A player-by-player look at where each Heat player stands heading into the offseason:
The order goes thusly: Player; age; stats this past regular season; contract status and comment.
Chris Bosh; 32; 19.1 points, 7.4 rebounds in 53 games; Due $23.7 million, $25.3 million and $26.8 million over the next three seasons; Despite missing the second half of the season with a blood clot for the second year in a row, the Heat remains hopeful (though obviously it cannot be 100 percent certain) that Bosh can play next season, according to both a team source and ESPN’s Dan Le Batard (whose Heat information is consistently on target). If Bosh never played another game, his salary could come off Miami’s cap no sooner than Feb. 9, 2017.
Luol Deng; 31; 12.3 points, 6.0 rebounds in 74 games; Unrestricted free agent. By thriving at power forward after the All-Star break, Deng likely priced himself out of Miami’s price range if the Heat allocates the cap space likely needed to keep Whiteside. Could return if Whiteside leaves or if either Deng or Whiteside surprisingly takes a contract below market value.
Goran Dragic; 30; 14.1 points, 5.8 assists in 72 games; Due to make $15.9 million, $17 million, $18.1 million next three seasons, with a $19.2 million player option for 2019-2020. Played much better in the second half of the season once the Heat began pushing the pace. Though the Heat always has held Memphis free agent Mike Conley in high regard, Dragic seems more likely than not to return next season. The organization was pleased with his work the past few months.
Gerald Green; 30; 8.9 points in 69 games; Unrestricted free agent. Though he improved defensively, Green shot 39.2 percent overall and just 32.3 on threes. Would be unlikely to return at anything more than the minimum.
Udonis Haslem; 35; 1.6 points and 2.0 rebounds in 37 games; Unrestricted free agent. Heat very much values his leadership, screen-setting and other dynamics, but it’s difficult to envision Miami being able to accommodate anything more than a minimum offer ($1.5 million range). Likely would be invited back at that money if he’s interested.
Joe Johnson; 34; 13.4 points, 3.6 assists in 24 games; Unrestricted free agent. Heat could avoid using cap space on Johnson by offering him its $2.9 million room exception, but questionable if that would be enough.
Tyler Johnson; 24; 8.7 points, 3.0 rebounds in 36 games; Restricted free agent. Heat wants to keep him and is in good position to do so; Miami can match any offer, with outside offers limited by league rule to no higher than $5.6 million in the first season. And whatever his salary is, only about $1 million would count against Miami’s cap.
Josh McRoberts; 29; 3.6 points and 2.5 rebounds in 42 games; Due $5.8 million next season, with a $6.0 million player option for 2017-18. Nobody should be surprised if the Heat tries aggressively to move McRoberts’ contract to create more cap space this summer.
Josh Richardson; 22; 6.6 points, 2.1 rebounds in 56 games. Has team options for $874,636 next season (which assuredly will be exercised) and $1.01 million in 2017-18. Richardson was a revelation --- the league’s best second-round rookie and the NBA leader in three-point shooting percentage after the All-Star break. Can play either guard spot or small forward.
Amar’e Stoudemire; 33; 5.8 points, 4.3 rebounds in 52 games. Unrestricted free agent. Though he likes living in Miami, Stoudemire wasn’t thrilled with his amount of playing time and figures to explore other options, with a return not out of the question.
Dwyane Wade; 34; 19.0 points, 4.6 assists in 74 games. Unrestricted free agent. His improved durability and strong play could earn him a deal exceeding $15 million next season, close to the $20 million he made this season. Has emphasized that he wants to finish his career here.
Briante Weber; 23; Scored two points in his one appearance; Can make about $500,000 if sticks with team all next season, but only $123,000 is guaranteed. Developmental point guard whose defense, in particular, intrigues the Heat.
Hassan Whiteside; 26; 14.2 points, 11.8 rebounds, league-high 3.7 blocks in 73 games. Unrestricted free agent. Expected to get maximum offers starting at nearly $22 million. Heat values him, but is expected to try – at least initially – to convince him to take less. (If Miami surprisingly can lure Kevin Durant, a Whiteside return would be unlikely.) Please see below for more on this.
Justise Winslow; 20; 6.4 points, 5.2 rebounds in 78 games; Under team control for next four seasons. Due $2.6 million next season. Impressed the Heat with his defense, poise and versatility but improving jump shot is summer priority.
