Miami Heat: Five Players Most Likely to Be Traded This Offseason

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The Miami Heat are desperately trying to shed payroll.

After agreeing to terms with Dwyane Wade on a one-year, $20 million deal and Goran Dragic on a five-year, $90 million deal, the only way the Heat can sign any other players is through the mid-level exception (worth around $3.4 million) or the veteran’s minimum.

This is because Miami will be facing a large luxury tax bill for going over the salary cap. This is in spite of recent news that the 2015-16 salary cap will jump to roughly $70 million, $7 million more than the previous season’s salary cap.

Wade and Dragic aren’t going anywhere, so this gives you an idea of the players the Heat are looking to deal.

Miami’s payroll is in excess of $90 million at the current moment, putting them over the NBA’s soft salary cap and deep into the luxury tax. They can get below the luxury tax line of $84.7 million by dealing a few players.

We know the Heat will deal somebody before the end of the offseason, but who exactly will it be?

Here are the five players most likely to be dealt by Miami:

1. Chris Andersen

chris andersen of the miami heat

It is no secret that the team has been trying to deal Chris Andersen for the past month.

Now new reports suggest that the Heat are willing to part ways with Andersen for “almost nothing.” Andersen is a 37-year-old big man who has made a career of playing high-energy basketball. He has survived in the NBA over the past 14 years by specializing in blocking shots and making hustle plays.

When the Heat were built around LeBron James, Andersen thrived because James made every player on the court better offensively. The “Birdman” was able to score points off of James’ assists or off of easy putback baskets. What having LeBron on the court also meant was that offensively-weak players like Andersen were not depended upon to carry much of an offensive workload.

Miami no longer has a player of that magnitude, which means that the Blinn College product doesn’t have much of a place on the current roster. What doesn’t help the veteran is that he is due to earn $5 million next season and has an expiring contract following the season.

A lot of teams will be interested in having cap space for the 2016 offseason, which makes Andersen a valuable trade chip.

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D.J. Siddiqi grew up in the heart of South Florida in Broward County. Growing up in South Florida during the late 90's and 2000's, D.J. witnessed the Pat Riley years where the Miami Heat faced off with the New York Knicks all the way to the painful late 2000's seasons where the Heat were a one-man team with Dwyane Wade. D.J. has closely followed the Heat over the past decade-and-a-half, and unfortunately witnessed Game 2 of the 2011 NBA Finals in person when the Dallas Mavericks overcame a 15-point deficit to knock off the Heat. D.J. has writing experience as a columnist with sites such as Bleacher Report and Rant Sports, and he is proud to bring his knowledge of the Heat and the NBA to Heat Nation.