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Heat want flexible salary cap for “high-level players” despite quiet FA

In the midst of a largely quiet offseason, the Miami Heat are about $7 million under the secondary salary cap and have several options for using that money, such as signing a player with the mid-level exception.

However, the Heat have taken their time deciding on this money because they have the bigger picture in mind.

Barry Jackson and Anthony Chiang from the Miami-Herald has reported the latest.

“But there's a reason the Heat didn't spend that money quickly. According to three people who have been in contact with the Heat, Miami wants to remain flexible on that spot in case the opportunity to sign a high-profile player arises.

“There have been transfer talks with Heat teams – including one with significant salary cap space – but further details are unclear. One of the sources said Miami also wants to see what quality players become available on the transfer market in the coming days and weeks.

“So any waiting pattern is the byproduct of a preference to keep options open to pursue something worthwhile – rather than a reluctance to spend money. It may take a few days – or several weeks – for such an opportunity to arise.”

It's unclear which high-level player might be available through a trade at this point. Looking at the names frequently discussed in transfer rumors this year, the possibilities don't seem great or impossible at this point. Dejounte Murray is now a New Orleans Pelican. Donovan Mitchell signed a contract extension to stay with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Mikal Bridges is a New York Knick.

Lauri Markkanen was the subject of transfer rumors, but other teams outside the Heat were also considered serious suitors and it is unclear whether Utah would even part with him.

Ultimately, the Heat probably won't land a big name with that free money, although it makes sense to at least keep that option open. Other Eastern Conference contenders have made big moves this year: The Philadelphia 76ers signed Paul George and the aforementioned Knicks signed Bridges, so the hope of signing a “top-tier” player is logical, even if it seems unlikely.