Dorell Wright; 30; Signed final week of season. Unrestricted free agent. Would love to return, and Erik Spoelstra says he’s still a skilled shooter. But Heat must decide whether to make offer at the minimum.
MORE ON WHITESIDE
We'll tackle several Heat summer issues over the coming days, including this from my newspaper column Sunday:
There will be considerable debate inside the Heat over the next six weeks about how much to offer Hassan Whiteside when free agency begins July 1.
The Heat values him but someone who has spoken to the team's front office said he believes the Heat will try to convince him to take something less than the max deal he almost assuredly could get elsewhere.
(Whether the Heat will go to the max, if Whiteside balks at something less, remains to be seen. And of course, all this is moot if the Heat can sign Kevin Durant, which is Miami's No. 1 priority in free agency. If Miami can sign Durant, keeping Whiteside becomes highly unlikely. That's why the Heat needs a read on Durant before it can move forward with Whiteside.)
Whatever Miami decides to offer Whiteside (and that’s undetermined), the good news is that NBA rules allow Miami to pay Whiteside more than any other team can give him.
What’s more, even if the Heat doesn’t offer Whiteside the max (and it has the cap space to do so), a deal close to the max would earn more money for Whiteside over the next four years than a max deal with other teams would, in most cases.
• Though both the Heat and other teams can offer Whiteside a contract of no more than four years, the Heat (because it has his Early Bird rights but not his full Bird rights) can offer annual 7.5 percent raises over his first year salary, whereas other teams can offer only 4.5 percent annual raises, cap expert Larry Coon told us two weeks ago.
The first-year max salary for Whiteside will depend on the final cap number and could fall between $21.6 million (Coon’s estimate) and $23 million. If it’s $21.6 million, the Heat could offer Whiteside a four-year, $96.1 million contract; other teams could offer no more than $92 million over four years.
If it’s a $23 million first-year max, the Heat could offer $102.32 million over four years; others teams could offer no more than $98.17 million over four years.
• Only seven states don’t have a state income tax, and only five NBA teams play in those states (the Heat, Magic, Spurs, Mavericks and Rockets). Residents of Tennessee also get some relief, but it's not as black-and-white as the seven other states, according to published tax laws. So those five teams in Florida and Texas can realistically pay players more than others.
During Carmelo Anthony’s 2014 free agency, SI.com broke down how much Anthony could make (after taxes) by signing with the Knicks and Heat. Remember that Anthony could sign for five years with New York, only four with Miami.
If only the first four years were calculated, the Knicks could have paid Anthony $99.9 million, compared with $95.9 million for the Heat. But once taxes were factored in, Anthony would have pocketed more with the Heat over those first four years ($55.3 million) than with the Knicks ($51.6 million) even though the Knicks were paying him $4 million more in salary!
And with Whiteside, the difference in income would be even more pronounced between what he would earn with the Heat and what he would earn in states with high income taxes, because unlike with Anthony, the Heat would be the team with the ability to offer 7.5 percent annual raises, compared with 4.5 percent for others.
So if Miami tries to persuade Whiteside to sign for less than the max, expect the Heat to point all of the aforementioned to Whiteside and agent Sean Kennedy.
Because Whiteside doesn’t have full Bird rights, the Heat has to fit his salary under the cap unless he takes 104.5 percent of the league average salary (about $6.5 million). And he’s not taking 104.5 percent of the league's average; his market value is obviously far above that.
A friend says Whiteside, who’s a bargain at $981,348 this season, likes it here and reveres Pat Riley. The question is this: Will that, the larger percent annual raises and lack of state tax be enough to sway Whiteside if Miami’s offer is several million dollars less that what he can get elsewhere.
Incidentally, opponents shot 54 percent from less than five feet against the Heat when Whiteside was on the court this season, 58.9 otherwise. That 54 percent was better than every starting center expect Tim Duncan, Andrew Bogut and Rudy Gobert.
In the playoffs, opponents shot 53.5 percent within four feet and 30.9 percent from five to 9 feet with Whiteside on the court, 55.2 and 48.7 otherwise. And that doesn’t even take into account the shots Whiteside’s presence discourages opponents from taking.
For Dwyane Wade's and Erik Spoelstra's thoughts after today's games, please click here.... Twitter: @flasportsbuzz