With NBA free agency looming, the Miami Heat are looking for possible players to sign, despite currently being under severe salary-cap restrictions. One new report points to forward Jabari Parker and veteran forward Jeff Green as potential signing options for the team.
Fred Katz of The Athletic looked at a number of the Washington Wizards’ free agents and where they could end up signing once the annual process begins on Sunday. The 24-year-old Parker and 32-year-old Green earned vastly different salaries during the 2018-19 season, which could end up making a difference in any pursuit by the Heat.
Parker earned $20 million during the past season, beginning it with the Chicago Bulls before being dealt to the Wizards along with Bobby Portis in February. His contract with the Bulls had a team option for next year at the same salary, which the Wizards declined. He averaged 14.5 points, 6.6 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game.
Katz pointed out both the major issue and the potential payoff surrounding Parker:
“He has health concerns, considering he’s already undergone two major knee surgeries. He stayed on the court last season, but he also didn’t play — and thus, rested — for a significant chunk of the winter when he wasn’t getting any burn with the Bulls.
“This past year was Parker’s ‘prove-it’ season. During his couple of months with the Wizards, he showed something. He created as a fast-breaker. He scored around the rim. He exhibited some lift and speed. He turned the ball over like literally no one else in the NBA. He can possibly start for some teams, but those squads will be at the bottom of the standings. He might be able to find a deal with one of them, which could guarantee him minutes.”
Green has played on a veteran’s minimum contract the past two seasons, the first of which was spent with the Cleveland Cavaliers. The aforementioned salary-cap issues that plague the Heat would make Green a much more comfortable fit, since he’d likely again sign the same veteran’s deal.
Green averaged 12.7 points and 4.0 rebounds during the 2018-19 season, starting for the Wizards in 44 of his 77 appearances. Those modest contributions would be supplemented by the veteran presence he would give to the Heat, who has to replace team legend Dwyane Wade.
Katz noted one personal reason why Green might end up saying with the Wizards:
“The DMV native seemed to genuinely enjoy playing close to home and where he went to college. He got along well with teammates. People inside the organization consistently speak highly of him. If Green wants to return on the cheap, the Wizards will have him. Of course, they can offer him only the cheap.”
The Heat are also trying to find a way to sign some of the elite free agents, including Jimmy Butler and the injured Kevin Durant. In the end, they may end up having to look for less expensive options as they seek to get back to the postseason