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NBA Rumors: Will the HEAT Spend More Next Season?

If HEAT owner Micky Arison is going to keep the team together, it’s going to cost him the stiffest luxury tax bill the league has ever given…

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Time for Miami to spend

If James is willing to restructure his deal and take less money, he’ll likely get Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh to do the same. The Big Three wants to stay together and after the record beating they absorbed, sacrificing at the bargaining table would give the Heat much-needed flexibility so it can gear up for another title run next season.

As team insiders have maintained for months, James isn’t interested in reducing his salary from $20.6 next season and $22.1 million in 2015-16 just so that team owner Micky Arison can avoid paying luxury taxes. As they say, been there, done that and all it got James was second place.

Bosh, who makes identical money to James, and Wade, who makes slightly less, at around $41.5 million for the next two seasons, also don’t want to rework their deals solely to give Arison another tax break. They want the money put to good use, meaning adding talent so that Miami can return to the Finals for a fifth straight season. No team has done that since the Red Auerbach-led Celtics of the 1960s.

via Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News

This is Arison’s chance to prove that he’s willing to pay to keep a winner together. The HEAT have been luxury tax payers in each of the last three seasons, but the penalty has only been a dollar for every dollar that they’re over the cap. Next season the tax penalty because much stiffer for repeat offenders, as you can see in the chart below from CBAFAQ.com

ScreenHunter_13 Jun. 17 07.07

There was a report recently that the HEAT had aspirations of making a run at Carmelo Anthony, but Lawrence’s article is one of the many since to cast doubt on that possibility.

It’s going to be interesting to see whether James really can get Bosh and Wade to opt out of the final two years of their contracts, which would pay them both $42 million. They sacrificed financially when they first joined forces in Miami and went 2-2 in the NBA Finals. While they benefitted from it, are they willing to pass on millions again in order to stay together, or are they going to be a little bit more individually-driven by their decisions? At 32 years of age, there probably isn’t a team in the league, the HEAT included, willing to give up that kind of cash over the next two years to Wade. To a lesser extent, the same can be said about the 30 year old Bosh.

After getting throttled in the NBA Finals by the San Antonio Spurs, the future looks extremely cloudy in Miami. If they were going into the offseason as the three-time champions, there would have been little doubt about whether keeping this team together was worth it for Arison. Now it may not be, which is why the NBA was willing to enter a lockout to implement these kind of rules. They want everyone to be competitive and for there to be “player sharing” when it comes to stars. If the HEAT are going to keep their core intact and improve the roster around them like they want, Arison is going to have to be willing to spend up to $140 million on the roster after taxes.

Love on his way out?

via Twitter

If the Timberwolves are looking to avoid a distraction, then trading Love on draft night is definitely the way to go. His status is going to be the storyline going into next season if he remains with the team. It’s not going to matter what the Timberwolves do on a game-by-game basis, Love wanting out is all anyone is going to talk about. If they win, the question is going to be are the winning enough to change Love’s mind. If they lose, things are really going to be shaky as Love’s desire to get out will only grow.

Reports surfaced about a month ago that Love’s agent was making is clear that his client wants out and will leave next summer in restricted free agency. The Timberwolves have publicly denied any interest in trading Love, but Love admitted during a recent appearance on ESPN that he is eager to play for a contender and that his agent is indeed handling everything for him right now.

The more time that passes, the more pressure there’s going to be on the Timberwolves to make a deal. However, Love is worth the distraction. Teams are still going to be willing to make sizable offers for him leading up to the deadline because they know how much competition there is going to be for him on the open market. There’s still a chance for the Timberwolves to get a good deal for him, they just have to be patient and not feel forced – because even if he walks, that’s a lot of salary being freed up for a potential rebuild. Having ample cap space to replace him with is better than accepting a lackluster deal that they don’t love – no pun intended.

76ers want Wiggins

The Sixers have the third and 10th overall picks in addition to five second-round selections. Wiggins is expected to go first or second but could fall to the Sixers at No. 3.

As a result, the franchise needs to move up just to secure drafting him. The Cavaliers hold the top spot in the draft and the Bucks are second.
Sources have confirmed a report that the Sixers have inquired about trading for the Cavs’ first pick. The Sixers reportedly aren’t willing to give up their third and 10th picks in exchange for the No. 1 selection. They will, however, possibly give up a combination of the No. 3 pick and power forward Thaddeus Young, according to ESPN.com.

via Keith Pompey of the Inquirer Staff

Andrew Wiggins has long been tapped as the top draft prospect in this draft class. The 76ers went into this season with the intention of losing as many games as they could to maximize their draft position, so it’s clear to see that they’re willing to do anything short of moving mountains to get him.

The possibility of trading Young has come up multiple times since Sam Heinke took over as GM. He traded veterans Spencer Hawes and Evan Turner at the trade deadline and still seem to be more interested in accumulating young talent than having a proven veteran like him. If they don’t feel like Wiggins will be there for them at three, which is a real possibility, he seems to be a piece they’d part with to trade up and get him. The question is, is he worth the Cavaliers trading down?

The big key could be what the Milwaukee Bucks do. If the Cavaliers feel like they’re going to take their guy at two, it may not be worth it. Young makes $9.4 million next year as well, so their salary cap space would be eaten into by a player who does not play a position of need for them. In the worst case scenario if they do this trade, Wiggins and Embiid are off the board and they’re put in a position where the top value pick is Jabari Parker, giving them a serious overload of forwards. Unless they’re willing to part with No. 10, it looks like Philly may have to just keep their fingers crossed that their guy falls to them.

Yannis Koutroupis is Basketball Insiders' Managing Site Editor and Senior Writer. He has been covering the NBA and NCAA for seven years.

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