2022 NBA Interim Preview: Miami Heat

After a quick exit from the first round in 2021 Heat led a handful of championship-experienced hard-eyed players who signed Kyle Lowryusing most of its average level exemption PJ Tuckerand signing Markieff Morris minimum wage agreement. At the same time, Miami bet on young players like Gabe Vincent and Max Strus ready for major roles in bilateral agreements with the team after spending the 2020/21 season.

Although not all of Heat’s off-season moves brought big dividends – his neck injury cost Morris most of the season and he didn’t take part in the play-off rotation – the club’s strategy was generally good. Lowry, Tucker, Vincent and Strus all played a key role in completing the stars Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo and the sixth man of the year Tyler Herrowhile other young people like it Caleb Martin and Omer Yurtseven minimum wage agreements.

Miami’s deep and well-balanced team earned first place in the Eastern Conference with a 53-29 regular season record, then won a pair of playoffs over Atlanta and Philadelphia. Unfortunately, by the time the final of the Eastern Conference ended, Heat’s line-up was incredibly high, and Lowry was particularly limited due to a thigh muscle injury that left him out for eight playoffs. The club didn’t have enough tanks to handle the Celtics, losing to Boston in a seven-man battle that went like a wire.

Although the Heat fell short of the title, you can say that their list was at or very close to the championship caliber. If the pair had gone a little different, Miami could have been represented in the NBA Finals by Miami, not Boston. The mission of the agency in this off-season is to decide how best to keep Heati at the championship level and then find the missing part to help them outdo it.

Heati’s off-season plan:

The Heat has 2022/23. five players with guaranteed contracts for. These players can safely assume that Butler and Adebayo will not disappear. It’s less certain for Lowry, Herro and others Duncan Robinson.

Lowry has always been a player whose value exceeds his box score. He is a talented defender with mastery of the game and his offensive creativity helps to lead to baskets where no points or assists are awarded. This year, however, he turned 36, his brilliant analytical numbers have begun to fall, and his knee problems have made him a below-average rotation player in many of Heati’s biggest games this spring.

Under his contract (two years, $ 58 million), Lowry may currently have a negative value as a trade chip, meaning the Heat is likely to stick with him as he is still able to offer more value on the field than he would. commercial property. But if Miami gets a chance to acquire a younger backyard star and has to use Lowry as a piece of pay, they can’t imagine them hesitating to do so.

Robinson seems more likely to have an offseason trade chip, as his 2022/23 cap ($ 16.9 million) is more manageable than Lowry’s. Robinson is a strong role player, especially in the regular season, as a large-scale three-point hit that has hit 40.6% of his career. However, his defenses were a problem in the play-offs, as he gave little value to the court if his shot did not fall regularly.

If the Heat uses Robinson for an off-season deal, they should add at least one additional asset to the package to become an influential competitor. This property is probably a draft selection. Miami has the option to move its first round selection in 2022 (27th overall) and / or its first round in 2023, as well as at least one future first round selection (no earlier than 2027). One or two of these choices may be enough to agree on a realistic off-season trade goal for most teams.

Although the Heat is likely to pull down those first-round options before releasing any of its young low-cost rotating players, it is worth noting that Herro is entering a contract year and will be able to extend it in the meantime. He was excellent in the regular season, but struggled in the playoffs, where his average score fell by eight points (20.7-12.6 PPG) and he scored only 22.9% of the three-point score.

This play-off – and the fact that Herrol still has a lot of room to protect – could give the Heat a break as they begin negotiations to extend the scope of newcomers, which could exceed $ 100 million over four years. Pat Riley has long opposed the idea of ​​dealing with Herro and I would not expect this position to be abruptly stated this summer, but if the right player is available on the market, I do not think Herro should be completely borderless – it is possible that his move now, instead of investing heavily in his next contract would benefit Miami in the long run.

One or more of Heati’s four players with unsecured contracts – Strus, Vincent, Yurtseven and Haywood Highsmith – could theoretically be added to the trade package, but I assume all four are back. Strus and Vincent in particular are Heati’s last two development success stories and are big deals next season, helping offset the costs of high-priced veterans like Butler, Adebayo and Lowry.

