Proud to say I'm back wit the heat. Heat nation we still here— Mario Chalmers (@mchalmers15) July 13, 2014
With their starting five now likely augmented by Mario Chalmers, it raises now whether the Heat will also retain Norris Cole in addition to keeping Shabazz Napier on the roster. Cole is scheduled to make around $2 million next season.
While Chalmers had an up-and-down season, ending frustratingly in the NBA Finals, a likely starting five of Chalmers, Dwyane Wade, Luol Deng, Josh McRoberts, and Chris Bosh is more than enough to become a playoff team in the East, and perhaps even an upper seed.
Even better, the Heat should be able to offer a max deal in 2016 to pair with Chris Bosh, though the contracts for Dwyane Wade, Udonis Haslem, and possibly Birdman will still need to be sorted out.
By working within the confines of the salary cap, the Heat avoid paying a luxury tax this upcoming season (also important to not be a luxury tax repeat offender) and they can still use a $2.7 cap-space mid-level exception. Beyond that, any returning players such as James Jones, Greg Oden or Michael Beasley will likely only be offered veteran minimum contracts.