Sun Sentinel Palm Beach Edition
NBA buyout market revs into high gear
Heat await move after Dedmon trade; Oladipo remains out
MIAMI — Among the reasons cited by the Miami Heat for last week’s trade of Dewayne Dedmon to the San Antonio Spurs was roster flexibility.
That flexing has now begun around the NBA, but not yet by the Heat.
With buyout season in full swing, names not only already are coming to market, but also being taken off the market.
Terrence Ross, held out of Saturday night’s overtime loss to the Heat by the Orlando Magic, not only has since parted with the Magic, but now is moving on to the Phoenix Suns, according to multiple reports. Ross had been linked to the Heat at last Thursday’s NBA trading deadline, as well as at last year’s NBA draft.
Guard Danny Green, whose combination of 3-point shooting and defense could have made him a Heat fit, instead received a buyout from the Houston Rockets, now joining the Cleveland Cavaliers, who stand just ahead of the Heat in the Eastern Conference playoff race.
And the Heat on Monday will be facing an opponent that also has restocked through the buyout market, with the Denver Nuggets adding point guard Reggie Jackson, after he was dealt last week from the Los Angeles Clippers and then worked out a buyout agreement with the Charlotte Hornets.
Typically the turnaround on the buyout market is slower, with players only needing to be waived by March 1 in order to be playoff eligible for another team. But with competitive playoff races in both conferences, that pace has been expedited.
The Heat, by dealing Dedmon, are positioned to be able to sign up to two players from the buyout market and still remain below the luxury-tax threshold. The number would be reduced to a single outside addition should the Heat convert the two-way contract of center Orlando Robinson to a standard deal.
Should bidding enter the process, the Heat have exceptions worth about $4 million each to sign a player from the buyout market, but not the wherewithal to put both into play and remain below the tax threshold.
Dedmon was waived Thursday by the Spurs and is free to sign with any team other than the Heat, with no need for a buyout agreement, already guaranteed his full $4.7 million salary for the season. The Philadelphia 76ers have been linked to such interest.
Among the keys to Saturday night’s comeback from a 17-point deficit was the second-half revival of point guard Tyler Herro, who led all scorers with his 23 points.
Herro was 2 of 10 for five points in the first half, before coming around to shoot 8 of 13 for 18 points in the second half and overtime. He scored half of the Heat’s 10 points in the five-minute extra period.
“He usually does figure it out,” coach Erik Spoelstra said. “And I think with Tyler, it doesn’t affect him necessarily if he has a 2-for10 first half. He’s still going to play his game.
“I think he didn’t necessarily have his legs for the three ball, particularly in the first half. So in the second half he put the ball on the floor and was able to get to some floaters, some runners that he makes look easy. Those are not really easy shots, but he has a great touch on those.”
Herro’s momentum turned into the Heat’s momentum, with Herro doing it all despite being called for his fifth foul with 8:39 to play in the fourth quarter, playing with the confidence of teammates Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo.
“Once he saw a couple of those go,” Spoelstra said of Herro’s floaters, “that helped him get in better rhythm. And Bam and Jimmy did a really good job of getting him in those situations on dribble handoffs where he was able to get downhill.”
A week ago, the Heat were coming off consecutive road losses to the New York Knicks and Milwaukee Bucks, stressing the need to make the most of a week that featured games against the Indiana Pacers, Houston Rockets and Magic.
The Heat won all three.
“Man, great week,” Adebayo said. “Now we just need to keep building on this and go from here.”
The Heat on Sunday issued an 11-player injury report for Monday night’s game.
Out: Nikola Jovic (back), Kyle Lowry (knee), Victor Oladipo (ankle), Duncan Robinson (finger) and Omer Yurtseven (ankle).
Doubtful: Udonis Haslem (personal).
Questionable: Herro (knee). Probable: Adebayo (knee), Haywood Highsmith (elbow), Max Strus (shoulder) and Gabe Vincent (ankle).