Miami Heat News: Heat Granted Player Exception, Targeting Andray Blatche

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The Miami Heat received good news this morning as the Sun Sentinel is reporting that the NBA has granted the Heat a $2.65 million disabled-player salary-cap exception for the season-ending injury to forward Josh McRoberts. McRoberts underwent surgery earlier this month to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee that has deemed him out for the season.

The exception is worth half of McRoberts’ current salary and must be used by March 10. There are three ways that Miami can use this exception. The first would be signing a free agent to a one-year contract up to the maximum value of the exception or less, which we’ll get to in a moment. The second would be acquiring a player with an expiring contract off of waivers who is due $2.65 million or less. And the final means by which the exception can be utilized is via trading for a player in the final year of his contract who is owed $2.65 million or less.

As far as free-agent options are concerned, it is clear that the Heat are looking to target a big man to replace the void left by McRoberts as well as supplement the shaky front line of Chris Andersen, Udonis Haslem, and Justin Hamilton

Three names that continue to pop up are big men Jermaine O’Neal, Emeka Okafor, and Andray Blatche.

After Miami’s failed attempts to acquire power forward Josh Smith, who recently signed with the Houston Rockets, Marc Stein of ESPN is reporting that the Heat are now going after Blatche, who is currently playing overseas in China. Blatche’s contract in China is said to end before the expiration of the salary-cap exception.

The former Brooklyn Nets big man averaged 11.2 points and 5.3 rebounds last season and would be a a significant upgrade to the Heat’s front line.
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