miami heat roster

Heat’s roster decimated by injuries right now; External Reinforcement is a challenge

November 21, 2022

A healthy roster is required for the Miami Heat.

The Heat, which had just seven players available in Friday’s loss to the Washington Wizards, has been ravaged by injuries.

On Sunday night at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse against the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Heat will have more alternatives available than that but will still be without a significant portion of its squad.

Jimmy Butler (right knee discomfort), Udonis Haslem (personal reasons), Tyler Herro (left ankle injury), Victor Oladipo (left knees tendinosis), Gabe Vincent (left knee effusion), and Omer Yurtseven (left knee effusion) will all be absent for the Heat against the Cavaliers (left ankle surgery). Dewayne Dedmon (non-COVID sickness), Duncan Robinson (injury right hand), and Bam Adebayo (left knee strain) are likely to play against the Cavaliers on Sunday. It is after missing Friday’s loss to the Wizards due to injuries, leaving the Heat with ten players available. Kyle Lowry, Caleb Martin, Haywood Highsmith, Nikola Jovic, Max Strus, Jamal Cain, and Orlando Robinson will also be open.

Butler missed the Heat’s game against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday (8 p.m., Bally Sports Sun) as the team finished its four-game trip without him after returning to Miami for additional evaluation of his damaged knee.

Erik Spoelstra, the head coach of the Miami Heat, responded when questioned about Butler’s condition before Sunday’s game, “He’ll be day to day.” But the real goal was to return there, enter our facilities, and complete the essential tasks continuously. However, the information I received today was positive.

What can the Heat do during this injury-filled time to strengthen

The Heat has one free space on its 15-man roster that it could use to acquire some much-needed depth, but anything short of a trade will not alter the club’s complexion.

The luxury tax, though, complicates matters.

Due to the Heat’s proximity to the luxury tax level, Miami cannot sign a 15th player on a standard contract for the remainder of the season without entering the luxury tax bracket.

Even though going above the luxury tax threshold by around $1 million would only incur a modest $1.5 million tax penalty, the repeater tax has prevented the Heat from joining the luxury tax league.

By avoiding the luxury tax this season, the incredibly harsh repeater tax would go into effect later (when a team is over the tax at least three times during four years). Although Miami is on course to be threatened by the luxury tax for the foreseeable future after signing Herro to a significant extension in early October, the Heat last finished as a tax team in the 2019–20 season. Thus it’s critical to postpone the start of the repeater tax clock.

Additionally, there needs to be a significant upgrade on the free agency market that would justify a transfer and start the repeater tax clock. Some unsigned free agents are Carmelo Anthony, Avery Bradley, Paul Millsap, Wayne Ellington, and Tristan Thompson.

However, there are methods for the Heat to fill the vacant 15th roster position without paying the tax.

Days before the completion of the regular season, Miami may wait until late March to add a 15th player and stay below the tax threshold because the prorated minimum salary at that point would be less than $200,000. That doesn’t assist the Heat’s injury-ravaged roster right now, though.

To avoid paying the luxury tax, the Heat may sign a free agent to a non-guaranteed contract at any moment and then waive him after ten days. The player would then be postseason eligible, provided the signing is timed correctly in the closing days of the regular season, making this the preferred option. However, this would virtually remove the chance of Miami signing a free agent later in the season while still avoiding the tax.

They should note that they cannot sign 10-day agreements before January 5.

The Heat may also execute a deal to alter the calculations and increase the space available beneath the tax threshold. Miami has until the end of the regular season to make a move to once again stay under the line and escape the tax, even if it decides to make a signing that would bring them into the tax area in the upcoming weeks.

Or, the Heat might persevere through this challenging period, anticipating seeing some of its ailing players shortly. Miami’s two-way contract players, Cain and Orlando Robinson travel with the team to help offer depth.

Whatever the Heat decides to do, the team’s leading players must become healthier to turn things around.

Spoelstra recently noted, “Nobody stops for you,” amid the team’s recent spate of ailments. “The league never ends. The league has no sympathy for you.