Retooling the Miami Heat

Miami Heat center Chris Bosh (1) and guard Dwyane Wade (3) block a shot by Atlanta Hawks forward Paul Millsap (4) during the first quarter at Philips Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Liles-USA TODAY Sports

The Players: The returning cohort features Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade, Chris Andersen, Udonis Haslem and Mario Chalmers; the new faces include Luol Deng, Josh McRoberts, and Danny Granger.

The Team: Miami Heat

The Contracts: Since there are quite a few contracts I decided to list them below –

Source: Sham Sports

A few things worth noting here. Chris Bosh ($118M/5y) and Chris Andersen’s (~$10M/2y) contracts are not yet inked and the exact terms aren’t certain, so until terms are finalized we are going with our best estimates. Another noteworthy item is that Deng, Granger and Wade all have player options in the second year of their contract, while McRoberts has one in the fourth year of his.

How does it affect the cap situation?

As per Sham Sports, Miami’s salary and cap holds added up to $62,050,328. However, this is not the most up to date figure and the Heat’s re-signing of personnel for different amounts creates additional confusion. To get the most up to date figure I backed out Shabazz Napier and Chris Anderson’s cap holds, adding their new contracts, as well as adjusting for Udonis Haslem’s new contract.

Source: Sham Sports

This brings us to a total of $69,034,885 for 2014-2015, depending on how Chris Bosh and Chris Andersen’s contracts are structured. Miami well over the salary cap, but thus far manages to stay under the luxury tax threshold and avoid the dreaded repeater tax.

How does it affect luxury tax?

The tax threshold is set at $77 million for next season, and with the departure of LeBron James it is highly unlikely that the Heat will approach the threshold. Shedding a max contract undoubtedly helps financial flexibility, though it was arguably “cheap” for what LeBron brought to the table. Couple the loss of one max contract, Wade taking less money and several other very reasonable deals, and the Heat have found themselves in a rather flexible financial position.

What’s next?

With the last exception used to re-sign Udonis Haslem I doubt the Heat will sign another major free agent. The remainder of its roster with veteran’s minimum deals. A name that has been bounced around is Jameer Nelson, but with Norris Cole still on the roster and the signing of Chalmers and Shabazz I don’t see that as very likely. Perhaps Miami will bring Justin Hamilton on board, or even bring back Greg Oden (still rooting for him). I’m sure Riley will make a run at Ray Allen too. Finally, it is also very possible that Miami will trade Norris Cole to make an extra $2 million in cap room, but I wouldn’t like that very much.

The last team that lost LeBron James ended up hitting the draft lottery four times with the number 1 pick in three of them… You have to applaud Riley & the rest of the organization for not folding and getting right back to business. Not only did Riley build a potential contender in the East, he set the team up very well with ample cap room for 2016, when LeBron AND KD will be free agents.

Drop a few lines below on which free agents you think Miami should pursue, or if you have any other questions about Miami’s salary cap situation.