Riley: “Not a new culture, but to tightening the screws on a culture that sometimes erodes just a little bit.”
The Heat enters the offseason with little financial flexibility to make significant changes to its roster.
Excluding cap holds, the Heat has 13 players under contract for 2019-20 who are due about $140 million. That includes the four players (Derrick Jones Jr., Yante Maten, Duncan Robinson, Kendrick Nunn) who don’t have their full 2019-20 salaries guaranteed yet. It also includes Goran Dragic and Hassan Whiteside, who both have 2019-20 player options to decide on this offseason. But it doesn’t account for an allocation for the Heat’s first-round draft pick this year.
The $140 million of combined salaries can be lowered by about $6 million by waiving Ryan Anderson by July 10. That still puts the Heat way above the projected $109 million salary cap and just above the projected $132 million luxury tax line.
Unable to sign players into space because the Heat is capped out unless there are moves made to free room, it will have to rely on draft picks, exceptions, minimum contracts, the power of Bird Rights or even trades to fill out their roster.
Here’s what the Heat has to work with this offseason, with a player-by-player breakdown …
Age: Turns 22 on July 18.
Season stats: Averaged 8.9 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 23.3 minutes in 82 games (28 starts). He started in 22 of the final 23 games of his second NBA season at center, with Hassan Whiteside moving to a bench role. Adebayo became the 17th player in Heat history to play all 82 games in a season, and he’s the first since Norris Cole did it in 2013-14.
Contract status: Due $3.5 million for 2019-20 in the third year of his rookie-scale contract. The Heat has a $5.1 million team option on Adebayo for the 2020-21 season and can make him a restricted free agent with a qualifying offer for the 2021-22 season.
What to know: After playing as the Heat’s starting center for the final month of the season, it’s hard to imagine Adebayo going back to a reserve role next year. He’s expected to be a big part of the Heat’s future, as the team values Adebayo’s energy, defensive versatility and promising offensive skill set … all while still on an affordable rookie-scale deal. But what about center Hassan Whiteside, the highest-paid player on the roster? That’s an issue Erik Spoelstra will have to figure out, whether it’s playing Adebayo and Whiteside together or staggering their minutes accordingly.
Age: Turns 31 on May 6.
Season stats: After Anderson was traded to the Heat on Feb. 6, he averaged 0.7 points on 2-of-9 shooting from the field and 2-of-6 shooting on threes in 44 total minutes over 10 games in a limited bench role.
Contract status: Due $21.3 million for 2019-20 in the final year of his contract, but his salary is reduced to $15.6 million if he’s waived by July 10.
What to know: The expectation is that Anderson will be released by the Heat before the July 10 deadline. Why? The move would save the Heat nearly $6 million when it comes to his guaranteed salary for next season. Aside from the added benefit of tightening a crowded Heat rotation, the financial aspect of the deal was pretty much the reason behind trading Wayne Ellington and Tyler Johnson for Anderson in February.
Age: Turns 33 on May 6.
Season stats: Limited to 36 games because of right knee surgery and other injuries. Dragic averaged 13.7 points on 41.3 percent shooting from the field and 34.8 percent shooting on threes, 3.1 rebounds and 4.8 assists.
Contract status: Holds $19.2 million player option with Heat for 2019-20 (the final season of his deal). If Dragic opts out, he will become a free agent this summer.
What to know: There’s no doubt the Heat is a better team when Dragic is on the court, especially offensively. But Justise Winslow emerged at point guard while Dragic was injured, which creates questions about the future at that position. For now, there’s a belief that Dragic and Winslow can play together effectively because of Dragic’s ability to play off the ball and Winslow’s positional versatility. Dragic has a decision to make this offseason, though: Opt out for possibly one final multiyear contract or wait another year before becoming a free agent.
Age: Turns 39 on June 9.
Season stats: Played more of a leadership role than an on-court role. Haslem averaged 2.5 points and 2.7 rebounds in 75 total minutes over 10 games.
Contract status: Becomes unrestricted free agent on July 1. The Heat has Haslem’s Bird Rights, so it can exceed the salary cap to re-sign him up to his maximum salary.
What to know: If Haslem wants to return, he’ll likely be back on a minimum contract again worth about $2.6 million. But does he want to continue his playing career and come back for a 17th NBA season with the Heat? Haslem said he’s still undecided, but two things could push him away from retirement. One, his family wants him to receive the type of appreciation Dwyane Wade got in his final season. Two, he’s still not sure the Heat is ready for a locker room that doesn’t include Wade or himself. But Haslem’s playing time has dwindled in recent years, as he’s logged just 277 minutes in 40 regular-season games since the start of the 2016-17 season.
Age: Turned 32 on Feb. 20.
Season stats: Missed the first 15 games of the season because of offseason surgery to repair a sports hernia. Johnson averaged 7.8 points on 43.3 percent shooting, 3.2 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 55 games (33 starts).
Contract status: Due $15.3 million for 2019-20 in the third season of a four-year, $60 million free-agent deal he signed with the Heat in the summer of 2017. Holds a $16 million player option for 2020-21 (the final season of his contract).
