Miami Heat

Heat waives Beno Udrih, aims to get back under luxury tax line

In this Feb. 22, 2016, file photo, Miami Heat's Beno Udrih (19) drives to the basket against the Indiana Pacers during the first half of an NBA basketball game, in Miami.
In this Feb. 22, 2016, file photo, Miami Heat's Beno Udrih (19) drives to the basket against the Indiana Pacers during the first half of an NBA basketball game, in Miami. AP

The Miami Heat waived injured point guard Beno Udrih on Monday, a move aimed at getting the team back under the luxury tax after the recent signing of veteran Joe Johnson over the weekend — and possibly in position to add more players to the roster soon if Udrih is claimed by another team in the next 48 hours.

Udrih, who underwent season-ending surgery last Friday on his right foot, accepted a buyout that saved the Heat roughly $2.7 million, according to ESPN.

He reportedly agreed to leave enough of his $2.17 million salary on the table that it helped the Heat save $110,000 in taxes and puts the team in position to receive a $2.6 million payout from tax-paying teams at the end of the season.

The Heat, now with two open roster spots, could get additional help if the Philadelphia 76ers claim Udrih by Wednesday. The 76ers, below the salary cap floor, have incentive since it would help the team avoid penalties for not spending the league minimum on its roster.

If the 76ers picked up Udrih's remaining salary it would put the Heat further under the luxury tax line and in position to fill those two spots soon. Otherwise, the Heat will likely have to pay Udrih the buyout and wait until late in the season to add to the roster and remain under the luxury tax line.

Former Rockets guard Marcus Thornton was recently bought out and the Heat is believed to have interest in him and possibly another point guard to backup Goran Dragic and rookie Josh Richardson.

Players waived by March 1 are allowed to be on playoff rosters even if they are added on the final day of the regular season.

Udrih, 33, was a steady backup to Dragic after the Heat acquired him from the Grizzlies in the Mario Chalmers trade and is well liked in the Heat organization. Udrih could re-sign with the team this summer. That’s something Udrih said he was interested in doing before he was injured.

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