Miami Heat linked to the NBA's 'most intriguing trade chip'

Here's where the Miami Heat stand with their current free agents and a pair of stars they want to acquire.
San Antonio Spurs v Utah Jazz
San Antonio Spurs v Utah Jazz / Alex Goodlett/GettyImages

Some notes on where the Miami Heat stand on some key players as of Friday…

Caleb Martin: The Heat offered Martin a multi-year contract extension before he declined his player option for $7.1 million next season, according to the Miami Herald. Martin declined the extension offer as he and his representation believed he would garner offers topping $15 million per year. That deal doesn’t seem to be out there, but Martin has kept in touch with the Heat and has generated interest from the Philadelphia 76ers, according to multiple reports.

Haywood Highsmith: Another one of Miami’s free agents, Highsmith is in a holding pattern as the Heat figure out what to do with their 14th roster spot (assuming the team waives Orlando Robinson before his contract becomes guaranteed on July 15). Highsmith made it clear at the end of the season that he would like to remain with the Heat and is currently in Miami. 

DeMar DeRozan: There’s mutual interest between the Heat and DeRozan, but finding a way to sign him will be difficult. The Heat are about $7 million from the second tax apron and TNT’s Chris Haynes reported DeRozan is looking for more than the $13 million mid-level exception. As an important note, the Heat don’t have access to the full mid-level exception. Because of their position as a luxury tax team, they can only access the smaller, $5.2 million exception. 

A sign-and-trade right now is impossible since the Heat are above the $178.1 million first apron. In order to sign DeRozan, the Heat would first have to make a cost-cutting move in a separate deal.

Other teams that have reportedly shown interest in DeRozan include the Sacramento Kings, San Antonio Spurs and Los Angeles Lakers. 

Lauri Markkanen: ESPN’s Zach Lowe reported on Friday that the Heat have expressed interest in trading for the Utah Jazz star.

“Markkanen indeed stands as perhaps the league's most intriguing trade chip with Mikal Bridges now in New York. A pile of teams have shown interest in him, including the San Antonio Spurs, Sacramento Kings, Miami Heat and Warriors, sources said.”

However, the Heat likely don’t have the assets to trade for Markkanen. With only one first-round pick currently available to trade (and two if they lift protections on a 2025 pick owed to Oklahoma City), there are plenty of other teams that can offer more picks. Unless Jazz GM Danny Ainge loves one of Miami’s young players, trading for Markkanen is highly unlikely.