The Miami Heat waived Rodney McGruder after their loss to the Toronto Raptors on Sunday in an effort to avoid paying the punitive luxury tax.
In the hours after the Miami Heat 117-109 overtime loss against the Toronto Raptors, the Heat waived guard Rodney McGruder in an effort to get under the luxury tax.
For the Heat to actually find that salary relief, another team would have to sign McGruder, but the March 1st deadline for waived players to sign with a new team and be playoff eligible has long since passed. This means that if a playoff team signs him for the last week of the regular season, he would not be eligible to play playoff games.
The Heat have indicated they were not interested in extending McGruder a qualifying offer in his restricted free agency, so with no further plans to utilize him as their playoff hopes dwindle the organization has opted to find tax savings if such a thing exists.
If another team signs McGruder, this would take his $1.5 million 2018-19 salary off the books, moving them below the luxury tax line. This would also avoid the more punitive repeater tax, a rate that essentially charges teams $2.50 for each dollar they are over the luxury tax line.
While McGruder will have very little utility going forward this season for any team that signs him, a signing team would get his Early Bird rights. This means the signing team could go over the salary cap to sign him up to an amount which is either 175 percent of his previous salary or 105 percent of the league average salary, whichever is the higher amount.
This could be a good thing for McGruder, ultimately, as it simplifies the process of acquisition for any team that desires his services.
McGruder has played three years in the NBA, all with the Miami Heat. He played 65 games for the Heat this season, starting 45 of them. In 23.5 minutes per game, he averaged 7.7 points and 3.6 rebounds per game, shooting 40.7 percent from the floor and 35.1 percent from 3-point range.