This post was written lightening quickly at the request of readers. There is no lead-in, no explanation and no context. It just contains the raw numbers that readers were asking for.
The Miami Heat will start the summer with six players under contract for the 2016-17 season – Chris Bosh, Goran Dragic, Josh McRoberts, Justise Winslow, Briante Weber ($219K guaranteed) and Josh Richardson (non-guaranteed). Those six players will cost a combined $49.8 million.
At the $94.4 million salary cap announced yesterday by the NBA, the Heat would have — after subtracting that $49.8 million, the $1.2 million cost to retain the right to re-sign Tyler Johnson to a contract that exceeds the cap, and necessary roster charges — up to $42 million or so of cap space with which to spend on free agents.
On July 1, free agent agent Hassan Whiteside announced that he will re-sign with the Heat. The deal is tentatively scheduled to be for the max, with a starting salary of $22.2 million and a total payout of $98.4 million. He can make the signing official starting on July 7th. The signing will reduce the Heat’s cap space available to any one player to $18.9 million.
Earlier today, we also learned that the Brooklyn Nets will extent a four-year, $50 million offer sheet to Tyler Johnson. The contract will pay out $5.6 million in the first year, $5.9 million in the second year, then jump to $18.9 million in the third year and $19.6 million (subject to a player option) in the last. Once he signs the offer sheet, which he can do starting July 7th, the Heat will have three days to decide whether to match. Until it decides, Johnson will continue to count $1.2 million against the cap. Once (and if) the Heat matches, he will cost $5.6 million. If the Heat decides not to match, he will cost nothing. The Johnson decision therefore has ramifications for another free agent the Heat is currently pursuing: Kevin Durant.
But would it be possible for the Heat to sign Kevin Durant, now that it has secured Whiteside?
Durant coming to the Heat is an extreme long-shot. He would need to be pass up opportunities with such teams as the Golden State Warriors, San Antonio Spurs, and his hometown Oklahoma City Thunder, among others. But if that were possible, would it be mathematically possible as well?
Durant’s maximum salary would be $26.5 million. With Whiteside at $22.2 million, the two figures alone total to $48.7 million. That’s way above the Heat’s $42 million of projected cap room, and that’s before even dealing with Dwyane Wade.
So, how can the Heat acquire the necessary cap space for Durant?
There are three likely scenarios: Read more…