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Miami Heat Ready to Get Offseason Started, Including Maxing Out 3-Time All-Star

Thanks to a change in the collective bargaining agreement, the Miami Heat are expected to be one of the most active teams in the coming days, according to Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald. Starting this season,  teams can begin negotiating with their own free agents from the day after the NBA Finals concludes until June 30th.

Miami posted a 46-36 record this past season, marking the Heat’s fifth straight winning season. The Heat once again had to go through the play-in tournament and earned the eighth seed for the second straight. But unlike a season ago, when they became the first eighth seed to reach the NBA Finals, the Heat were bounced in the five games in the opening round.

 Miami Heat Ready To Get Offseason Started, Including Maxing Out 3-Time All-Star

As a result of their disappointing finish—the Heat once again dealt with injuries—Miami will have to adjust their roster with either trades or free agents. The Heat need to improve offensively, especially inside the arc, as they only converted 52.7% of those shots. They were 26th in scoring (110.1), 21st in offensive efficiency, and 17th in net rating (+1.8).

Coach Erik Spoelstra has vowed to improve the Heat’s offense.

“That’s what I will get to work on, the coaching staff will get together quite a bit to try to put together a more productive offensive plan,” Spoelstra said in early May following the end of the Heat’s season. “We had basically three primary offensive philosophies this season and a lot last season based on who was available. So, all things considered, I thought we were making strides in any one of those areas. But the consistency became a challenge to overcome. And the styles of play were different based on who was available. So I don’t want to make excuses for who was available and who was not, but we also have to look at what’s real and what’s not real.”

Before Miami works on their issues, the Heat need to start working on the makeup of the team.

The Heat’s Current Roster Situation

Miami has 12 players under contract with salaries totaling $182.2 million, meaning that the Heat are just $4.6 million from the punitive second apron. So, the Heat are expected to make some major roster moves.

The Heat have four players with player options:  Caleb Martin ($7.1 million), Kevin Love ($4 million), Josh Richardson ($3.1 million) and Thomas Bryant ($2.8 million). Martin is expected to decline his player option as he and free agent Haywood Highsmith are expected to receive significant pay hikes.

Meanwhile, Love, Richardson, and Bryant are expected to pick up their options. Patty Mills and Delon Wright are also unrestricted free agents.

It is conceivable that Mills and Wright return to Miami, but if that occurs, it won’t be until later in the summer. More importantly, the Heat will be able to figure out their two-way deals, as all three players on those contracts at the end of the past season are eligible to be restricted free agents.

Decisions To Make

Miami is expected to make qualifying offers to their three two-way players: James Cain, Cole Swider, and Alondes Williams. Cain reportedly will seek a standard contract this summer as he has NBA experience over the last two years and has excelled in the G-League. The Heat own Cain’s early Bird rights.

However, Chiang said that Swider and Williams will continue to work out with the Heat and play for their summer league squad. Swider and Williams saw sparse time with the Heat this past season. So, how the pair performs this summer will likely determine if they will return with the Heat next season.

Also, Miami can start negotiating an extension with Bam Adebayo. Adebayo is one of the best big men in the game, and while he is known more for his defense, the 27-year-old has developed into a go-to offensive player. The three-time all-star, who reached the status in each of the last two seasons, is eligible for a three-year, max deal of $165 million.

Jimmy Butler is seeking a maximum two-year extension, but Miami can’t negotiate with him until July 6. Terry Rozier and Duncan Robinson are eligible for an extension as well. Don’t expect either Rozier or Robinson to receive an extension this summer. Both players could be traded if the Heat seek a third star to go along with Butler and Adebayo.



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