Heat Likely to Look to Shed Salary at Trade Deadline: Insider

Pat Riley of the Miami Heat

Getty Pat Riley of the Miami Heat

The Miami Heat have been able to string together some good basketball lately, even after a slow start. But sixth in the Eastern Conference with a record of 28-23 isn’t where they were expected to end up this season. Not to mention that their performance has been inconsistent. Miami dropped what should’ve been an easy win against the Charlotte Hornets on January 29 and missed a chance to separate themselves from the Play-In Tournament.

As the February 9 NBA Trade Deadline grows closer, fans and media continue to wonder what the front office will do to improve the roster. The answer could disappoint them, at least if you ask the Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson.

In a January 31 article, Jackson hinted that the Heat may move in the opposite direction and look to cut costs to avoid the luxury tax.

“Heat owner Micky Arison historically has expressed willingness to pay a luxury tax only if his team is a legitimate championship contender, Jackson explained. “He has paid the tax seven times, with a $52.9 million total payment over his nearly three decades of ownership.”

He added that the 2022-23 roster isn’t looking like it will compete for a title.

“This year’s team is less than $200,000 below the tax, and very likely will remain under it. With its current roster construction, the Heat cannot add a 15th player and stay below the tax line until late March, about 10 days before the final day of the season.”

Jackson pinpointed the trade deadline as a great opportunity for the Heat to clear some cap space.

“Miami has 14 months to figure this out, he said. “But it’s a lot easier to achieve it before the looming trade deadline; any deal done in June or beyond would help Miami only if its trade partner has the cap space to absorb a lot more money than it’s sending the Heat.”

Heat’s Bam Adebayo Gives Insight to Free Agent Recruitment

While Arison may look to cut costs ahead of the deadline, that doesn’t mean that he won’t pay for a contender, like Jackson said.

When the time for contention rolls around, it sounds like Bam Adebayo will do what he can to lure stars to South Beach.

Adebayo recently told the Sun Sentinel’s Ira Winderman that he hopes to be able to help the team land free agent stars in the future.

“It depends, it depends,” he told Winderman when asked whether he would actively recruit for the franchise. “I don’t know how to answer. But for the greater good of the team, if we needed this one guy, I’d reach my hand out, because it’s for the great good of the team and I’d want to make that situation better.”

Bam Adebayo Dismisses Notation That Donovan Mitchell Could’ve Joined Heat

Adebayo also discussed the rumors that Donovan Mitchell could’ve been traded to Miami before being dealt to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The former-Kentucky standout cleared the air to Winderman on any potential recruitment of Mitchell.

“The media saw that and magnified that,” Adebayo said. “To me, it was just playing with one of my best friends.”

Adebayo went on to add that the former Louisville star never expressed any interest in joining the Heat during the summer.

“The connection with him wasn’t even trying to recruit,” he stressed. “If he wanted to be here, he would have said that. And that’s the bottom line. I respect the fact that he was up front during the process.”

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