Report: Miami Heat are ‘reluctant’ to pay the luxury tax unless for a ‘significant upgrade’'
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The Miami Heat reportedly are “reluctant” to pay the luxury tax this season unless they can find a major upgrade to their roster.

The Heat have an open spot on their roster that they could use to sign a free agent or add players in a one-for-two trade, but it appears that will only happen if it significantly improves the team.

“The Heat is only about $200,000 away the luxury tax threshold that it has been reluctant to cross this season unless it’s for a significant upgrade,” the Miami Herald’s Anthony Chiang wrote. “Even with one open spot on its 15-man roster, Miami would enter the tax if it signed a free agent any time soon for an extended period of time.”

The Heat have gotten off to a slow start this season, going 11-14 through their first 25 games. Last season, Miami finished with the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference and only lost 29 games all season.

After losing forward P.J. Tucker in free agency this offseason, the Heat didn’t add much to their roster. Instead, the team trusted the talent from its team in the 2021-22 campaign to develop and step up this season.

Unfortunately, injuries have gotten in the way of that plan to start the season. Jimmy Butler, Tyler Herro, Victor Oladipo and others have missed chunks of the 2022-23 season. Oladipo just made his season debut on Tuesday night in the team’s loss to the Detroit Pistons.

The loss to Tucker has forced Caleb Martin into the starting lineup, and it’s certainly shortened Miami’s bench, especially with injuries mounting.

The Heat have a loaded injury report once again for Thursday’s game against the Los Angeles Clippers, as Butler (questionable), Gabe Vincent (out), Dewayne Dedmon (questionable) and Oladipo (probable) are all listed on the report.

The injuries aren’t an excuse for the Heat, as the team has to find a way to win with the current roster. However, it doesn’t appear reinforcements will be coming unless the team can work a trade that keeps them under luxury tax or finds a major upgrade at some point this season.

Now that Oladipo is back in the rotation, Miami is certainly hoping that its offense will get a boost. The Heat are 26th in the league in offensive rating ahead of Wednesday’s action.

After making the Eastern Conference Finals last season, it appears the Heat have confidence in their current roster to get back to that point despite a slow start to the 2022-23 campaign.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.