What to know: Johnson has yet to replicate the impressive stretch he put together at the end of 2016-17, which helped earn him his current four-year deal with the Heat. Whether it’s because of injuries or role or just a natural decline because of age, Johnson’s productivity has dipped as his athleticism and aggressiveness have also dropped off. The Heat hopes a full healthy offseason will help Johnson return to 2016-17 form. As far as Johnson’s trade value, it’s not very high right now.
DERRICK JONES JR.
Age: Turned 22 on Feb. 15.
Season stats: Averaged seven points on 49.4 percent shooting from the field and 30.8 percent shooting on threes and four rebounds in 60 games (14 starts).
Contract status: Due $1.6 million for 2019-20, but the salary is non-guaranteed. The full salary becomes guaranteed Aug. 1.
What to know: If Jones had chosen to stay in college for four years, he would be part of this year’s draft. That fact, plus Jones’ athleticism and elite leaping ability, defensive potential and length make him an intriguing player. Still, he’s best suited for a bench role. Jones has really worked to improve his three-point shot and it shows, but there are still plenty of areas he needs to get better in like making plays off the dribble. It would be very surprising, though, if the Heat doesn’t guarantee Jones’ salary for next season. He’s considered a part of the Heat’s young core, along with Bam Adebayo, Josh Richardson and Justise Winslow.
Age: Turns 23 on Aug. 14.
Season stats: Playing under a two-way contract with the Heat for most of the season, Maten averaged 23.5 points on 53.9 percent shooting from the field and 32.7 percent shooting on threes and 9.6 rebounds for the G League’s Sioux Falls Skyforce. He logged just 13 total minutes of playing time over two games with the Heat on the NBA level.
Contract status: Holds partially guaranteed $1.4 million contract for 2019-20. According to ESPN, the the two-year deal includes $100,000 guaranteed for next season and that will increase to $150,000 if he is not waived by Aug. 1. The rest is guaranteed if Maten remains on the Heat’s roster after several trigger dates during the offseason.
What to know: The Heat signed Maten, who went undrafted out of Georgia last year, to a two-way contract and he really impressed in the G League. So the Heat rewarded him with a standard two-year NBA deal with just days remaining in the regular season. At 6-8 and 240 pounds, he possesses a polished offensive game and has improved as a defender. The Heat has had success developing undrafted prospects in the past like Rodney McGruder, Tyler Johnson and Udonis Haslem. The hope is that Maten is next in line. Expect to see him on the Heat’s summer-league roster.
Age: Turns 24 on Aug. 3.
Season stats: Averaged 19.3 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.8 assists in 49 games while shooting 47.3 percent from the field and 33.3 percent from three-point range for the Santa Cruz Warriors, the Warriors’ G League affiliate. He has yet to play an NBA game after going undrafted out of Oakland University last year.
Contract status: Holds non-guaranteed $1.4 million contract for 2019-20. According to ESPN, the two-year deal guarantees Nunn $50,000 if he is not waived by July 1 and he’ll receive an additional $100,000 if not waived by Aug. 1. The rest is guaranteed if Nunn remains on the Heat’s roster after several trigger dates during the offseason.
What to know: A year ago, Nunn finished as the runner-up to then-Oklahoma and now Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young for the NCAA scoring title. That scoring ability was enough to catch the Heat’s eye. Who knows if Nunn will stick and actually be on the Heat’s roster next season, but he’ll likely be on the summer-league team as he enters the organization’s developmental program this offseason.
Age: Turns 28 on April 19.
Season stats: Averaged 10 points on 46.3 percent shooting from the field and 35.4 percent shooting on threes, 4.7 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 79 games (36 starts).
Contract status: Due $13.1 million for 2019-20 in the third season of a four-year, $50 million free-agent deal he signed with the Heat in the summer of 2017. Holds a $13.6 million player option for 2020-21 (the final season of his contract).
What to know: In Olynyk’s first two seasons with the Heat, he’s posted a team-best plus-minus of plus-339. That’s extremely impressive considering the Heat has been outscored by 319 points when he’s not on the court over the past two seasons. In other words, Miami has been a much, much better team when Olynyk is playing. The 7-footer started and logged a lot of minutes at power forward over the final two months of the season, as Erik Spoelstra worked to carve out more playing time for Olynyk instead of just rotating him in as part of a crowded center rotation with Bam Adebayo and Hassan Whiteside.
Age: Turns 26 on Sept. 15.
Season stats: Averaged team-high and career-high 16.6 points on 41.2 percent shooting from the field and 35.7 percent shooting on threes, 3.6 rebounds and 4.1 assists in 73 games (73 starts).
Contract status: Due $10.1 million for 2019-20 in the second season of a four-year, $42 million extension he signed with the Heat in the 2017 offseason. He’s due $10.9 million in 2020-21 and holds an $11.6 million player option for 2021-22.
