The Miami Heat beat all expectations this season, clawing their way in the postseason to the NBA Finals, where they fell in six games to the Los Angeles Lakers. They have some big decisions to make in free agency this summer, in regard not just to their roster for next season, but also with the following offseason in mind. That offseason could feature Giannis Antetokounmpo as a free agent. Here’s the Miami Herald:
The Heat’s current salary-cap breakdown for next season looks like this: Jimmy Butler ($34.4 million), Andre Iguodala ($15 million), Kelly Olynyk ($12.2 million player option), Bam Adebayo ($5.1 million), Tyler Herro ($3.8 million), Duncan Robinson ($1.7 million), Kendrick Nunn ($1.7 million), KZ Okpala ($1.5 million), Chris Silva ($1.5 million), a projected $2.4 million cap hit for the 20th overall pick in the Nov. 18 draft, a $5.2 million waive-and-stretch cap hit for Ryan Anderson that’s still on the books, and a $350,000 waive-and-stretch cap hit for AJ Hammons.
Assuming Olynyk opts in to the final season of his contract and the Heat keeps the player it drafts this year, Miami will have about $85 million committed to 10 players for next season.
That means the Heat can create up to $22 million in cap space, including cap holds, if it renounces the rights to its six impending free agents — Jae Crowder, Goran Dragic, Udonis Haslem, Solomon Hill, Derrick Jones Jr. and Meyers Leonard.
A team that just reached the Finals, and does not have an age problem, has every reason in the world to focus primarily on immediate continued success. So, while possibly targeting Giannis, who may or may not be available two offseasons from now, is something to keep in mind, the main Heat goal right now is to do whatever it takes to get themselves back into the Finals in 2021.