ESPN.com reported Monday that the organization is shopping Mario Chalmers and Chris Andersen in trade talks in an attempt to clear up cap space. Chalmers is due $4.3 million for next season, while Andersen is due $5 million. Trading both players will free up $9.3 million in cap space.
ESPN reports Heat trying to trade Chalmers, Andersen to lower payroll in effort to keep Wade. That would lower luxury tax bill.
— Barry Jackson (@flasportsbuzz) June 22, 2015
The Heat are presumably hoping to trade both players by Thursday’s NBA Draft, which would give the Heat several days to work out a deal with Wade before the June 29 player option deadline. If the veteran shooting guard does not opt in by that date, he becomes a free agent on July 1.
Both ‘Rio and “Birdman” were staples of the Heat’s championship run during the “Big Three” era. The veteran point guard has played his entire seven-year career in Miami while Andersen signed with the franchise midway through the 2012-13 season. Both players signed new deals as free agents during the 2014 offseason.
While both players were key rotation players during the championship years, they are coming off of disappointing seasons. To make matters more pressing, the Heat are motivated to bring back Wade. If they have to cut ties with two bench players in order to bring the face of the franchise back, there is no doubt Pat Riley will make that move.
Chalmers averaged 10.2 points, 3.8 assists, and 2.2 turnovers while shooting 40.3 from the field and a career-low 29.4 percent from beyond the three-point line last season. Andersen struggled with numerous injuries en route to playing in just 60 games and averaging just 5.3 points, 5.0 rebounds and a block per game during the 2014-15 season.