Heat Lose Another Free Agent Target to Eastern Conference Rival

Montrezl Harrell

Getty Montrezl Harrell #8 of the Charlotte Hornets

Montrezl Harrell was a player that was reported to be a target for the Miami Heat this offseason. The 6-foot-7 big man is a free agent after an impressive year in the 2021-22 NBA season. He averaged 13.1 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 2 assists per game this year. Harrell likely would have been one of the most sought-after big men in this season’s free agent class, but in June was arrested on a felony drug charge in after being pulled over in Kentucky, and police found marijuana in his vehicle. Team’s likely pumped the brakes on signing Harrell until they found out the seriousness of his arrest. However, on August 31, the felony charge of marijuana trafficking was reclassified as a misdemeanor possession charge. 

Harrell pled guilty to the lowered charges, and the misdemeanor will be expunged from his record after 12 months if he gets in no further legal trouble. 

Montrezl Harrell Signs with Philadelphia 76ers

With clarity on the arrest and charges for Harrell, NBA teams came calling. The Philadelphia 76ers were the team that was able to successfully negotiate a deal with the veteran. Adrian Wojnarowski first reported the deal and noted Harrell to be signing a two-year, $5.2 million deal with the Sixers. 

Harrell at one time, was said to be a target for the Miami Heat as a player that would bring rebounding and toughness and potentially fill the hole left by another member of the Heat, PJ Tucker. 

One NBA executive noted to Heavy that Miami could be the team to attract Harrell should the charges around him be dropped. 

“Miami would be one team to look out for. Especially if they make a big move and they have a lot of roster holes that need to be filled on the cheap late in the summer,” the exec said. “They need another big guy either way. He could be sitting there. It depends on if the case goes away or what,” the executive told Deveney

Haslem Signing Took Space Away for Harrell Signing

While Miami was said to be interested in signing Harrell as a free agent, once Udonis Haslem elected to return to South Beach for his twentieth NBA season, the Heat were out of salary cap space and to close to the luxury tax to sign another player. Ira Winderman noted before Haslem signs that any move Miami makes in free agency will weigh on the decision of Haslem. If Haslem returns, the Heat were done and wouldn’t add any other free agents. 

“Q: Is the door still open for Markieff Morris? – Ted.

A: That is up to Udonis Haslem. If Haslem returns for a 20th Heat season, then he will fill the Heat’s 14th standard roster spot and put the Heat too close to the luxury tax to add another player. At this point, Haslem basically controls whether the door is open for anyone else, barring a trade that sends out more players than are brought in,” Winderman wrote

Now, with the signing of Harrell in Philadelphia the Heat lose another player to the Sixers and are still left questioning who their replacement will be for PJ Tucker. All signs point to Caleb Martin unless the team is able to accomplish a trade for a player like Bojan Bogdanovic

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