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Heat trade Jarnell Stokes to Pelicans in exchange for protected draft pick

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The NBA D-League All-Star is on the move again.

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

With just a few hours left until Thursday's NBA trade deadline, Pat Riley and the Miami Heat have reportedly completed another trade to help reduce their luxury tax.

Miami will send out Jarnell Stokes to the New Orleans Pelicans in exchange for a highly protected second round pick that will likely never be conveyed. ESPN is reporting the Heat also included $700,000 to sweeten the deal.

With one less player on their roster, the Heat have removed Stokes' NBA minimum contract from their books. As Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald points out, "It also reduces the Heat's luxury-tax burden by $2.1 million, leaving Miami $2.6 million above the tax threshold".

Stokes arrived with Beno Udrih in the Mario Chalmers-James Ennis trade with the Memphis Grizzlies back in November. He played in five games with the Heat and scored seven points in 14 total minutes while also spending time with the Heat's NBA Development League affiliate team, the Sioux Falls Skyforce. He appeared in 16 games (all starts) in five different stints with the Skyforce, helping them to a 14-2 record, and averaged 20.6 points, 10.2 rebounds, 1.06 steals, 1.1 assists in 30.8 minutes while shooting 67.3 percent from the field.

What exactly will the Heat do with the extra roster spot is still unclear. They still have time to complete another trade by the deadline or wait for the buy-out market to become clearer after the deadline passes. They also have the option to sign a player currently with a team overseas or simply leave the roster spot unused.