Ranking 5 Miami Heat contracts from bargain to nightmare

The Miami Heat are in a tough salary situation and are at risk of being over the second apron as soon as next season. Let's look into the team's contracts ranked from bargain to nightmare.

Miami Heat v Milwaukee Bucks
Miami Heat v Milwaukee Bucks / Stacy Revere/GettyImages
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On every NBA team there are going to be a range of players from underpaid to overpaid.

Because of their position against the luxury tax, the Miami Heat may have to start considering which of their core players' salaries are expendable as soon as next season.

The Heat are nearly $40 million over the cap and $9.2 million over the tax line. The biggest blunder had to be committing nearly $30 million a year to an aging Kyle Lowry in 2021. Lowry had some memorable moments as a member of the Heat, but never nearly enough to justify that price tag. The Heat shed his salary before the trade deadline, finding an upgrade in Terry Rozier while also shaving payroll.

Today, the Heat are still invested in some heavy contracts with rotation pieces like Caleb Martin and Haywood Highsmith both expecting to get a pay raise as free agents this summer. Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo are the team’s top two most expensive salaries. Butler is making $45.1 million this season along with Adebayo inking $32.6 million. That is justifiable within itself, as both players have led Miami deep into the playoffs over the years. Although Butler’s availability could be a regular-season issue at times, his salary is more than justified. Butler and Adebayo are compensated fairly.

Let’s dive into the real salary questions and rank Miami's contracts from the biggest bargain to the biggest nightmare.

Bargain: Caleb Martin

Although Martin is expected to get a raise once he hits the market in a few months, his contract is currently the biggest bargain on the Miami Heat by far.

Martin is in the midst of a three-year, $20.4 million deal with a player option following this season. He is making $6.8 million alone this year and can opt into making $7.1 million next year. For a player like him, this is a steal. With guys like Gabe Vincent and Max Strus leaving the Heat for lucrative contracts elsewhere last summer, Martin could be next. His next contract will likely pay him eight figures annually.

Martin is averaging 10.4 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.0 assists on 45.2% shooting and 39.1% from deep. His 3-point percentage is just a hair below the league average. The importance he brings to the table is surely valued by all of Miami’s staff and players. Coach Erik Spoelstra has shown a lot of trust in him and appreciates Martin's versatility. Martin can play and defend positions one through four and is an important factor in the Heat's disruptive defense. Another important thing to note regarding Martin’s worth is that he is a proven playoff performer, coming off an Eastern Conference finals against the Boston Celtics where he was one of the best two-way players on the court.

If star hunting isn’t an option this summer because of financial limitations, the Heat should find a way to keep Martin, who is an ideal fit alongside core players Butler and Adebayo.