Miami Heat: Why nothing is off-limits and why no trade is outlandish

NEW ORLEANS, LA - FEBRUARY 23: Jrue Holiday /

The Miami Heat are in a somewhat peculiar position. Totally capped out, with only expiring deals to work with, what can they do?

The Miami Heat will already be over the salary cap’s projected ceiling when the moratorium period starts on July 1st, which means they won’t be players in this off season’s free agent frenzy. With Hassan Whiteside and Goran Dragic owning player options at pretty decent figures, but deals that will expire at the end of next season, the Miami Heat could get rather creative in the trade market though.

One of the only things more valuable than having the actual salary cap space to sign the most coveted free agents is having contracts that will come off the books the following season. Having expiring deals means that although there won’t be cash there now, there will be an overflow available in the following season.

If you take into account the $19.2 million dollars that Dragic will earn next season upon opting in, along with the $27 million dollars that Whiteside will earn, that is a nice chunk of the Miami Heat salary cap. An unintentional benefit of those deals being at those numbers though, is that it would allow the Miami Heat to take back at least that much incoming salary, depending on which player (or players) they moved.

This would not only allow Miami to get really creative in any trade scenarios they might envision, it pretty much allows them to consider anything. This is the first reason why nothing is off the table or too outlandish when it comes to trade possibilities.

If you take a look at the Philadelphis 76ers from this past season, they were all-in on completing “The Process”. On top of having Ben Simmons, J.J. Redick, and Joel Embiid, the Sixers went out to acquire Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris among others via the trade market. A short time after making that trade, and especially after seeing what he contributed during the playoffs, the Sixers probably regretted shipping out as much as they did to the Los Angeles Clippers for Tobias Harris.

Not only did it not net them a championship, but they were beaten in the Eastern Conference Semifinals by the Toronto Raptors. What this speaks to is the buyer’s remorse from certain transactions in sports. If there is a team out there that thought they were signing a great deal to get a player, or thought they had something in a certain team that they actually don’t, the Miami Heat would be primed to take advantage of such a situation.

You also have to consider the fact that in this NBA, in the year of 2019, tanking is not only accepted but it is more like business as usual for most teams. Although that isn’t an exactly exciting sentiment to hear for a fan base, it is a reality for a lot of them, and that also renders anything possible for the Miami Heat when it comes to the trade market for their expiring deals.

The last factor that screams that nothing is off-limits, is the nature of other NBA teams. When thinking about today’s league, teams are willing to shake things up more so than they did in previous eras of the NBA.

If you take a look the Houston Rockets for example, they were a case in complacency this past season. Starting at the very top, they let Trevor Ariza walk during last off-season. They obviously thought that either his performance was a product of the system or that they could plug a guy in his place who would perform the same, but either way, it points to a certain complacency.

If you watch the Rocket’s and how they played throughout the season for the most part, it was the same as they did last season. When they got to the postseason however, and even with a healthy Chris Paul and although against a Kevin Durant-less Warriors squad, they were unable to get it done.

They did the same thing that they did last season. They tried to beat a team that continually evolves and improves, by doing the same things that got them beat in the season prior.

This points to the fact that successful NBA teams should constantly be looking to shake things up and evolve. A good way to evolve, grow, or shake things up would be to either rebuild or bring in a potential piece that could be the last or missing piece to something special.

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Hassan Whiteside can be that piece if your team is in search of a defensive interior presence or a shot-blocking center. If your team is in need of an offensive jolt, extra ball handler, or a guy who can be a force from a sixth man perspective, Dragic could be the ultimate option to fill that void. These are the reasons why nothing is off the table or too outlandish when it comes to the Miami Heat’s potential trade scenarios.