And if Dwyane Wade opts to return for one more season, that tax bill would only increase for a team that isn’t a championship contender.
And the Heat are now looking to shed salary to get under the tax threshold, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Heat. Teams only have to pay the bill if they remain under the tax at the end of each season. And Jackson said that two high-ranking executives with other teams have said this week that “Hassan Whiteside, Tyler Johnson and Dion Waiters have all been made available” in trade discussions.
From earlier: Heat so far drawing a line in its bid to shed salary. PLUS rise of Miami's own James Jones and Carmelo update: https://t.co/yE4weLGPNJ— Barry Jackson (@flasportsbuzz) July 14, 2018
Trading any of those players will be difficult. Whiteside has two years left on his contract and is due to make $27.1 million during the 2019-20 season. Johnson, who is ideally suited as a backup guard in today’s NBA, will make $19.2 million for each of the next two seasons. And Waiters has three years left on his contract and is coming off a season-ending ankle injury.
Jackson also said that thus far, Miami hasn’t offered any team any “sweeteners” such as young players like Josh Richardson, Justise Winslow or a draft pick. As I’ve said, Miami’s three promising building blocks are Richardson, Winslow and Bam Adebayo. It would be wise for Miami to keep any future first-round picks — after all, that’s how they got those three players. But if I had to trade one, I’d trade Winslow. And if it means saving some luxury tax payments and getting rid of a bad contract, Riley may accept that trade.