5 Free agents who should be on the Heat's summer wish list

New Orleans Pelicans v Miami Heat
New Orleans Pelicans v Miami Heat / Eric Espada/GettyImages
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The NBA trade deadline is over and the stretch run for the playoffs is here, but it’s not too early to start creating a whiteboard for this summer.

No matter how this season turns out, the Heat are due for some changes when it’s over. Key rotation players like Caleb Martin and Josh Richardson can become free agents and the front office may have to make a tough decision to shed salary given their position against the luxury tax.

It's never too early to start planning for the upcoming summer, and there are several free agents who could help the Miami Heat next season.

With $186.5 million in payroll earmarked for next season, the Heat are less than $500,000 away from exceeding the second apron, which would come with team-building limitations that the front office will not want to operate under. The Heat can save $7.1 million by allowing Caleb Martin to opt out and sign elsewhere as a free agent, and another $2.8 million if reserve center Thomas Bryant opts out to seek playing time elsewhere.

The Heat can save another $4 million by waiving Orlando Robinson and Dru Smith before July 15 and upwards of $6 million by renouncing the rights to newly-signed Delon Wright.

Doing any number of those things would leave holes in Miami’s roster, but could also open up the taxpayer mid-level exception to go after a key free agent. No matter where the Heat are in payroll, they will be able to fill the roster by signing players to minimum contracts.

It’s too early to know what exactly the Heat will do – lessons are learned and new questions are asked in the playoffs. But here’s an exploratory wish list as we look at who could be available this summer.