Do the Miami Heat have any real assets to work with this summer?

Pat Riley (Matias J. Ocner/Miami Herald/TNS via Getty Images)
Pat Riley (Matias J. Ocner/Miami Herald/TNS via Getty Images) /

With the NBA regular season over for the Miami Heat, the off-season begins. Do they have any real assets that might help them turn things around?

The Miami Heat are in a hole heading into the off-season, being practically maxed out and beyond the salary cap for next season already. With the bloated nature of the salaries on the books already, and for somewhat average players considering this past season’s showing, they seem to be in a squeeze. With a loaded class of free agents this summer that they won’t be able to shop for, they’re in a tough spot, or are they?

When it comes to that loaded free agent class, the Miami Heat likely won’t be a factor there unless a complete and chaotic series of events occur. Well not entirely chaotic, as it would take Hassan Whiteside to opt of the final year of his 4 year/$98 million dollar deal which is set to pay him just over $27 million next season, and Goran Dragic to do the same. Although not quite as hefty as Whiteside’s deal, Dragic would need to decline the option on the last year of his 5 year/$85 million dollar deal which is set to pay him $19 million next season.

Throw in a few more cap gymnastics such as waiving Ryan Anderson prior to July 10, which would only guarantee him close to $15.5 million of the $21 million he is owed for next season, and the Miami Heat could get somewhere close to $30 million dollars of cap space. Of course if magic was a real thing, not the head shaking awkwardly grinning guy from Los Angeles, this would happen but it’s not so it probably won’t.

No fear though Miami Heat fans, as there are a few assets here. Staying with Hassan Whiteside and Goran Dragic, it’s worth nothing that even though they are being paid at quite large numbers, they are on expiring deals. In this NBA where an expiring deal can be worth it’s weight in gold, if the Heat were able to find a way to move one or both of these expiring contracts for a player that could help this team be better immediately, that would be a no brainer.

Think players like Bradley Beal, who still has two remaining year’s on his current deal with the Washington Wizards. It would and should never happen, but anything is possible with Bob Sarver’s Suns, what if Devin Booker finally got tired of the perpetual losing and asked out? The Miami Heat should immediately seize an opportunity such as one of those two if they came available.

Outside of those amazing yet seemingly impossible possibilities, they do have a few younger players on manageable salaries. If you wanted to shake things up a bit and only a bit, you could more than likely find trade partners for Bam Adebayo or Derrick Jones Jr., who both can contribute at high levels but get paid peanuts to do so. If you wanted to go completely crazy, you could definitely move guys like Josh Richardson or Justise Winslow, who offer starter level production on really team-friendly deals.

It would probably take moving at least three or perhaps even all of them together to get a player that could change the franchise, so those options aren’t ideal, but they could be considered. Individually, and probably the least desired option, they could be used as trade boosters or sweetener’s. If the Miami Heat were to want to get off of the contracts of Dion Waiters or James Johnson, they would probably need to trade away one of the four decently priced guys to make it happen.

The situation looks a bit grim at first glance, but there are some moves that can be made immediately to improve this Miami Heat team. Although it would take some serious luck to happen as organically as possible, it is possible.

Even outside of a salary cap miracle though, this team does have assets to barter with. The real question is if they should consider moving them, after all, they are assets for a reason. That’s for Team President Pat Riley to decide, and he tends to make the right decisions.