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Heat waive Rodney McGruder

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Miami made the move in an attempt to avoid the luxury tax.

NBA: Miami Heat at Toronto Raptors John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Rodney McGruder played 22 minutes of the Miami Heat’s overtime loss to the Toronto Raptors earlier today. But those will be his final minutes of the season, at least in a Heat uniform.

Miami Heat fan and salary cap expert Albert Nahmad wrote that the move was an attempt to move under the luxury tax.

Although McGruder is not playoff-eligible, a team that claims him will get his Early Bird rights. The Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson wrote that Miami “had shown no inclination to give him a new deal” after his contract expires at the end of this season.

McGruder played in 65 games this season, starting 45. His impressive play early in the year pushed veteran Wayne Ellington out of the rotation (and he was later traded to the Phoenix Suns and then signed by the Detroit Pistons). Moreover, McGruder scrapped and clawed his way to a Heat roster spot. He played for the Heat’s G League affiliate team, the Sioux Falls Skyforce, in 2015-16. After impressing Heat officials in the 2016 summer league, McGruder earned a spot as an NBA rookie for the 2016-17 season — at the age of 25.