Miami Heat Free Agency Preview

Practical Max Cap Space: $-19,500,000

Good Contracts:

Justice Winslow $3,500,000

Josh Richardson $9,000,000

 

Bad Contracts:

Hassan Whiteside $25,500,000

Tyler Johnson $19,000,000

Biggest Need:

Point Guard Depth

Key Free Agents:

Dwayne Wade

Wayne Ellington

Best Free Agent Target:

Elfrid Payton

 

Overview:

Are the Heat in the dreaded “NBA purgatory”? They made the playoffs this year, but it was close. They were part of the bunch of Eastern Conference teams that were fighting for position with the Wizards and the Bucks. Their salary situation moving forward is not great. With the extensions given to players like Johnson and Richardson, this team locked themselves into this core for several years, and they will most likely not have a lottery pick either. This team as currently constructed will not be competing for a championship. This means that it is a team above the salary cap, and not a contended. But they are a playoff team and could win a first round series if they matched up with the right opponent, so I would say this team is not in purgatory in the moment. However, there is no real way for this team to improve other than development of their young players like Winslow and Bam. They have some intriguing pieces on this roster, and they don’t have many high impact free agents. I think the best thing for this team is to resign Ellington, and try to find a decent backup for Dragic. I think Payton could be a good target for them later on in free agency. Depending on what happens on draft night, Phoenix could have a younger guard they are higher on, and that could leave Payton without a suitor. The Heat have shown the ability to be patient in free agency and grab guys at the end for bargains and then develop them. This was the case with Dion Waiters. This could be applied to Payton as well. If he does not get a qualifying offer from Phoenix, it’s easily to see him getting few offers outside of the minimum, and if the Heat offered him 3 or 4 million on a two year deal, I think that could work out for both side. Overall, this team is pretty much locked into their roster, and trying to do work in free agency could be rough.

 

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