 19th overall pick in 2009 averaged 6.7 points and 2.4 assists per game last season while shooting 43.9% from deep in 17.3 minutes of play.
The Heat Already Made an Offer to Obtain Wall, per Report
Sirius XM NBA reporter Mitch Lawrence tweeted on September 14, “The Rockets have been fielding offers for John Wall, including from the Clippers, Heat, and Pistons, per sources.”
Now, it’s a head-scratcher to learn the Heat already made an offer for Wall, whose enormous contract would absolutely put Miami over the ominous luxury tax that they’ve been trying so hard to avoid.
And while the Kentucky alum averaged 20.6 points and 6.9 assists during his 40 appearances with the Rockets last season, it’s hard to pony up that kind of money for a player who’s always injured.
Wall, a former No. 1 overall pick, has only played 113 games over the past four seasons due to a string of serious injuries. He sat out for the entirety of the 2019-2020 season with the Washington Wizards due to an Achilles tendon tear.
As it Stands, The Heat Will Have to Rely on Gabe Vincent as Lowry’s Backup
Instead of signing a new player and going over the luxury tax threshold, Five Reasons Sports Network tweeted on Monday that the Heat “plan” to offer the role of Lowry’s backup to Gabe Vincent.
Vincent, 25, signed a two-year $3.5 million deal with Heat last week, his first standard contract with the franchise after being one of the team’s two-way contract players during the 2020-21 season. The 6-foot-3 guard’s new contract comes after Vincent busted out as Team Nigeria’s star going into the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The former G-Leaguer scored 6-of-8 on threes during Team Nigeria’s exhibition game against Team U.S.A, drilling a total of 21 points and four assists.
Last year, Vincent played the maximum 50 games allotted for two-way players but struggled with efficiency. He averaged 4.8 points, 1.1 rebounds, and 1.3 assists per game while shooting 37.8% from the floor and 30.9% on threes.
While it was expected for Vincent to provide occasional support off the bench, being Lowry’s backup puts a lot more responsibility on his shoulders.