The Miami Heat have fallen on tougher times since LeBron James decided to return to Cleveland. During a time when they were a sure thing to contend for an NBA Finals title, Heat brass were willing to pay whatever tax bill it took to bring home a championship. The Heat won two titles in that time period but without LeBron, things don’t look as certain anymore.
In moves to try to get as close to the luxury tax line, the Heat have made some interesting moves. It started with the Heat dealing 2014 1st round pick Shabazz Napier to the Orlando Magic for a heavily protected 2nd round pick in 2016. The Heat were essentially looking to dump Napier and his guaranteed salary. By doing so, the Heat save roughly $4.5 million in salary and tax. It’ll be interesting to see how Orlando Plans to utilize Napier as they look to be pretty happy with 2014 1st round pick Elfrid Payton and have recently signed CJ Watson to backup Payton. The Heat brought back Goran Dragic and still have Mario Chalmers under contract.
The Heat also dumped Goran Dragic’s brother, Zoran, to the Boston Celtics in a similar trade. Boston received Zoran Dragic and a 2020 2nd round pick for a heavily protected 2019 2nd round pick. The move saves the Heat roughly $5.5 million in salary and tax. The Heat have now been able to shave roughly $10 million off of their salary and luxury tax bill in a matter of days. The Heat may not be done. They have been rumored to be trying to move Mario Chalmers as well.