Rules are made to be broken and apparently so are master plans. Thus was the case with the Miami Heat and Beno Udrih after the team essentially agreed to a buyout with the injured point guard in the hopes that someone would claim his contract off of waivers.
With that deadline two days past due and the Philadelphia 76ers electing not to help — while hurting their own cause — Miami finds themselves in an interesting predicament.
A helping hand from Philadelphia would have put Miami low enough under the luxury tax to immediately sign a player like Marcus Thornton who apparently was on his second attempt to contribute to the Heat this season.
With Miami poised to make the playoffs, the 76ers will finally receive the lottery-protected draft pick owed to them. So aiding the team from South Beach would do nothing but give their general manager a lower first-round pick to work with, which brings up a weird irony.
For all intents and purposes, the 76ers are in the midst of their fourth-straight season of tanking. They had hopes of nabbing Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins in the past, and now hopes of getting Ben Simmons in the not-so-distant future. Philadelphia needs as many losses as possible to finally get their shot at No. 1. They would probably love to continue piling them up over the next two games which just happen to be against Miami.
So in essence, losing to the Heat will stick them in the same dilemma they would have been in if they claimed Udrih — tanking to benefit themselves while being awarded an additional low level pick because of Miami’s wins. The only loser here is Pat Riley, as he now has to wait a month before adding to his 13-man roster — and who knows what will be left by then.