Over the last three seasons, the Miami Heat haven’t made any sensational trades right before the deadline. Miami’s cap situation plays a large part in why the defending champs aren’t a lot more aggressive around this time of year.
This season won’t be any different for the defending champs. Their big move right before the deadline was trading Roger Mason Jr. and some cash considerations to the Sacramento Kings for a highly-protected second-round pick (which most likely won’t be worth anything at season’s end).
This trade was a win-win for both teams, although if Miami had been smarter, they could have saved some bucks by not guaranteeing Mason Jr.’s contract at the beginning of the season, but that’s neither here nor there. The Kings will most likely waive Mason Jr., saving them cap space for this summer’s potential free agency coup.
On the flipside of this, Miami won’t be saving any cap space (due to guaranteeing Mason Jr. contract), but will have a roster spot open, which is exactly the position they want to be in around this time of year. Miami pulled a very similar situation like this last year when they released Terrell Harris for Chris Andersen, and we all know how that signing turned out. Andersen is one of the most important role players for the defending champs, and his signing last season was a major reason why Miami brought home their second title.
Miami will be scrounging the player pile post-trade deadline, looking for a potential wing player that can make a difference for the defending champs. One name that has surfaced continually is Milwaukee Bucks forward Caron Butler. The open roster spot for Miami could yield dividends based on the player they decide to bring in.
Because Miami received Toney Douglas in a trade that dumped Joel Anthony, having a third, much older guard like Mason Jr. (who will never see any playing time, especially with Douglas on the roster) is worthless. Miami made the smart choice in trading Mason Jr. Hopefully they can get the veteran wing player they so desperately crave.