Over the past three offseasons, the Miami Heat has constructed, augmented and refined.
Three summers ago, it was uniting LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Mike Miller with Dwyane Wade and Udonis Haslem as a team that would reach the NBA Finals.
The following offseason, one delayed by a lockout, glue guy Shane Battier supplemented the mix to help the Heat win the 2012 NBA championship.
And last summer, Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis were added to help turn the 2012 title into a 2013 repeat.
Because of the team’s ongoing success, as well as the 2013-14 contract options of Allen, Lewis, James Jones and Mario Chalmers all leading them back for another season, there doesn’t figure to be much heavy lifting this time around.
The NBA’s free agency period officially began Monday morning at 12:01 EDT.
While teams can start negotiating immediately, most free agent signings, and all trades, cannot be officially executed until July 10, allowing the league time to compute revenues for the now-expired 2012-13 season and finalize the salary cap and luxury-tax calculations for 2013-14.
However, signings that do not rely in any way upon the specific value of the salary cap can be executed with the start of the new salary cap year on July 1. Such signings include minimum salary deals for up to two years in length.
For the Heat, still basking in a second consecutive championship, the concerns are limited, with 12 players already under guaranteed contract for next season: James, Wade, Bosh, Chalmers, Haslem, Battier, Allen, Lewis, Jones, Miller, Joel Anthony and Norris Cole. In addition, neophyte power forward Jarvis Varnado has a non-guaranteed contract in place that becomes $250,000 guaranteed if he is on the opening-night roster.
That’s 13 regular-season rosters spots potentially filled. Teams can have as many as 20 players under contract in the offseason, in addition to players involved in summer-camp and summer-league tryouts, but need to reduce to between 13 and 15 by the start of the regular season.
While virtually the entire championship core from last season has already committed to return, there is still work to be done: Read more…