What to know: There were ups and downs for Richardson this past season. Playing in a featured offensive role for the first time in his career, he faced the challenges that come with carrying that type of responsibility. Efficiency became an issue, as Richardson’s shooting percentage dropped from 45.1 percent in 2017-18 to 41.2 percent in 2018-19. But he’s still one of the team’s top two-way players with his ability to defend on the perimeter. Richardson may not have superstar potential, but he’s a very valuable piece considering his skill level and team-friendly contract.
Age: Turns 25 on April 22.
Season stats: Playing under a two-way contract with the Heat for most of the season, Robinson averaged 21.4 points on 51.4 percent shooting from the field and 48.3 percent shooting on threes, 4.3 rebounds and three assists in 33 games for the G League’s Sioux Falls Skyforce. He logged 161 minutes of playing time over 15 games with the Heat on the NBA level, averaging 3.3 points on 18-of-46 shooting from the field and 10-of-35 shooting on threes.
Contract status: Holds partially guaranteed $1.4 million contract for 2019-20. According to ESPN, the the two-year deal includes $250,000 guaranteed for next season and that will increase to $1 million if he is not waived by July 15. The rest is guaranteed if Robinson remains on the Heat’s roster after several trigger dates during the offseason.
What to know: Undrafted out of Michigan, Robinson is known for his three-point shooting. But can he defend and contribute in other areas at the NBA level? At 6-8, 210, the Heat also probably wants to see Robinson continue to fill out physically. Like Yante Maten, the Heat hopes Robinson is just another undrafted prospect that it can turn into an NBA rotation player. Expect to see Robinson on the Heat’s summer-league roster.
Age: Turned 37 on Jan. 17.
Season stats: Averaged 15 points on 43.3 percent shooting, four rebounds and 4.2 assists in 26.2 minutes over 72 games as a sixth man.
Contract status: Retired after 16 NBA seasons. But technically, Wade becomes an unrestricted free agent on July 1. The Heat has Wade’s Early Bird Rights, so it can exceed the salary cap to re-sign him.
What to know: There will be no comeback. Wade made that clear throughout his final NBA season. But how does the Heat replace the greatest player in franchise history? Even in his 16th season while playing in a bench role, Wade was one of Miami’s most productive players. He led the Heat in fourth-quarter points per game (4.6), fourth-quarter shots per game (4.2) and fourth-quarter usage rate (28.6 percent).
Age: Turns 28 on Dec. 10.
Season status: Missed the first 35 games of the season because of surgery on his left ankle. Waiters averaged 12 points on 41.4 percent shooting from the field and 37.7 percent shooting on threes, 2.6 rebounds and 2.8 assists in 44 games (28 starts).
Contract status: Due $12.1 million for 2019-20 in the third season of a four-year, $52 million free-agent deal he signed with the Heat in the summer of 2017. Due $12.7 million for 2020-21 (the final season of his contract).
What to know: Erik Spoelstra and Pat Riley made it clear Waiters must work on his body this offseason and report to training camp in September at a lower weight and body fat percentage. He just wasn’t in tip-top shape after returning from ankle surgery in January. That left him averaging a career-high 6.6 three-point shot attempts per game and fewer drives to the basket this past season. The Heat believes Waiters can be a difference maker if he’s in “world-class shape.” Waiters’ trade value is not very high right now.
Age: Turns 30 on June 13.
Season stats: Averaged 12.3 points on 57.1 percent shooting, 11.3 rebounds and 1.9 blocks in 23.3 minutes over 72 games.
Contract status: Holds $27.1 million player option with Heat for 2019-20 (the final season of his deal). If Whiteside opts out, he will become a free agent this summer.
What to know: While Whiteside said he would at least give the possibility of opting out some thought after reduced playing time over the past two seasons, it seems very unlikely he would walk away from $27 million just for a few additional minutes with another team. But even with the emergence of Bam Adebayo and the effectiveness of Kelly Olynyk, the Heat needs to find a way to maximize Whiteside’s abilities as long as he’s on the roster. He averaged 17.3 minutes of court time while playing the final 20 games of the season in a reserve role.
Age: Turned 23 on March 26.
Season stats: Averaged a career-high 12.6 points on 43.3 percent shooting from the field and 37.5 percent shooting on threes, 5.4 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 1.1 steals in 29.7 minutes over 66 games (52 starts).
Contract status: Due $13 million for 2019-20 in the first season of the three-year, $39 million extension he signed with the Heat last year. Also, due $13 million for 2020-21, with a $13 million team option for 2021-22 in the final season of the deal.
What to know: This was a growth year for Winslow, who averaged career highs in points, rebounds and assists while shooting a career-best percentage from the field. But his best minutes came at point guard while Goran Dragic was injured. The question is, will Winslow be able to play a similar on-ball role for as many minutes as he did if Dragic is back next season? They found a way to play productive minutes together this past season, with the Heat outscoring opponents by 22 points in the 124 minutes Winslow and Dragic played together following the All-Star break. Considering Winslow’s on-court growth and desire to be the face of a franchise, it wouldn’t be surprising if he takes on a leading role next season.