After his excellent role as a force attacker in Miami in his first year, Tucker has the opportunity to resign and become a new free agent. He and the Heat seemed to be 2021/22. in a good fit, so I wouldn’t expect Tucker to give up his player selection to jump on the ship, but he would give up the option and sign a new one plus one deal (maybe a small increase) would probably be in his best interest. As good as Tucker was last season, he is 37 years old and may soon start showing real signs of a decline, so this may be his last chance to sign more than the minimum.

If the Heat re-signs Tucker at a price similar to his choice and retains his first-round selection, they would have about $ 13 million more breathing space below the luxury tax limit to fill the top three or four of the list.

Viktor Oladipo and Martin are candidates who will return and fill out a few of these lists, but negotiating a new contract with Martin can be tricky because Miami only owns its non – bird rights. This means that the Heat would not be able to offer it more than about $ 2.25 million in the 2022/23 season unless they are willing to use the mid-level exemption to increase their bid. Miami may decide that using some mid-level exceptions to re-contract Martin is the best way to maximize the value of MLE, but if the team has mid-range money for an external target, Martin is unlikely to return.

Because Heat has Oladipo bird rights, they have more flexibility to offer him a pay rise. Whether he returns or not depends on how much interest he draws in rival suitors and perhaps how willing Miami is to pay the tax, depending on what other moves are made.

Wage cap situation

Note. Our salary limits are based on the most recent forecast ($ 122 million) for 2022/23.

Guaranteed salary

  • Jimmy Butler ($ 37,653,300)
  • Bam Adebayo ($ 30,351,780)
  • Kyle Lowry ($ 28,333,334)
  • Duncan Robinson ($ 16,902,000)
  • Tyler Herro ($ 5,722,116)
  • Mychal Mulder (two way)
  • Javonte Smart (two way)
  • Total: $ 118,962,530

Player Options

Team options

Unsecured salary

  • Max Strus ($ 1,815,677) 1
  • Gabe Vincent ($ 1,815,677) 2
  • Omer Yurtseven ($ 1,752,638) 3
  • Haywood Highsmith ($ 1,752,638) 4
  • Total: $ 7,136,630

Limited free agents

Two – way free agents


  • General Selection # 27 ($ 2,209,920)
  • Total: $ 2,209,920

Eligible players

Note. These are players who are already eligible for renewal or will be eligible before the start of the 2022/23 season.

  • Tyler Herro (uuskas scale)

Unbound Free Agents / Other Capital Restrictions

  • Dewayne Dedmon (Maintaining the $ 1,811,516 Limit): Early Bird Rights
  • Udonis Haslem (Keeping the $ 1,811,516 limit): bird rights
  • Jordan Miki (Maintaining the $ 1,811,516 cap): Non-bird rights 5
  • Markieff Morris (Maintaining the $ 1,811,516 cap): Non-bird rights
  • Viktor Oladipo (Keeping the $ 1,811,516 limit): bird rights
  • Dwyane Wade (Maintaining the $ 1,811,516 Limit): Early Bird Rights 5
  • Total: $ 10,869,096

Out of season outlook

Assuming the Heat retains all of its players on unsecured contracts, it would be about $ 126 million for those nine players, so they’re definitely operating across the border. This would leave them about $ 23 million below the projected tax threshold ($ 149 million) for the remaining five or six places on the list.

If Tucker and / or Oladipo return and the Heat makes use of much of their mid-level exception, this swing space will disappear quickly, but the club will certainly have the flexibility to opt out if it is a priority.

Exceptions to the cap are available

  • Intermediate level exception: $ 10,349,000 6
  • Bi-annual derogation: $ 4,050,000 6
  • Trade Exception: $ 1,782,621


  1. The ostrich salary will become a full guarantee after June 29.
  2. Vincent’s salary will become a full guarantee after June 29.
  3. Jurtseven’s salary will become a full guarantee after June 29.
  4. Highsmith’s salary is partially guaranteed on $ 1,000 on July 1, increasing to $ 400,000 after the first game of the regular season.
  5. Mickey and Wade’s restrictions remain in Heati’s books from previous seasons because they have not been abandoned. They cannot be used for signing and exchanging transactions.
  6. These are predicted values. If the Heat approaches or exceeds the tax threshold, they may not have full access to the average level exemption and / or the bi-annual exemption and will be limited to the taxpayer average level exemption ($ 6,392,000).

Salary and cap information from Basketball Insiders and RealGM was used to create this post.

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